Robert Naytor presents “The Many Deaths of You”
So, uh, what is this?
The Many Deaths Of You is an attempt to chronicle and archive interesting Game Over sequences found throughout video games.
On a personal level, I’ve always been into this kind of thing. Ever since I started playing games, there’d often be times when I’d immediately start trying to get a Game Over as quickly as possible to see if anything cool would happen. Oftentimes not, but sometimes I’d be surprised!
I’m also doing this because this sort of thing has, sadly, become somewhat of a dying art in modern gaming. With regular checkpoints and frequent autosaving, death is usually treated more like an error message than anything. To be fair, this is understandable. Few would want to play a game where they’re punished every time they fail with an elaborate cutscene to rub it in. Some games offer a special cutscene if you screw up particularly hard, a “Non-Standard Game Over,” but these can be rare.
Despite this, in older games where a game over would be seen regularly, it’s important to note that developers put real time and effort into the creation of these sequences. Despite this, many players have not seen these more elaborate death scenes, and few have attempted to document them.
Simply put, I appreciate when a game makes the extra effort to illustrate your failure, and this is the sort of thing that I want to celebrate and showcase here.