In the movie Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, each of the characters have three lives and whenever they die, their life gets decreased. And at the end all of them gets back from the Game before anyones life runsout.

In one scene Character of Rock says something like if the life runs out, then it is GAME OVER!.

Just to be curious, what would have been happened if any of their's life runs out?

  • 3
    Hah, this was my 5 year old's most pressing question when seeing the film. He was obsessed with knowing what happened if they ran out of lives :)
    – Jason K
    Commented Jan 9, 2018 at 14:35
  • I never really questioned it and just assumed that it was a "die in the game, you die in real life" sort of deal. But on second thought, that's not given.
    – ViggyNash
    Commented Jan 10, 2018 at 4:20

4 Answers 4


Well, per the Sony tag line, I think they would die if their last life bar got lost. That was certainly the implication when Bethany gives mouth to mouth to Alex to give him a life bar.

Sony's tagline here:

In a brand new Jumanji adventure, four high school kids discover an old video game console and are drawn into the game's jungle setting, literally becoming the adult avatars they chose. What they discover is that you don't just play Jumanji - you must survive it. To beat the game and return to the real world, they'll have to go on the most dangerous adventure of their lives, discover what Alan Parrish left 20 years ago, and change the way they think about themselves - or they'll be stuck in the game forever, to be played by others without break. Written by Sony Pictures

Bolding mine.

It's not explicitly stated anywhere that if they lose all of their three lives they'll die in real life, but that's the assumption the players make. As such, we should probably take that to be the intention of the film maker.


There is no clear explanation regarding this, but I am guessing three possiblities:

  1. The game ends and rewinds the time
  2. The game waits until a new players joins and finishes the game
  3. The game never ends, if only 4 players can play the game and new players can't replace the old dead players

The dead can't play the game and Jumanji wants desperately to be played. So most probably points 1 and 2 will be the consequences. After all in the first part Alan survived the jungle without survival instincts and the guy who was hunting him somehow never hit him.

  • 4
    I got the impression that OP was more interested in what happens to the player, i.e. do they die in real life?
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Jan 9, 2018 at 13:22

At the very beginning of the movie, you see Jumanji transforming itself into a video game in an attempt to be interesting again. When you factor in the mesmerizing drum from the first movie that basically hypnotized Alan into playing, you can assume that the game wants to be played. It might not need to, considering the long time skips, but it is definitely something it will make effort to make happen.

Now some games, especially older (1996 and before) games due to limited computing power, got rid of dead bodies all the time, like in Super Mario. This is exactly what happens to all the dead players in the movie. Either they are killed in a way to have no body (eaten by a hippo, fell down an enormous cliff, etc), or the game actively gets rid of the body before respawning the player (bullet wounds, eating cake, bitten by a snake).

This could be explained in-universe as a way to not break immersion by having a player encounter his own dead body. This could be just a way to save resources. This could be an attempt to take down the rating by not showing dead bodies explicitly, etc. Whatever the true reason is, Jumanji just imitated what a lot of video games have done throughout the years, especially older ones.

But all those reasons could also have a different treatment for "last" lives. You don't need to save resources on game over, no living body means a dead body doesn't break immersion, etc. So it is entirely possible that Alex, if he had truly died from that mosquito bite, would have stayed in the game as a dead body. This is even more likely since he died much more slowly than everyone else, giving Bethany time to save him.

Either way, one thing is certain. He wouldn't have respawned from the sky straight away as before.

What is likely is that he would have stayed dead for the rest of the game at least.

What happens next is just speculation, but we can take a few logical guesses. On the other hand, it is important to note the difference between death and defeat. One character could die, yet the rest of the team might be able to win the game anyway.

Here are some guesses, not all of them are mutually exclusive.

  • What the characters were afraid of: Dying for good in the game means dying in real life, or just not returning to real life.

  • Maybe as long as someone wins, everyone is freed. The first movie seemed to have this logic, since game completion rewound time, either kid's deaths would have most likely been irrelevant.

  • Maybe everyone is freed on death anyway, since the game is over either way.

  • Maybe Jumanji brings them back to an in-game menu, where they can simply restart and try again

  • Maybe none of the characters even came close to actually dying. Some games use a life counter in a straightforward way, but some other games use it as a "backup-life counter", so you respawn when it's at 1, and keep playing while it's at 0, until you die a final time. Maybe they all had one more life than they thought, but didn't realize it.

