“What I can’t recall seeing in a game yet is the player dying, and then black screen. But you hear muffled sounds, and flashes of light. After a while you eyes “open” and you see some of the enemies are gone, others have their backs turned and so on. In other words the enemy think you are dead.
Basically you are playing out a “hero comeback” scene.
Now this can quickly become just a mechanic after a while.
So variants on this like mentioned in the article is a must.
Maybe you are left to die and then you gotta rescue your companions.
Or some NPC nearby finds you and heals you (this could easily be tied to a checkpoint save even where you would respawn/exit, the NPCs door could be nearby), and you might even get a amusing comment by them if you die near there twice or more.
Other possibilities is that you wake up in a jail.
Or you get a cold awakening when you find yourself floating in the ocean or drifting down a river.
Or you might “come to” in the bushes or trees somewhere and you hear the enemy shouting and looking for you (but fail to find you), after a while you emerge out of hiding.
You might even get rescued by some NPC (it could be another unknown hero just “passing through”).
Or maybe one of the bad guys has a change of heart and say “No wait, don’t kill him!”
Possibilities are indeed endless.”
From a comment to this very interesting article by Ferdinand Joseph Fernandez
Basic infos on Non-Standard Game Over