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Signalling something negative.


Awareness , Emotional Script .
Includes the parts:
Ouch! , Imminent Death , Death .
Contrasts with:
Achievement .


Sounds signalling failure are one of the top used in games, contributing to the Awareness for player’s bad decisions or poor performance, and frequently exploring the Emotional Script. They can be thought as the counterpoint of sounds of Achievement.
Since games typically include different levels of failure – calling for different levels of Awareness and with different levels of desired impact on the Emotional Script – different solutions apply. Common solutions include Sound Effects and short pieces of Music, apparently inspired in TV cartoon legacy.
Certain failure circumstances are very specific (and recurrent) including Ouch!, Imminent Death and Death. All these have particular purposes and as such call for distinct solutions.
Platform games typically include examples of the simpler, and usually most repeated, forms of Failure.


Heavy Rain:
Rhythm Zone:
Edge: Failure somehow assumes the role of Death.
[show less examples...]
Angry Birds: A case of diegetic interpretation of Failure, featuring the opponents' celebration.
Sonic the Hedgehog: The sound of loosing previously collected gold rings, for instance when touching enemies, has been notorious in contributing to the Signature of the game. Due to the gameplay this is a sound that repeats frequently throughout the experience.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time:
Buzz! Brain of the World: Part of the sound composition of Failure is diegetic, including Grunts and Dialogue from the characters. In this particular game, visuals are very expressive and dominant in such circumstance.