Video games are more than just an Italian plumber trying to save a damsel in distress. They have become one of the leading mediums for storytelling, and fans have been treated to a ton of great narratives that remained with us long after the credits rolled.
While some of our favorite characters made it to the end, others met their untimely demise due to some reason. The following character deaths undoubtedly hit the hardest and will remain with us for the longest of time.
Best Video Game Character Deaths Of All Time
Arthur Morgan - Red Dead Redemption 2
Rockstar Games’ latest title is an expansive tale about a band of gun-toting outlaws in a rapidly changing America, and at the epicenter of this masterful narrative is Arthur Morgan. Over the course of this long and arduous journey, we see Morgan transform from just another cowboy to someone who’s trying his hardest to right his wrongs.
While this transformation is largely influenced by his terminal illness, the masterful writing and graduality of this change make it very endearing. So it stands to reason that when Arthur dies a painful death at the hands of his own gang member, fans had no choice but to look around for a handkerchief to wipe that steady stream of tears.
And this scene is then capped off by the melancholic track that is May I Stand Unshaken by Michael D’Angelo which is just the icing on the cake.
Joel Miller - The Last of Us Part 2
Naughty Dog crafted an honest and sincere story with The Last of Us, which showed fans the transformation of Joel from a lifeless mercenary to one of the most beloved protagonists in all of gaming and a lovable father figure for Ellie. Fans were naturally expecting to see more of Joel with the sequel, but Naughty Dog surprised its audience with an unexpected death of the character at the very start of the game, more so at the hands of an unknown character.
Joel gets beaten to death by a hockey stick, all while Ellie watches it all helplessly. While one could say that Joel had it coming, that doesn’t make this death any less painful.
It’s such a powerful scene that it completely divided the game’s audience into two halves, and regardless of one’s stance about the game - this death instantly provides a deep and personal connection with Ellie’s motivations for seeking out Abby.
Solaire of Astora - Dark Souls
FromSoftware paints a dark and depressing picture with its crumbling world in Dark Souls, and Solaire of Astora shines in these testing times thanks to his optimism and signature laugh.
While it’s technically possible to save the character by dispatching the Red-Eyed bug before a certain point in his questline, most players are likely to miss out on these steps the first time around which will lead them to witness his painful descent into madness. You get to meet this version of Solaire in Lost Izalith, where he tries to kill the player should they venture too close to this frenzied Sun warrior.
Mona Sax - Max Payne 2
Max Payne 2 is a deep dive into the twisted mind of the protagonist as he makes his way through the members of the Inner Circle while also traversing a love-lust relationship with the presumed to be dead femme fatale that is Mona Sax. After plowing through countless tragedies and near-death experiences, the dynamic duo finally reaches Alfred Woden’s mansion wherein it is revealed that Mona was actually working for Alfred all that time.
She then knocks down Max and points a pistol at his head as per the Senator’s orders, but is unable to shoot him due to her feelings for Max. Amidst all this, Vlad emerges from the shadows and guns down Mona - leaving her to die while Max goes on to exact revenge for the same.
Vesemir - The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an expansive journey set against the backdrop of a fantastical world, and players get to meet a bunch of memorable characters during their journey. Vesemir being one of the returning characters in the franchise means that fans already share a bond with him, so when he dies at the hands of Imlerith - fans are likely to be overcome with a buffet of emotions ranging from angst to guilt and many more.
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While many character deaths in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt can be avoided through careful character choices, this is one that will happen regardless of any choices and paths that a player takes.
Noble Team - Halo: Reach
Bungie’s swansong Halo title is an emotionally-charged prequel that tells the story of how humanity lost the planet of Reach. Players control Noble Six of the Noble Team, a band of Spartans, as they complete various missions in an effort to subdue the Covenant invasion of Reach.
Just as players start to develop a deep connection with these soldiers, they start to die one by one - culminating in a final stand against the Covenant when the remainder of the team sacrifices themselves to let the Pillar of Autumn escape with Cortana and Master Chief. And it all ends with a final shot of the protagonist’s cracked helmet right before the credits start to roll.
Roman Bellic - Grand Theft Auto 4
Grand Theft Auto 4’s narrative stands out from the pack since it excellently combines a satire on the fabled American Dream along with a personal revenge tale of Niko Bellic. But that unlikely marriage of elements also means that the story is markedly grimmer than before, which makes Roman Bellic the obvious comic relief for the majority of its runtime.
After spending dozens of hours with this likable chap, Bellic dies on his wedding day by an assassin who was actually sent to kill Niko instead. It’s a really strong motivator that sends Niko into a state of frenzy as he proceeds to kill Dimitri for the finale.
While it’s technically possible to save Roman from death, it risks putting Niko’s potential love interest Kate McReary in danger.
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Featured Image courtesy of Naughty Dog.