What a weird name for a Top 10, right?
I mean, it’s all well and good that this is a Top 10, but are we really going to celebrate those times you die in a game? Well no, we’re not. This Top 10 is dedicated to those characters that start the game dead.
That’s right, they’re dead before things happen in game. Nevertheless, these dead characters are important to their respective games and franchises, so we feel like they all deserve to have a tip of the hat as it were. Without delaying you from this awesome list any longer, here we go!
Top 10 Dead Characters in Gaming
10. Carlos Calaca – Guacamelee!
The big bad guy of Guacamelee! imposes his way to number 10.
Originally a human, Carlos made a pact with the devil himself by selling his soul to win a competition. Well, the devil tricked him and yes – this makes Carlos a bit angry. So he exacts his revenge… By turning the devil into a chicken.
Now, an undead who’s in the land of the living, Carlos is looking for a way to bring the lands of the living and the dead together so he can rule over both.
9. Jackie Estacado – The Darkness
The game based on the comic book series begins with the legendary line “I remember the day of my 21st birthday. That was the first time I died.” Jackie is kept immortal by the inherited power of The Darkness, a demonic force that not only serves as a devastating weapon, but also rebuilds the body of the host if slain.
It’s debatable whether or not Jackie Estacado is dead, but he undoubtedly deserves a place in our list for one hell of an introduction.
8. Sandro – Heroes of Might and Magic
Sandro is one of the few characters to appear (at least by mention) in every single version of the Heroes of Might and Magic series. Now in its’ sixth title, the necromancer has made a triumphant return to the game (albeit as a separate entity with the same name – and indeed nickname – to appeal to fans) after a brief disappearance in the fifth, but even then held no small influence on the games’ storyline.
Cunning, diabolical, and completely skeletal, Sandro became the focus of his very own expansion campaign in HoMM 3: The Shadow of Death; and again in HoMM 6: Danse Macabre.
7. Aiden – Beyond: Two Souls
Jodies spiritual partner throughout the game is Aiden, who you later find out is *BLEEEEEEEP SPOILERS*. Ahem, excuse me.
Aiden is really impressive throughout this game, as you don’t see who Aiden really is until right at the end of the game (in any physical form, this is) and he has direct influence over the entire game. He is able to interact with the lands and if you have a player two plugged in at the time, player two can be Aiden! I felt this was an excellent mechanic that could really have done with having more exposure.
If the lovely 1001-Up are reading this, I would have put Jeff here, but sadly Aiden had more of an impact on the story. Jeff is a personal honourable mention of mine!
6. Kain – Legacy of Kain
A magnificent anti-hero, the saga of the vampire Kain tells of his growing narcissism, how his jealousy caused him to destroy his greatest lieutenant – Raziel – and cast him into the abyss and creating his mightiest enemy.
Kains’ death at the hands of an assassin begins the series in which he plays both protagonist and antagonist; in the final instalment (Defiance) alternating between the two as the game progresses. At all times however, he is an arrogant and self serving tyrant.
5. Sorin Markov – Magic: the Gathering
The vampire Planeswalker of Magic: the Gathering makes his mark at number 5.
Ascending into the status of a Vampire Planeswalker, Imprisoning the Eldrazi at Zendikar, leading vampires. Yeah, Sorin has a pretty impressive resume. Players who go against a deck with Sorin in it will feel the effect of his presence very quickly. Just hope he doesn’t keep draining your life with his sangromancy!
4. Sir Daniel Fortesque – MediEvil
When one of the main features of you is that your head comes off and you can put it on little scuttling hands so you can scout around the place, you know you’re pretty much dead. Well, yeah in fact Sir Daniel is brought back from the dead to fight off the evils that are plaguing the land!
Hence the name of the game. MediEvil. See? There’s a reason for everything. This game was hack n slash action greatness… Pick up number 2, at very least. That game rocked my childhood and it’ll equally rock yours.
Plus, you get to run around with big ol’ guns and swords. What more could you want when dead!? Oh, yeah: You get to end number two by going back to your deathly slumber with your kick-ass sidekick by your side!
3. Cave Johnson – Portal 2
Do you know who Cave Johnson is? He’s the man who’s going to burn your house down! With the lemons!
Although he never appears, Cave Johnson – former founder and CEO of Aperture Science – is an integral part of Valves’ Portal 2. Through his voice-over guide through the old test chambers in the second half of the game reveal his declining health, how his insane ideas put the company into deep jeopardy, and the origins of GLaDOS herself. His exposition and ranting is also rather important to the very last puzzle in the game, so pay close attention.
2. Vecna – Dungeons & Dragons
For many years Vecna has been a member of the Dungeons & Dragons pantheon. Once a mortal man turned undead through arcane prowess, turned divine by cunning manipulations and powerful friends. His legend is a long story in its’ own right, but now he spawns a wealth of undead-inspired campaigns and famous in game stories.
Most famous for his missing his hand and eye which are themselves artifacts that feature in every core rulebook, Vecna is perhaps the most famous NPC to grace the game.
1. Manny Calavera – Grim Fandango
The smooth talking salesman from the game directed by that smooth talking developer, Tim Schafer. Manny Calavera has a crummy job and is looking for that one lead in his life. He’s looking for his own ticket on the number 9, but we decided to give him the ticket to our number 1 spot instead.
Friends with a demonic mechanic, making enemies who are the dead equivalent of the Mafia, riding around in hot rods. Running hotels, fancy suits… Manny Calavera is truly a man’s man and a ladies turn off. Just like how we all want to be in the real world… Wait, what?!
Shooting, crime, deception, you name it – it’s in Grim Fandango. It’s a classic adventure game that’s due a remake.
… Any time soon.
Sheesh, even in death we’re not giving these guys a break.
On the plus side for them, they still get a mention as they are pretty damn cool dead characters, so at least it’s not all bad news. They just missed out on the Top 10 for various reasons, however we’ll probably explain why in their listings.
Probably, because you know: These guys are dead already, I’m sure they won’t mind if we “accidentally” forget about them!
Dry Bones – Mario
One of the most lovable dead characters in existence, Dry Bones doesn’t quite make it to our top 10 list but still gets a mention. Sheesh, not even in death does this little guy get a break!
Dry Bones, albeit has been around for some time, is not important to the story in any real way. Sure, there may be one or two games that promote Dry Bones to a more “important” role, but even then: It’s merely a role. Dry Bones is never a star, but it doesn’t stop Dry Bones being absolutely adorable and
when if I die, I’d like to look like Dry Bones. Although I’d like to not have the weaknesses of Dry Bones while we’re in fantasy world.
Ronan O’Connor – Murdered: Soul Suspect
Ok, neither of us have played Soul Suspect yet, but the idea of playing a guy investigating his own murder appeals more than enough to get Ronan O’Connor onto our list. The opening scene depicts his traumatic entry into the haunted world, complete with bullet holes opening in his chest as Ronan watches his body being perforated to ensure the job is done.
I’m a fan of the noir genre, and investigation games especially (Diskworld Noir being a firm favourite of mine) so this is definitely on the to-do list. Maybe then Ronan can rest in peace on our Top Ten.
Well, that was our Top 10 dead characters in gaming. I hope you enjoyed our list as much as we enjoyed making it!
Come on you gaming veterans out there. Tell us how wrong our list is, or tell us where we’ve done good. Let us know who YOUR favourite dead characters in gaming in the comments section below. Who knows, perhaps we’ll like your suggestion so much that we include them on our list!