"Game Over" is a message used in video games when the player has run out of extra lives or chances. However, nonstandard Game Overs are sometimes used to punish specific mistakes. The Game Over screen differs from game to game, but the text is usually set against a blank screen, with sad or mocking background music playing.
After a Game Over, the player is typically given an option to restart the game from the last save point. However, many games from earlier hardware generations lack saving functionality, requiring the game to be restarted from the beginning.
In the Mario franchise, the "Game Over" message has seen several variations, and it has even been used in-universe as a euphemism for death.
Super Mario Odyssey is the only Super Mario game thus far not to include a Game Over, as there are no lives or 1-Up Mushrooms in the game, with typical life-loss being replaced with a 10-coin deduction.
"Game Over" as death
In that game, Dimentio sends Mario and his teammates to "the next world," albeit "while still very much alive," which is similar to the philosophy of the afterlife. Mario, Luigi, and Bowser end up in The Underwhere, which resembles Hell, where some Shaydes ask Mario how his "game," referring to his life, was. Also, many Shaydes can be seen discussing how they got a Game Over. The Overthere resembles Heaven, surrounded by clouds, the sun, and rainbows. Princess Peach ends up there.
That said, all the conversations in The Underwhere seem to suggest that Shaydes can request an audience with Queen Jaydes, who will weigh in their sins and send them to The Overthere, submit them to punishments befitting of their crimes, or even return them to the land of the playing if the situation calls it.
The areas of The Underwhere or The Overthere where Jaydes sends the dead people are never clearly shown; all that are seen in The Underwhere are Shaydes that have not yet requested an audience with Jaydes, and D-Men who work for her, while all that are seen in The Overthere are Nimbis (and Skellobits that are invading). It is implied that the dead villains are condemned to an area below The Underwhere, where Bonechill was also imprisoned before he escaped. It is possible that the paradise dimension witnessed at the end credits may be an area of The Overthere, though what Nastasia says seems to suggest otherwise.
One Shayde speculates that if a dead person dies in The Underwhere or Overthere, their aftergame ends and they go to a "post-aftergame."
When Count Bleck was using The Void to destroy all worlds, The Void also appeared in The Overthere, indicating that it would even destroy the aftergame. Where all the dead characters (or even all the characters altogether) would have gone following the aftergame's destruction is unknown; however, a young Flip-Flop girl speculates that the souls of the deceased would be forced to drift aimlessly in the empty white space left behind by The Void due to being left without a world or aftergame to reside in, a fate deemed both sad and boring.
List of "Game Over" screens
Super Mario series
Super Mario Bros.
In Super Mario Bros., when the player runs out of lives, the level turns into a black background with the words "GAME OVER" (as well as the name of the character who received the Game Over in multiplayer mode, either Mario or Luigi), while the HUD is still present; after the Game Over, the player will be sent back to the Title Screen, where they will have to start over from the beginning at World 1-1. If Mario or Luigi times out on their last life, "TIME UP" appears first while the Game Over music plays; the player can try again from the beginning of the world they lost in at the Title Screen by holding down and then pressing .
Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels
In Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, the Game Over screen has "GAME OVER," as well as the choices "CONTINUE" and "RETRY," which has the player either restart the specific level they died on or otherwise restart the game. If the player runs out of lives in World 9, the Game Over screen looks different. Instead of the usual choices "CONTINUE" and "RETRY," under the words that say "GAME OVER," there is a message that reads: "YOU'RE A SUPER PLAYER! WE HOPE WE'LL SEE YOU AGAIN. MARIO AND STAFF."
Super Mario Bros. 2
In Super Mario Bros. 2, the Game Over screen just depicts the words "GAME OVER" in a black background. After the Game Over music has played, the text changes into two choices, reading "CONTINUE" and "RETRY." If the player chooses "CONTINUE," the game will resume, but if the player chooses "RETRY," the game will return to the Title Screen. Also, the player can use only two Continues (this is depicted by the number of Continues remaining on the Continue screen); the third Game Over will show only "RETRY" on the screen after the Game Over music has played. In all later versions, the player has an unlimited number of Continues; also, the player can save the game with two choices replacing "RETRY": "SAVE & CONTINUE" and "SAVE & QUIT."
