Game Over is a traditional message in video games which usually signals the game has ended with a negative outcome, and that the player has failed to satisfy the conditions of a complete game.
Usage in the Metal Gear seriesEdit
The usage of "Game Over" varies throughout the Metal Gear series. Sometimes a Game Over is accompanied by a cutscene, such as when Solid Snake trips the laser beams in the Tank Hanger on Shadow Moses Island, getting caught by the Marines in the Tanker Holds, and when Naked Snake cannot finish the fight with The Boss in the 10 minute time limit.
The Metal Gear series is notorious for breaking the fourth wall, and has exploited the Game Over screen in several game events. In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, several bizarre events occur. One of the many bizarre events is that during a particular battle, the game will switch to the "Mission Failed" screen. However, the player will see the phrase "Fission Mailed" in the corner. In addition, the window on the screen that normally shows Raiden's dead body will instead have the gameplay occurring in it.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater 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. This can be used to inflict additional damage on unsuspecting enemies that now believe Naked Snake is dead, but can only be used a few times. Additionally, since Metal Gear Solid 3 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 Nikolai Stepanovich Sokolov, Ocelot, or EVA cause Roy Campbell to berate "Snake" for disrupting the timeline.
The Metal Gear games have a running meme where if the player reaches the Game Over screen, the player character's teammates will shout for them get up and continue their mission, normally to no avail (the character is probably dead anyway). The only exception is during the main encounter with The Sorrow. Naked Snake can call his teammates using his radio, only to hear them shout to him as though he had died. The Colonel AI will tell Raiden to turn the game console off at one point, for the reason that the mission is a failure when it is clearly not (a reference to the first Metal Gear). During Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Solid Snake can make Codec calls to one of his three support group members (Roy Campbell, Mei Ling, and Otacon), or Slippy Toad from the Star Fox series, and if he is knocked out during the conversation, they will shout for him to rise again. When fighting Luigi, in the middle of the conservation, Roy Campbell will start acting strangely. Snake's response is, "Colonel, snap out of it! Colonel! COOOOOOOOLONEEEEEEEEEELLLLLL!" Also in Brawl, during a conversation about Pit (from the video game Kid Icarus), Snake and Otacon will talk about Pit's trials and experiences equating to Game Overs and how Snake probably knows all about those situations. The audience's in-game cheer for Snake in a Brawl match parodies the Game Over screen from Metal Gear games (i.e. "Snake! Snake! SNAAAAAAAAKKKKEEEEE!!!").
If Snake dies in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, he can contact Rosemary and tell her about strange feelings he is having of "dying once already", followed by him telling her how he "died" in his mind. When Snake dies while fighting Screaming Mantis, strings appear attached to his body, as if he is a puppet to the player.
The Snake Tales story External Gazer put a unique spin on failing a mission. Due to parallel universes converging and mixing with the normal world caused by the Koppelthorn Engine, every time the player "restarts" or "quits" a game, an unfathomable number of parallel universes are destroyed in the process.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Metal Gear-style Game Over phrase (screaming Snake's name three times, with the last one being drawn out) has been referenced in at least two other video game franchises. The first was in Final Fantasy X-2, where Rikku will say a similar phrase to the above when fighting a recoil or a similar enemy. The second is in Metroid: Other M, where Adam Malkovich, if Samus dies, will say Samus' name in a similar style to the Metal Gear game over sequence.