Top 10 Characters That Should Have Died Already
Modern video games have become very forgiving to players. Instead of limited lives and the threat of starting the game completely over should that stockpile be reduced to zero, most games nowadays have checkpoints every five steps, no death penalty, and infinite lives. Below are ten popular characters with adventures fraught with peril. Had they but one life to live, they'd be nothing more than a blip on the gaming radar. Fortunately for them, death is not absolute in the world of video games, and unlike the enemies they plow through, these heroes just keep on going.
10. Travis Touchdown
Developer Suda51 has never been known to walk a fine line with censorship. No, he gleefully jumps right over that line and straight into a pool of blood. No More Heroes is a blatant example of just how off-the-wall his design can get. The antihero, Travis Touchdown, wields a beam sword that does a bang-up job removing limbs from bodies and making a bloody mess on the inside of your television screen. Battling his way up the ranks of the United Assassins Association, we're always treated to a graphic cutscene of his victim's death, yet Travis’ demise remains rather inconsequential. When he does die, you can simply flash back to the last time he sat on a toilet. Now that's messed.
9. Marcus Fenix
If there's any mortal on this list that looks like he could take a serious beating, it's Marcus Fenix. This beefy, doo rag-wearing Delta Squad leader has been fighting his own personal demons, as well as a sinister alien race known as the Locust Horde, throughout the Gears of War trilogy. It's squad-based third-person shooter, and Fenix isn't always the one targeted, but for some reason it hurts the most when you see him fall. This cuts the deepest with the multiplayer in Gears of War 3, where the Locust can take a Lancer and chainsaw down our hero over and over again. It truly is painful to watch. But hey, it's just a simulation, because we all know how the story ends, with Marcus comforted in the final scene by Anya. Lucky S.O.B.
8. Gordon Freeman
Gordon Freeman is the ultimate theoretical physicist (sorry Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, but you would get schooled in a head-to-head match). In an alternate Earth where an experiment gone wrong opens an interdimensional portal, hostile creatures become Gordon's bane. Fortunately his HEV Suit has all sorts of defenses and gadgets to make him more than just a scrawny scientist. But he's not invincible, and when the on-board computer bleeps, "Major fracture detected," "Internal bleeding detected," or "Emergency! User death imminent," you can bet your screen is ready to turn red. Many notable characters have fallen in the Half-Life series, but considering the trials Gordon must face, it's surprising he gets so many extra chances at life.
7. Solid Snake
Solid Snake, the ultimate lone-wolf special operations supersoldier, has had a lifetime of infiltrating well-fortified facilities. Along with environmental hazards and sensor traps, these compounds never seem to have a shortage of mercenaries on the lookout. Yet Solid continues to prevail, even when warned by dispatchers that the mission is suicide. In his final adventure, Guns of the Patriots, his burdens become so great that he finds himself at the precipice of committing suicide, but stops himself short and decides to live out the rest of his life in peace. After what he's been through, I’d say he’s earned it.
6. Lara Croft
Poor Miss Croft knows pain like no other tomb raider. The monsters and traps she faces are far from timid. It doesn't help that she has no armor whatsoever. Sure, her legs are almost bionic, but if her ledge dive is a tad too steep, her body crumples and ragdoll physics take over. She's been crushed by moving walls, impaled in spike pits, eaten by a T-Rex, burned by lava, drowned over and over again, and even turned to gold (my favorite). Yet her shapely figure never shows a bruise, scrape, or cut. That will change when the constantly delayed reboot, Tomb Raider, finally hits stores, where a timid Lara is more fragile than ever before. It will be painful to watch her die whenever our gaming skills fail to save her, but don't worry, I'm sure there’s a checkpoint not too far back.
I've yet to find another series that takes so much time and pleasure in eradicating bosses, or, in God of War's case, members of the Greek pantheon. The quick time events have you looking through the eyes of the victim, with a scowl from Kratos that would make you beg for mercy. Though Kratos can be bested throughout the adventure, there's no greater death scene then when he impales himself at the end of God of War 3 in a selfless act. Of course, if you watched the post-credits cutscene, you'll discover that his final fate is yet to be determined. This is, after all, a fiction about immortals. Though the upcoming God of War: Ascension is a prequel to the series, the trailers thus far have showcased how graphic the game will be. How many times will Kratos be spared this time around?
4. Nathan Drake
A modern-day Indiana Jones, this heroic heartthrob has looks, attitude, and combat chops, as well as an uncanny knack at scaling walls through unstable ruins. But his survival rate is dependent on the player's speed and skill with the controller. Plummeting a mile down a mountainside, failing to leap from a vehicle before it explodes, and getting sniped in the forehead are all common occurrences for Nathan Drake. Yet despite the cries of despair from Sully, Elena, Chloe, or Drake's other companions, the world just can't let him go. No booby traps or swarms of mercenaries can stop this relic hunter from getting the gold, getting the girl, and coming out clean as a whistle on the other side.
3. Master Chief
It's a heavy burden to bear the fate of humanity on one's shoulder, but John-117 does it without so much as a whimper. After shieldless human soldiers are quickly seared with Covenant plasma weapons, Master Chief is left with only his A.I. companion Cortana to boost his morale (well, except during the end of Halo 2 through much of 3, when she stays behind to handle the Gravemind). Aside from Brutes, Elites, and other Covenant troops, our green-armored hero has fallen victim to the parasitic Flood and been vaporized many times over. But as the last shred of hope for the human race, he cannot fail, and thus will continue to respawn until the war is won.
2. Leon Kennedy
Answering the call of zombie-infested duty since Resident Evil 2, Leon's had to deal with the Umbrella Corporation, a cult, and several other "non-undead" hulks. Armed with little more than a pistol, it typically takes Leon a second or third try to overcome any deadly situation. His haircut may put Justin Bieber to shame, but the gruesome foes care little for his fashion sense as they slice off his head, mangle his body, and take a chainsaw to his chest. I haven't been subjected to Resident Evil 6 yet, but I've seen enough death scenes from RE4 to keep me squirming.
Believe it or not, but Mario is the toughest nut of the bunch. Not only is he constantly risking (and losing) his life to rescue an overly dependent princess, but his enemies are extremely lethal. Think about it, though unimposing, one touch from a Goomba, Koopa, or any other Mushroom Kingdom meanie sends an un-powered up Mario to his death. Granted, Mario has become more resilient in recent games, but without a healthy supply of 1-Ups, Peach would likely be stuck in Bowser's clutches for all of eternity.
Date: November 6, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*