Super Mario Bros. 3
In Super Mario Bros. 3, receiving a Game Over returns the player to the map, while a light-blue rectangle appears with the words "Game Over," with a "dead" Mario or Luigi to the left of the two choices, "CONTINUE" and "END." If the player chooses to continue, Mario is sent back to the beginning of the world, and all cleared levels, Toad Houses, and Spade Panels are restored, though fortresses, Enemy Courses, and locked doors remain completed/unlocked; the player's life counter resets to four lives, the player's score resets to zero, and the player loses all of their end-of-level cards. Ending the game either sends the player back to the Title Screen in single-player mode or allows the other player to continue alone in multiplayer mode. In the Japanese version, the player has only two Continues; if the player gets three Game Overs in a row, the player will be sent back to the Title Screen and have to start the game all over. In the U.S. version, the player has an unlimited number of Continues.
Super Mario Land series
In Super Mario Land, all enemies disappear and "GAME OVER" appears from the bottom of the screen. If the player got 100,000 points or more upon receiving a Game Over, they can use a "Continue" to restart from the level in which they obtained the Game Over. In Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, a Game Over sign appears at the top of the screen, and the player will lose all the Gold Coins they earned in the game. After the player waits for two minutes, "Totaka's Song," a common Easter egg found in video games involving Kazumi Totaka, will start to play. In Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, the player will lose one of their pieces of treasure, or half their cash if they do not have any treasure.
Super Mario All-Stars
In Super Mario All-Stars, a Game Over means the player will restart from the world they lost in (however, in Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, a Game Over means the player will restart only the level they were playing). Regardless of which game is being played, the player has unlimited Continues and three choices: "CONTINUE," "SAVE & CONTINUE," and "SAVE & QUIT" (the only exception is when one player gets a Game Over in two-player mode, in which only two choices are present: "CONTINUE" and "QUIT," the latter choice dropping them out for the remainder of the session). In Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, a Game Over sign appears at the top of the screen (in two-player mode, the character who got the Game Over also appears). In Super Mario Bros. 2, a Game Over sign appears with Birdo in it, with the design similar to the Title Screen. This same screen also appeared for warping, but it instead said "WARP" and the world number that the player is going to. If played in Super Mario Bros. 3, the Game Over screen shows a blue rectangular box with a "dead" Mario or Luigi in between the "Game Over" words.
Super Mario Advance series
The Super Mario Advance series basically shares the same screens as the original games (in case of 2 and 3) and the All-Stars games (in case of 1 and 4). However, the first game shows the player's world and score when they received the Game Over, and pressing or gives them the same options as in the All-Stars version. Unlike the NES and SNES versions, this game restarts on the level where the player got a Game Over. The second game does not return the player to the Title Screen in a Game Over, regardless if the player saves or not. The third game appeared to function the same way as the original. The fourth game displays a yellow "GAME OVER" with a "dead" Mario/Luigi sprite between the words on a black screen before the original screen appears on the map. However, as in the NES version, only two choices are given: "CONTINUE" and "QUIT" (though the levels that were cleared will not be set back to incomplete).
Super Mario 64
In Super Mario 64, when Mario gets a Game Over, the player will return to the Title Screen, except the background is red and reads "Game Over." A piece of Bob-omb Battlefield music plays, slowly decreasing in pitch, and Mario's face looks worn out. The screen then reverts to the regular title screen with Mario smiling as the main-menu music plays and rises back to its normal pitch.
Super Mario Sunshine
In Super Mario Sunshine, the Game Over graphic follows the "Too Bad!" sequence if Mario loses his last life with a small transitional animation, which is later recycled in Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2 (in translated versions, the "Too Bad!" graphic says "Arrivederci," Italian for "goodbye"; in the Japanese version, however, it says "Miss!" instead). Mario will also say something, such as "The horror!" or "Arrivederci!" or simply, "Mamma Mia!" The Game Over sign is red. Following the Game Over, the player is asked if they can either continue from the last save point or return to the Title Screen. Continuing will result in Mario abruptly returning to Delfino Plaza with his life counter reset to three.
