9 Awesome (and Horrific) Game Character Deaths (LIST)

Dead Space 2 is the first big title of the year, and if it does one thing right, it’s kill the protagonist. There seem to be a ton of ways Isaac Clarke can buy it as he ventures through the Sprawl, and quite a few of them have him winding up lucky to get his head ripped off — he could instead lose both arms and bleed to death, suffocate in space, or get turned into a Necromorph himself.

In honor of a gaming protagonist buying the farm in so many extremely ridiculous ways, we’ve compiled 9 awesome and awful character deaths from games. Some are spooky, some are emotional and some are just drenched in blood. These are a few of my personal favorites (and ones I could think of) — drop your own in the comments.

9. Lara Croft Drowns in Silence

This one’s objectively pretty tame, but it also has this sort of realistic horror that always makes me think of the fear associated with drowning. This stupidly long video captures the death WAY at the end (skip to about 5:25 to avoid watching some guy wander around a tomb aimlessly), and it still makes you feel for how much pain Lara must be in as she runs out of air, even though she’s digital as well as responsible for two equally horrific film adaptations.

8. Nuked Soldier is Already Dead

Midway through Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, a nuke detonates over a city where a U.S. Ranger team has been operating — which includes the player character. In the aftermath, the helicopter you’re riding in crashes, and you stumble out of it for a glimpse at the devastation. As you try to move away, it slowly becomes apparent that this isn’t a situation you’re walking away from, and you come to the realization that you’re dead, your brain just doesn’t know it yet.

7. Gray Fox versus Metal Gear

Near the end of Metal Gear Solid, the Cyborg Ninja reveals himself to be (spoiler) Gray Fox — Snake’s old friend and one-time enemy — then goes on a rant about his back story before ultimately (spoiler) sacrificing himself in attempting to destroy Liquid Snake’s Metal Gear. It’s an emotionally charged reunion, which is why it’s also perfect for (spoiler) an amputation and finally a brutal, bloody (spoiler) bug-squash-like death for Gray Fox. This is the graphically amped-up version from Metal Gear solid: Twin Snakes on GameCube. Jump to about 3:00 for the real action to begin (if you’d rather skip story, exposition, and some crazy ninja moves).

6. Slice and Dice in Silent Hill: Homecoming

Alex’s meeting up with, uh…whatever the hell that monster is gains spot No. 8 for three powerful factors: 1.) Simple brutality; 2.) The face and gurgling death rattle he makes; and, 3.) Because the monster is still so angry that it spikes the top half of his body into the ground. “No, you should have done the slicing after this part!”

5. The Twitcher Takes on Isaac

There are a lot of great deaths in the original Dead Space, but there’s something about the speed and detachment of this one that makes it exceptional. The twitcher, a Necromorph that has had its time sped up by the inclusion of a Stasis module from the RIG of the human it transformed from, doesn’t attack with the same kind of angry violence that the other Necromorphs in the game exhibit. It just does the job — and then does it again. Spooky.

4. ‘A Man Chooses; A Slave Obeys’

Bioshock spoilers be in this one (and its description).

Andrew Ryan: a man defined above all else by his strength of will. In Bioshock, the man makes numerous attempts on your life as you move through the city, trying to stop the tyrant after he kills the family of your friend, Atlas — the only man in Rapture you can trust. And when you finally make your way to Ryan, you find him standing serenely in his office, playing with his putter. The nearby Vita-Chamber — designed specifically to resurrect Ryan should he be killed — is switched off. The man knows what you’re there to do, and he won’t beg for his life. So you uncontrollably beat him to death with his own putter and it winds up buried in his skull, thus concluding one of the greatest moments in video game history.

3. Necromorph’d

One of the very first things to happen in Dead Space 2 has a guy getting impaled, ripped apart, and monster-fied right in front of Isaac. If there was ever an awful and horrific way to die, it would be this.

2. Brain-sucked by a Alien Slug

SPOILER WARNING: If you haven’t played Half-Life 2: Episode 2, shame on you. Go do that.

Half-Life 2 Episode 2‘s final moments can only be described as tragic.

“Close your eyes, honey! Don’t look!”

1. Isaac Tests the Javelin Gun on his Face


I’m embedding this one beneath the description, seeing as it comes from Dead Space 2′s endgame, and if you haven’t gotten there yet, you’ll probably want to wait. It blows some story points. However, if you can hazard to skip the video up to the :23 mark without accidentally seeing anything in the meantime, you can avoid some of the context (although I really don’t recommend ruining the story for yourself).

However, I can tell you that Isaac’s mental state is a recurring theme of DS2 and that certain actions can lead him to this death, in which he’s actually induced into committing suicide with the brand-new Javelin gun. He puts it under his chin and blammo! Harpoon entering and exiting through various points in Isaac Clarke’s face. It’s brutal, gory, shocking and among the most awful ways to buy it. Glad he’s digital.

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9 Comments on 9 Awesome (and Horrific) Game Character Deaths (LIST)


On February 5, 2011 at 5:29 am

2. Brain-sucked by a Alien Slug

that one reminded me too much of star ship troopers.

I wonder if that’s where they got the idea.

Lorenzo Valeri

On February 5, 2011 at 4:48 pm

EPisode 2 was the worst finale ever, chained with Mafia 2, but I thought Isaac suicide was more squartier, slaughtering and gory than that, didnt see any brain pieces flying apart…
He’s really empty-headed?


On February 7, 2011 at 7:43 am

The death of Tommy’s grandfather from PREY should have been included over a few of these weaker deaths.

Phil Hornshaw

On February 7, 2011 at 8:11 am

Ooooo, that’s a good one. I didn’t think of it at the time and I can’t seem to find a link to the video now. If you’ve got one, leave it in the comments.


On February 7, 2011 at 12:20 pm

wheres red dead redemption


On February 8, 2011 at 2:10 am

Whenever somone mentions “horrible ways to die” (in a game) I always come back to the original Phantasmagoria game. Two scenes stand out.
When the monster puts it’s fingers in Adrienne’s eyes and rips her scull open and when she’s sitting in a chair getting sliced by a big (and sharp) pendulum.

Phil Hornshaw

On February 8, 2011 at 2:38 am

Stefan, are you talking about this HORRIFIC AND EXTREMELY GRAPHIC VIDEO from Phantasmagoria, of which I was completely unaware?


Phil Hornshaw

On February 8, 2011 at 2:41 am

Sidenote, Stefan: I found Phantasmagoria on GOG.com and I’m very much considering buying it based on that video alone.



On November 7, 2011 at 8:34 pm

what about the deaths from saints row 1 and 2. i was in a mix of anger and sadness when Linn died in saints row 1. i went around killing anything that was blue (coler of the gang that killed her.and in sr2 i hacked the charicter that killed carlos into the game so i could come up with brutal ways to kill her. i crashed a swat jet into her while it was shooting missiles and firing its 50 cal rounds