The protagonist can't really ever die. This does not mean the player can not somehow fail their mission completely however, only that it never is directly because of player character's death or incapacitation.
The first video game about Deathless was released in 1992.
* No fail state (when it's absolutely impossible to fail)
* Retry points
* Non-lethal - no-one dies by the protagonist's hand
* 1 life
* Unlimited lives (similar concept, differing only with the fact that player character can die, it's just not going to do anything)
* Permanent death