Super Mario 64 DS
In Super Mario 64 DS, Mario's face does not appear. Also, the background is a dark gray gradient instead of red and without text reading "Game Over." Instead, the purple words "GAME OVER" appear in the middle of the screen, in the same font as the title uses.
In the Toad's Rec Room minigames, the Game Over screen appears with wiggling purple letters right after a game ends, except in games where a different scenario occurs.
New Super Mario Bros.
In New Super Mario Bros., the Game Over sign appears in pale blue and drops from the top of the screen, with the word "Over" appearing first. After the music has played, the player will be given an option to continue or quit. This is the only game in the New Super Mario Bros. sub-series that has a unique Game Over fanfare, as the other three games share the same fanfare.
Game Overs can also appear during minigames, similar to in Super Mario 64 DS. However, the characters are now lowercase. In the NTSC version, the text will wiggle just like it did in all versions of Super Mario 64 DS.
Minigames that do not have the "Game Over" text:
Super Mario Galaxy / Super Mario Galaxy 2
Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2 share almost the same Game Over look with Super Mario Sunshine; if Mario/Luigi loses his last life, the Game Over graphic shows instead of the "Too Bad!" sequence (in the Japanese version, however, the "Too Bad!" sequence is "Miss!" instead). There is an exception: If a player gets a Game Over because of losing to Cosmic Mario, the "You Lose" sign appears as usual before the Game Over graphic appears. The Game Over graphic is purple in Super Mario Galaxy and yellow in Super Mario Galaxy 2, and in the latter, the text is slightly bigger. During Green Star missions in Super Mario Galaxy 2, the background is green instead of black.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, the Game Over screen appears before the Continue screen, and the words "GAME OVER!" drop from below in a puff of smoke. In multiplayer, if some (but not all) players get a Game Over, no Game Overs appear; instead, the Continue screen appears after the player(s) return(s) to the World Map but before they select a level. No matter what character(s) was/were being used, only Mario can be heard crying when a Game Over is received. On the Continue screen, Mario says, "Here we go again!"; Luigi says, "I'm-a back!"; Blue Toad makes a sound similar to winning a minigame in Mario Party 6 with the lack of "I am the winner!"; and Yellow Toad mimics a fanfare-like sound, and their life counters are reset to five lives.
Super Mario 3D Land
In Super Mario 3D Land, there is a yellow background, and Mario or Luigi falls onto the ground, depressed, and a red Game Over sign appears. If the player selects "Quit" on the Touch Screen, Mario or Luigi will become even more depressed and the game progress will be saved, and the game will return the player to the Title Screen, but if the player selects "Continue," Mario or Luigi will happily run away. After this, he will go to the Hint Room, with a special power-up and a Toad explaining a basic use of the power-up to Mario, but only in the normal worlds, excluding the second half of World 8.
New Super Mario Bros. 2
In New Super Mario Bros. 2, the Game Over screen is similar to the Game Over screen from New Super Mario Bros. Wii, except that the Game Over sign drops down one letter at a time, starting with "G" colored in red, and that there is a lack of the puff of smoke. Additionally, Mario does not cry when receiving a Game Over, and he and Luigi do not say anything when accepting to continue.
New Super Mario Bros. U / New Super Luigi U / New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
In New Super Mario Bros. U, New Super Luigi U, and New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, just like in previous games, the Game Over screen appears just before the Continue screen, except this time the words "GAME OVER" appear in purple. In multiplayer, if some (but not all) players get a Game Over, no GAME OVER signs appear at all; instead, the Continue screen appears before returning to the World Map, and any eliminated player will have their life counter reset to five lives. A GAME OVER sign also appears if the player fails Boost Rush. The Game Over animation is different in New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, appearing letter-by-letter.