  • Maybe the dead character has an arcade-style "Continue?" with a countdown and has to pay credits to keep playing

  • Maybe the difficulty gets lowered to account for a crippled team or an assumption of incompetence

  • Maybe even after death, it would be possible to give a life to the dead player, and some sort of in-game prompt was just about to inform them when Bethany did it by herself.

  • Maybe a dead player can stay as a Spectator, with or without the ability to interact with his team mates or the world.

  • Maybe part of the objective is "Keep everyone alive", and anyone dying equals instant defeat

No matter what really happens, the point was that none of the characters wanted to take that risk, since they had no way of knowing in advance. So the lives were extremely precious just in case.


I think there is a possibility that is indirectly supported by the reboot movie. In this movie Alex, the player who entered the game in 1996, describes himself as having been in the game for "a couple months". The assumption of the other players and the audience is that the game distorts time, making Alex believe he has been in the game for only a few months despite decades having passed.

But the idea that they just got lucky and encountered Alex on his last life in a lethal win-or-die scenario doesn't feel quite right. While it is at times scary and violent for the players, Jumanji never really feels malicious or like its goal is to kill them. Violence is often cartoon-like, such as when Spencer/Dr. Bravestone punches henchmen and they fly up into the air or when Fridge literally explodes just from eating cake.

And speaking of, despite numerous horrible deaths that would be emotionally scarring to experience like being eaten alive, trampled to death, or being shot in the chest, none of the players exhibit the signs of trauma they would almost inevitably have if they lived thru those events in "real life". Their injuries are short-lived of course, they simply pop back into existence fully healed, so that might explain it. But victims of torture, even if they never suffer physical injuries, often remain scarred for life by it. Emotional trauma can be just as destructive as physical trauma.

One way to explain how they emerge unscathed could be to assume that the horror of dying in the game is somehow muted. You remember what happened to you, but in a more subdued way. This again would fit with the idea of a game: the goal is to give players enough feedback to know that what happened was negative, but not so much as to overwhelm them.

Over and over when Jumanji makes an environmental choice it selects less onerous ones; players aren't saddled with desperate thirst or hunger, disease or crippling injury. They aren't even saddled with mundane requisites like performing work to earn money to get food and shelter. It seems that Jumanji is less malicious and more like a hyper-realistic game environment where only aspects of reality connected to puzzle solving, bravery, and excitement are fully depicted. So would permanently killing players who run out of lives fit the theme everywhere else?

And along those same lines, would it make sense to have to create some weird distorted flow of time to make in-game player's perceived time only a matter of weeks compared to newly entering players when the game has no way of knowing whether new players will arrive in an hour or in a century? How would you even design a time speed under those conditions?

But there is another possibility that matches the idea of a game. And that is that when a player runs out of lives it simply restarts the game. You lose, try again.

But even if you did get to just start again, enough repitition would eventually become a kind of hell where you were trapped in an endless loop. Why expose players to this when you've taken such pains elsewhere to avoid those negative aspects?

So instead, when a player loses and the game resets, why not wipe their memory along with everything else. Because the magic of Jumanji allows it to send the players back to the real world right after they left you could play as long as it took and only remember the last iteration where you finally succeeded, which also seems a lot more fun for players.

In the movie Alex remembers dying twice, but also seems to have a knowledge of a whole bunch of lethal traps and dangers that is never really explained. Maybe he just got incredibly lucky and managed to avoid all mosquitoes, flying spears, saw blades, henchmen, and god knows what else the first time he encountered them, but it seems to me that he also might just have died an enormous number of times and developed a kind of muscle memory about dangers he previously encountered that he interpreted as intuition or luck.

That's my guess, anyway. To me, it seems to fit the theme of other things in Jumanji. If you lose your last life while there are other players still in the game maybe you pop back in the game without any memories from before, or maybe you stay dead until the other players either die or win the game and leave. Heck, for all we know maybe the new players all died a couple of times before making it far enough to encounter Alex and we are only seeing their last run-through! Obviously this is all speculation, but to me it does seem to kind of fit what we do know. Maybe we'll find out for sure in the next movie.

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