Shocking Deaths in Gaming
Have you ever played a game where you’ve become so emotionally invested in the characters, only to find that one that you’ve become attached to has now passed on? What about whenever you die in a video game, where there’s no health remaining and you reach the dreaded Game Over screen? It can make your skin crawl.
This is a look back at some shocking deaths I’ve encountered in gaming, how we become so engrossed in a character and why it sort of hurts us on an emotional level whenever we realise we’ve failed the character.
Final Fantasy VII – Aerith
This had to be the first character discussed, didn’t it? No death was more shocking than when halfway through the game, suddenly it was in the mind of the Final Fantasy team to kill off one of the main characters – In quite a brutal way at that.
Now, it’s not so bad, if you were prepared to lose the character. The shocking thing was: This came right out of the blue. Aerith was here, then she’s gone. People spent hours upon hours levelling Aerith up, just to find her gone in the blink of an eye. Gamers went into an uproar when they first found out about this death, but that’s why it’s such a power piece of gaming history.
I am not a fan of FFVII… I am a huge fan of this part of the game. It’s incredibly written and feels utterly real. Impressive for a game back on the PlayStation 1. But alas, there have been other shocking deaths before and since.
Chrono Trigger – You, the player
Chrono Trigger is a game of Lavos, an alien creature that is the destroyer of all life. You play as Crono, whose job it is to save the world from the evil that is Lavos. I mean after all, Lavos does [BEEEEEEP – Edited out for spoilers sakes. Please play this game.]
But what if you don’t succeed in your quest? Will the fight have been in vain?! Well, actually… Yes. It will have been in vain and the game is very explicit in showing you that you’ve failed the Earth. With a very well-known game over screen that only appears during this final part of the game.
The future indeed refused to change, because the heroes fell victim to Lavos. The noise alone is a reason you feel tense and perhaps a little bit shocked. You see the world be destroyed, turn grey where it dies out and a big, bleak message telling you that the future refused to change. We all know why that is: We failed the Earth. This game over screen that specifically happens if you fail in the fight against Lavos serves as a stark reminder that failing isn’t usually fun and games.
Fire Emblem – All the dead. Just all of it.
All the dead, as I like to call this section, is featured right at the end of the game. As you play through in this particular iteration of Fire Emblem, whenever you lose a unit, you can get another one to replace the fallen hero. It’s sad, but death happens right?
Sure, it does happen but much like with Chrono Trigger, we’re greeted with something that serves to remind you of your shortcomings, of all the people you let die. Each death comes with its own unique quote.
Yes, all the dead is literally listing every unit you let die during the game. It’s mortifying, as you suddenly get a sense that these people had real lives and that your actions ended them. They followed your command, they fought to the best of their abilities, only to be killed on the battlefield, something you let them in.
It’s shocking, as it’s a look back over the characters you’ve had in your group throughout… Honouring the dead in its own way, but also serving as that harsh reality slapping you in the face once more.
So with this in mind, have you encountered any games where there has been a shocking death? Why did it stand out in your mind? Let us know in the comments below or get talking to us on social media, via Facebook or Twitter.
Until next time, oh gosh watch out Sephiroth is behind you!!!