Super Mario 3D World
Super Mario 3D World has the same Game Over screen and concept as Super Mario 3D Land, except it has a red background with a brown Game Over sign, and when the player picks "Continue," all Toad Houses and Lucky Houses will be reopened. Like in previous games, when "Quit" is selected, the player will be sent back to the Title Screen. In multiplayer, if a course is cleared when players are out on their last lives, no Game Overs happen; all players out will be revived when returning to the World Map, and the life counter will increase by five for each eliminated player in the level. When getting a Game Over, Mario says, "Oh, mama mia!"; Luigi cries while saying, "No, no! Ohhh..."; and the other characters simply cry or groan in frustration. When continuing after a Game Over, Mario says, "All right!"; Luigi says, "C'mon!"; Princess Peach says, "It's on!"; and Rosalina says, "Never give up!"
Super Mario Maker
In Super Mario Maker, if the player loses all of their lives in either the 10-Mario or 100-Mario Challenges, the Game Over screen will appear, depicting a black screen with Mario's death sprite in the middle, which drops down from the top of the screen with the letters of the "GAME OVER" words also dropping into place above, written in purple. Both the music and Mario's sprite are taken from Super Mario Bros., regardless of what game theme the current level was using when the player lost their last life. The hidden Gnat Attack minigame also has its own Game Over screen if the player runs out of time; the HUD and all enemies disappear while the same letters of the "GAME OVER" words should drop into place. The player is then given an option to retry or quit.
Super Mario Maker 2
In Super Mario Maker 2, if the player loses all their lives in the Endless Challenge mode or in the World Maker mode, the Game Over screen will appear. In this game, the Game Over screen is the same as in its predecessor, except it lacks any sprites and the Game Over theme matches the one in the respective original game of each style when said style is the last one played (e.g., if the last style played is the Super Mario World style, the Game Over theme will be the one from that game). In story mode, if the player loses all their lives, the same screen will be depicted, except it says "Too Bad" rather than "Game Over" (otherwise, the screen and the theme work identically to the one in the Endless Challenge mode) followed by Luigi offering assistance with three choices:
As Luigi is playable in the Endless Challenge mode, he cannot assist the player if they receive a Game Over in that mode.
Paper Mario series
In Paper Mario, the Game Over screen depicts Mario lying dead (or having Mario hiding his eyes with his cap) under a spotlight with the orange words "GAME OVER" while the classic Mario series Game Over theme plays. The game then returns the player to the Title Screen upon receiving a Game Over.
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Game Over screens appear very similar to the one in the previous game, with Mario still lying lifeless on the floor, albeit with different tints and the curtains now close and cover him, before coming back to the Title Screen. In addition, this is one of the first Mario games to feature nonstandard Game Overs with five total, including:
Super Paper Mario
In Super Paper Mario, the music and the words remain, but the fallen Mario is not present, and the stage is absent too. The Game Over is also referenced throughout the game. It retains the nonstandard ways to get Game Overs, including:
Paper Mario: Sticker Star
In Paper Mario: Sticker Star, the Game Over screen has a similar concept as in the first two games in the series, with Mario's dead body on the stage, but the spotlight and text are purple and a different tune is present. The game also retains the presence of unique Game Overs, including:
Paper Mario: Color Splash
In Paper Mario: Color Splash, when Mario is defeated, six Slurp Guys will come in and drain all of his color, which results in a Game Over. The Game Over screen is now different, with only a white background and without Mario's corpse. Other ways to get it during the game include:
Additionally, if Mario is defeated by a Koopaling's special move without the Thing required to beat them, Huey will appear on the Game Over screen and tell the player to ask the Know-it-All Toad in Port Prisma for guidance.
Paper Mario: The Origami King
In Paper Mario: The Origami King, the Game Over screen functions exactly like its predecessors, except the player can choose to continue from their last save point, or return to the title screen. In some cases, the player is allowed to retry the scene in which the Game Over screen appeared. The Game Over screen is checkered. Also, non-standard Game Overs return, which include:
Luigi's Mansion series
In Luigi's Mansion, Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, and Luigi's Mansion 3, when a Game Over occurs, instead of the usual "Game Over" text, the screen reads, "Good night!" as if Luigi has fainted and/or fallen asleep. In the first game, when a Game Over occurs, the player will be taken back to the Title Screen, but in Dark Moon, the player is asked if they will restart from the beginning of the mission or return to the Bunker, and in the third game, after Luigi faints, the screen fades to black, followed by a cutscene where Luigi is trapped inside a painting with the rest of his friends, and King Boo looks at his collection, turns to the player, and laughs, happy that his plan succeeded. The "Good Night!" sign is revealed from a flashlight, and the player is then given the option to resume from their last save point or return to the Title Screen. In the ScareScraper mode, when the player(s) fail(s) a floor, a Game Over occurs, but the screen will read, "Game Over," instead of the usual "Good night!" If playing local or download play, the host (player) will be asked if they can play again. The Luigi's Mansion unused Game Over is the same as the final. The only difference is that there is no music.
In Luigi's Mansion 3, there is no Game Over if Gooigi loses all his energy, gets hit by fire, or touches water, as it happens only if Luigi dies, while Gooigi can be called again. It also appears in the prologue if Luigi fails to escape from King Boo and gets trapped in a painting. The Game Over screen shows Luigi trapped inside a painting like Mario, Peach, the three Toads, and Professor E. Gadd, with the same scared expression and pose he makes when King Boo captures him. King Boo himself appears and turns towards the player while evilly laughing. This also happens if the Toad that Luigi saved in the mission on floor B-2 gets kidnapped by ghosts and he is unable to bring him to Professor E. Gadd.
Donkey Kong series
Donkey Kong Country
In Donkey Kong Country, the Game Over screen consists of Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong bandaged and beaten up in a black background with depressing music and a wooden text font, which is recycled from the Title Screen. This also carries over to its Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance versions, along with slight modifications each time. The Game Over screen in the Game Boy Color version plays a different music track—a slowed-down version of part of the "DK Island Swing" theme. The same screen in the GBA version had its dark background changed to an aerial view of a jungle.
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest
In Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, the Game Over screen consists of Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong appearing tied to each other in a black cell, with Diddy having a scared face looking out the window and Dixie having a depressed face looking away. The screen then turns to a red tint. The background image can also be seen in error and antipiracy screens in the game. The Game Over screen had been carried over to the game's GBA port.
Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!
In Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!, the Game Over screen consists of an image of Dixie Kong and Kiddy Kong inside a crib within a dark room, with Kiddy having a sad face in closeup and Dixie having an irritated face lying behind. On the bottom of the picture, the phrase "GAME OVER" is shown, spelled in toy blocks ; the blocks bounce along the notes of the Game Over jingle. After the jingle has ended, the player can press buttons to make music with the blocks. When the Start button is pressed, the screen goes black along with a door shut. As with Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, this Game Over screen is shown in antipiracy and error screens, and is carried over to the game's GBA port, with different music.
Donkey Kong 64
In Donkey Kong 64, if the player chooses "Quit" in the pause menu, a brief cinematic appears, showing King K. Rool laughing maniacally and crazily while aiming the Blast-o-Matic at Donkey Kong Island with the text reading "GAME OVER" zooming in, and the player is spawned at K. Lumsy's Prison, where it can only jump with the button past the usual ending point of the cutscene. This cinematic also shows up if the Kongs fail to shut down the machine's generator.
Donkey Kong Country Returns
In Donkey Kong Country Returns, the Game Over screen features the Kongs staying in a spotlight over a dark background; they look down, disappointed. The music that plays during the screen is a cover of the Game Over theme from Donkey Kong Country.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
In Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, the Game Over screen shows the Kongs trapped in a solid ice block, guarded by two Painguin Tuckses. The protagonists look around fearfully while the two enemies repress them with their spears. Choosing to continue the game makes the Kongs suddenly break out of the ice cube, scaring the Painguin Tuckses away. A loading screen commences, leading to the world map, where the Kongs are replenished with four Red Balloons. However, if the player chooses to quit the game while on the Game Over screen, the enemies will jump in the air and rejoice as the Kongs look down despondent. If the player selects the same save file afterwards, they will be greeted by Funky Kong via a message window, stating that he offers four Red Balloons "on the house" to help them continue their gameplay.
The presence of any of Donkey Kong's partners within the ice cube depends on who accompanied him while the player lost their last life during gameplay. On Hard Mode, only the Kong that was played as when the last life was lost appears inside the ice cube.
Mario & Luigi series
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, if both Mario and Luigi reach zero HP in battle, a rounded-curved red "Game Over" text appears and the last Mario Bro. to fall says, "Mama mia!" Since defeating Queen Bean, the player has an option to continue the game from the last save point or from Beanbean Castle; the Continue screen depicts a desk with a sign reading "GAME OVER," and the latter choice does not revert playtime to when the game is last saved. Another Game Over can occur if the player runs out of time escaping Bowser's Castle after defeating Cackletta for good: The screen shakes, followed by a scene of the castle in the sky exploding and the screen turning completely red. The game then immediately takes the player back to the last save point.
Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time
In Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, there are two Game Over screens. One of them appears if Mario and company are felled in battle, which have eerie purple, smoky text that seem to allude to the Shroobs. The other one appears if they lose the battle against the Shroob UFOs (or, later, the Shroob Mother Ship in Shroob Castle), which shows the party depressed while Shroob laughter is heard in the background, symbolizing their conquest succeeded. The Continue screen resembles the file-selection screen, with "LOAD" at the top, the Continue choices underneath it, and the characters' levels on the right.
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story
In Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, the Game Over text is colored yellow, and it uses a font slightly similar to that of the traditional one used in the Mario series. Two unique Game Overs exist: One can be achieved by allowing Bowser to fall down the rickety track bridge during the giant battle with the Fawful Express if he does not destroy it quickly enough and reaches the station, and another by allowing Bowser to be defeated by the black hole during the giant battle with Super Peach's Castle of Fury.
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team
In Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, the Game Over text is completely blue. Unique Game Overs that do not take the player back to the menu also appear in the game, which involves a fountain on the summit of Mount Pajamaja, or a certain part of Dreamy Mount Pajamaja. If Mario and Luigi drink from it for the first time, they will fall fast asleep and have a nightmare about getting giant after eating too many Mushrooms, and realize they cannot survive like this. Another nightmare involves Mario and Luigi powering up to corner Bowser and Antasma and save the Dream Stone, leaving Dreambert to free all the Pi'illos and welcome all tourists. After the screen goes black, a fake Game Over appears. A few moments after the Game Over screen fades in, Prince Dreambert yells, "MARIO! LUIGI! WAKE UP! NOW!" This fake Game Over will not happen for the rest of the game after it is triggered for the first time. Game Overs also result from losing in Battle Broque Madame and Mad Skillathon (whether if the player loses all lives or all 30 seconds are used up).
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam
In Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, like in the previous installment, the Game Over text is completely blue. It also resembles the traditional font used in the Mario series, possibly alluding to its crossover with Paper Mario. If a player fails to complete a mission, gets defeated in the Boss Battle Ring, loses all health in a Papercraft Battle, or gets a C score rating in the Attackathon arcade machine, the "Too Bad" message is displayed instead. The "Too Bad" message is displayed in two ways: either falling down with purple smoke and slightly dislodging itself, or falling down like a wave. Unlike in the previous installments, the Game Over screen causes the music to fade out, leaving it without any music, similar to in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story.
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions
In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions, the Game Over text is completely blue, resembling the one from Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam. "Mama mia!" can be heard just like in the original (though both Mario Bros. say it instead of the last brother to fall in battle), and the screen's iris-out effect focuses on the two brothers. An arrangement of the Super Mario Bros. death jingle also plays. The player is given a chance to either try again or use Easy Mode, like in Dream Team and Paper Jam. Another Game Over can occur if the player runs out of time escaping Bowser's Castle after defeating Cackletta for good: The screen shakes, followed by a scene of the castle in the sky exploding and the screen turning black. The game then immediately takes the player back to the Title Screen. In Minion Quest: The Search for Bowser, if the player's captain is defeated, a red "DEFEATED" text will appear instead. Hints will also appear, instructing the player on how to lead their squad to victory.
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey
In Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey, the font for the Game Over text is similar to the one used in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, though with different colors used. The Game Over sequence is similar to the one in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions, with the arrangement of the Super Mario Bros. death jingle playing and both brothers saying, "Mama mia!" with a screen iris-out effect focusing on them. When the player gets a Game Over while playing as Bowser, the Game Over sequence is identical to the one used for the brothers, though Bowser can be heard groaning disappointingly. In Bowser Jr.'s Journey, a different Game Over screen occurs when Bowser Jr. is defeated, with the text "DEFEATED" appearing in red, similar to the one used in Minion Quest: The Search for Bowser from Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions.
Mario vs. Donkey Kong series
In Mario vs. Donkey Kong, the Game Over screen depicts a depressed Mario and the outlined words "GAME OVER," as well as two choices: "Restart" and "Quit." If the player selects "Restart," the stage where the player lost will be restarted, but if the player selects "Quit," the game will return to the stage-selection screen. In Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis, the sign has a wobbly red font, and there is a depressed Mini Mario in place of Mario. Non-American English versions of Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis have the font for the sign resembling the text's font shown on the "Retry" and "Quit" buttons on the same screen.
In the WarioWare games, if the player loses all four lives on a stage, a Game Over occurs, with a differing design and font, depending on the stage the player is playing. Usually after this happens, on the score screen that follows, the background image depicts the stage's owner(s) being depressed.
Wario Land 3 has a unique Game Over screen. Wario is ordinarily invincible in this game; the only possible way to get a Game Over at all is to lose to the final boss, which is the only enemy that can actually kill him. Even so, he can still get right back up and try again.
Mario Kart series
In Super Mario Kart, if the player is out of chances to retry, a white Game Over sign with a bubbly font will bounce into the screen and the screen will darken. If two players lose all their chances at the same time, there will be two Game Overs. If one player loses all chances while the other player continues, there will be a Game Over while racing. Also, if the player finishes a cup in fourth place or below, a Game Over occurs, but it will read the following instead of a Game Over sign:
Starting from Mario Kart 64, with the exception of Mario Kart: Super Circuit, there are unlimited chances, so Game Overs will occur only if the player finishes a cup in fourth place or below in the Grand Prix mode (these Game Overs do not have the usual "Game Over" text), although in Mario Kart 64, the player must retry the race if the player finishes fifth or lower in a track. If the player loses all chances in Mario Kart: Super Circuit, the Game Over sign appears in blue text, while the same results screen music plays. Also, when playing in the 2 Player Grand Prix mode in Mario Kart: Super Circuit, neither player loses a chance if one player finishes fourth or higher. In Super Mario Kart, the text that displays when finishing in fifth place or below reads "RANKED OUT" in the same bubbly font as the Game Over sign, although it is red. From Mario Kart 64 onwards, the messages for placing fourth or lower in a cup are as follows:
Versus modes past Mario Kart DS can also yield a Game Over screen but with certain exceptions:
In the Mario Kart Arcade GP series, the Game Over screen appears once the player chooses not to continue. International cabinets in Mario Kart Arcade GP DX do not have Continues; at the end of these races, the Game Over screen appears. Timing out in a race may also result in a Game Over. This can also occur in a multiplayer race when 15 seconds pass after the first-place player finishes. If the player times out, "Time Up!" shows up, except in DX, where it says "Time's Up" instead.
Mario Party series
In the Mario Party series, the first three games, Mario Party Advance, and the Nintendo 3DS installments (Mario Party: Island Tour, Mario Party: Star Rush, and Mario Party: The Top 100) make use of Game Overs. In Mario Party and Mario Party 2, getting a Game Over is possible only if the player runs out of lives in Mini-Game Island/Mini-Game Coaster, while in Advance, a Game Over will occur if the player runs out of mushrooms. The criteria for a Game Over in the 3DS games are as follows:
In Mario Party 3, one can get a Game Over in an Item Mini-Game if either Koopa Kid or nothing is received. In the Japanese version of the game, however, "Miss!" is used instead. In Mario Party 9, while it does not feature a standard Game Over screen, a unique Game Over appears in solo mode. If Shy Guy or Kamek/Magikoopa wins, they take all of the Mini Stars, and the player's character does their fourth place animation. After that, a selection screen appears with the choices "Restart Stage" and "Back to Main Menu."
Super Smash Bros. series
In the Super Smash Bros. series, the Game Over screen displays when the player is defeated in the single-player modes, such as Classic mode. In the first game, when the player is defeated in 1P Game, the character dolls will fall, and the announcer will ask the player if they want to continue or not. Unlike in future games, there are no payments for continuing; instead, the player's score is reduced in half, and one point is added, likely to indicate how many continues are used. If "YES" is selected, the doll will regain life, and the game continues; if "NO" is selected or the player does nothing for a few seconds, the screen fades out and the announcer says, "Game over." The Game Over sign is blue.
In Super Smash Bros. Melee, the character trophy falls into a dark screen, and depending on how many coins the player has, they will be asked if they want to continue; otherwise, the game ends instantly with a Game Over state that will make the "Continue" sign that regularly plays on the background hidden while the "Yes" and "No" buttons are already hidden, then the continue audio effects will not play, and right after the trophy lands, the Game Over sign plays before "Yes" and "No" appear, forcing the player to restart the mode if they do not have enough coins to continue. Automatic continuation (only when the following Action Replay codes are used) through the state only reduces the score.
Additionally, this game checks for coins (other than having an option to continue) before the "Yes" button can be selected; if an Action Replay code is used to force the "Continue?" screen to appear while the player does not have enough coins, it plays an error sound when selecting "Yes." Even if the player gets a Game Over after having used every starter character in any single-player mode, Marth will be unlocked after the player defeats him.
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, when the player runs out of lives in the Classic and All-Star modes, the grid-like screen appears, and the player will be asked to continue or not. If "YES" is selected, the game continues; if "NO" is selected or if the player does not have enough coins to pay, the player will be given a Game Over and forced to restart the mode. The Game Over sign is red. When the player runs out of lives/other fighters in The Subspace Emissary, the characters' trophies are shown in a spotlight falling onto a floor with the Subspace Army insignia on it, and the player is given the options "Get Up," "Back to Map," and "Quit." Selecting "Get Up" allows the player to continue from the stage's last checkpoint, at the cost of all collectibles they collect being halved. "Back to Map" takes away any collectibles gained in the level and sends the player back to the mode's world map. If "Quit" is selected, the camera pans to a view above the trophies, the spotlight goes out, and the announcer says, "Game over," followed by the game sending the player back to the Solo area of the main menu. In the Boss Battles mode, the player will not be given the choice to continue, likely because it is a Stadium game; it automatically cuts to the Game Over screen and shows the number of bosses the player has defeated; either way, if a continuation is used in this mode, the player is sent back to the character selection menu.
In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, the Game Over sign appears briefly before the "Continue?" screen, using a blue color. However, unlike in the previous three games, the announcer no longer says "Game over" during the screen, nor does the jingle from Melee and Brawl play; instead, the "Continue?" screen jingle plays consistently. In Classic mode, failure causes some of the player's rewards, including gold, to be lost, and by continuing, the intensity will lower by .5, unless the intensity level is set at 2.0 or below. Additionally, continues are no longer possible in the All-Star mode; the game cuts directly to the results screen and takes the player back to the character-selection screen.
In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, there is no Game Over sign; only the "Continue?" screen appears. There is no cutscene, either. In Classic mode, using a continue no longer causes the current match they are in to restart; instead, the match begins right where it left off, but the player starts with 0%. Additionally, the Continue system appears to be a mixture of those from Brawl and for 3DS / Wii U; the player can spend their Gold to lower the intensity or use a Classic Ticket without lowering the intensity. In World of Light, however, there are no penalties to continue.
There are also additional failures if the player is unable to complete certain challenges, such as Break the Targets or an Event Match. While not a Game Over by name, the failures act much like one, as the player will have to restart the challenge should they choose to retry it.
Super Mario Bros. 2
New Super Mario Bros. 2
New Super Mario Bros. U
Super Mario 3D World
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
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