Video game titles usually put players into the role of a hero. Forced to fend off evil or rescue an innocent. Oftentimes, you feel indestructible where the enemy force is just a minor obstacle in your way. However, there are times that completely twist this role leaving our protagonist to die either unexpectedly or by a means of toying with the player. In this article, we’re going to cover a few video game titles that purposely kill your protagonist. As a result, this article is heavy with spoilers but we featured a few of the older classics to keep from spoiling too many newer titles that you might have been waiting to enjoy. Furthermore, these games are not ranked in any particular order. Without further ado, get ready to press F to pay respects.
Caution: Spoilers Ahead!
#6 Life is Strange 2
Life is Strange is a series known for having deep and emotional storylines. They are full of characters you get to care for and as each episode ends, you are left yearning for more. Just like its predecessor, Life is Strange 2 features a character with a unique power. Two brothers, that couldn’t stand each other initially, find themselves as a prime suspect when a cop ends up dead. With no family available and the police hot on their trails, the Diaz brothers take off in hopes to reach the Mexico border. It’s a hard life and the trek presents players with a series of choices.
Some choices may be easy to decide on while others are extremely tough. In the end, all the choices made will determine what ending you may end up with. There’s a total of seven endings and you’re likely rooting for both brothers at the end of the narrative campaign. Unfortunately, you can end up with an ending where the protagonist and older brother, Sean Diaz, ends up dead.
Depending on the choices you made throughout the game, the younger brother Daniel Diaz will refuse to surrender and forces the vehicle through the gunfire in order to seek freedom. It’s during this act that his brother takes a fatal gunshot wound leaving Daniel completely alone and full of regrets. Luckily, you can get some better endings where both brothers are alive and well, but you’ll have to make careful decisions throughout the campaign.
#5 Silent Hill
Konami made some incredible franchises over the years but back in the 1990s, the company crafted up one of the intense and horrifying franchises of all time. The video game series got its start with Silent Hill a title that is credited as one of the key video games to help path the road for the modern survival horror genre. Overall the concept is simple, players take on the role of a man named Harry who is traveling through the town of Silent Hill with his daughter. While on the road, Harry sees a girl suddenly on the road causing him to swerve off the road and crash. After coming through, Harry finds his daughter missing while stranded in a fog-covered vacant town.
A massive portion of the game will have players roaming the town in search clues to his missing daughter while dealing with grotesque monsters along the way. Being an old school survival horror game, a large portion of the game will have players roaming for specific item pieces and invading the enemies when possible in order to conserve precious ammo. However, early into the game, you’ll find yourself creeping down a long corridor where the world seems to get more hellish with each step you take. Then out of nowhere a flock of enemies start to emerge leaving you trapped. At first gamers likely thought they had missed a weapon prior to going down the corridor or a means of escape that would leave them struggling to evade the enemies but nope. This is one of many horrors that Konami’s Team Silent force players to endure. Harry will die and it’s only after his death that the game will progress where you come to once again but this time at a diner.
#4 Red Dead Redemption
Red Dead Redemption is phenomenal we don’t get too many western-themed video games into the market but thanks to Rockstar Games, the bar is set incredibly high. Most were quick to write the Red Dead Redemption video game off as Grand Theft Auto with horses. However, after the game released, it was clear that this wasn’t just a quick clone of their other successful franchise, Grand Theft Auto, but a series to be reckoned with. Gamers stepped into the role of John Marston, a former outlaw that was looking to settle down with a profitable farm where he can raise his family without the need of running from the law.
To the displeasure of John Marston, that’s not going to be the case. Before the game begins the government essentially captures John’s family and forces him to find his own gang and take them out. This journey would bring our protagonist back into a grim and dirty world of hunting down a person of interest. Instead of hanging up his weapons for good, John re-holsters and sets out in the open Wild West meeting a cast of unique characters and aiding them in order to find each former member. There was so much to explore in Red Dead Redemption and as we grew to care about our protagonist, finding the last member was a fantastic feeling.
Unfortunately, that happiness was short lived as the law once again approaches the farm. It was quite heart wrenching to see John send his family off to safety and buy them time for a quick escape as he was gunned down. Luckily with the sequel out and set prior to the events of Red Dead Redemption, we can get a few more moments of John Marston and his family but it’s certainly haunting to know that his world will be torn apart in a few years time.
#3 Halo: Reach
The Halo franchise from Bungie was a system seller. Gamers not only bought the original Xbox to enjoy one of the biggest video game titles from the generation, but gamers are still jumping on the latest console release knowing that a Halo game would eventually launch on the system. Towards the end of the Xbox 360 lifecycle, we got a look into the Halo universe prior to the events of Halo: Combat Evolved. The game was known as Halo: Reach and it quite literally takes place moments prior to the start of Halo: Combat Evolved. Within the game, players learn that Spartans are thriving but are being cut down by a new enemy that invades the planet.
Unlike the other Halo video game installments at the time, players were joined together with a team of Spartans who are fighting off the enemy threat. As you can guess, the longer you play the game, more Spartans start to fall, especially on your team. At the end of the game, you’ll essentially be left with getting a small team off the planet with the main protagonist that kicked off the franchise, to begin with.
Of course this essentially meant suicide as you are stranded on a planet filled with the enemy and no support. You spend the remaining time of the game trying to kill off any enemies that come across your way until you finally are overcome. Without this hero, the UNSC Pillar of Autumn would have never made it out and while our protagonist may have been killed, the planet was ultimately saved with new colonists picking up the pieces.
#2 Telltale Games The Walking Dead
Telltale Games is a well-known video game development studio. The developer gained its fame and notary thanks to the IPs its worked on. Oftentimes the studio took franchises like Game of Thrones and crafted up a brand new story with narrative branches that adapt to the choices you make. However, arguably the biggest series that the studio worked on with success was The Walking Dead. This initial title took place right into the start of the virus plague where players take on the role of a convicted felon named Lee. Lee is on his way to prison when the police cruiser crashes leaving him free from his restraints and a chance to flee from the scene.
The world quickly changes leaving it a free-for-all and it’s during Lee’s initial exploration that he comes across a young little girl named Clementine whose parents are missing. Lee quickly takes in Clementine, protecting her from the undead and hostile living. Throughout the episodic releases, Lee and Clementine make it through harsh and unforgiving odds but that’s not always the case as when players get to the last episode it leaves to a heartache scene of Lee being bitten by a zombie and slowly dying. As a result, Clementine has two choices, she can shoot Lee so he can avoid turning into a zombie or leave him to turn.
#1 Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed received mostly positive to average reviews when it came out though it’s one game that I recommend playing. The game follows after the events of Star Wars: Episode 3 Revenge of the Sith where players take on the role of a secret apprentice to Darth Vader. Kept secret from the Emperor, players are tasked with seeking out the remaining Jedi that had survived the execution order from the film. Throughout the journey, our character, named Starkiller, is out hunting down the Jedi and ending their lives but its learned later on in the game that this whole time working for Darth Vader was a complete scam.
Darth Vader used Starkiller to further eliminate any and all threats to the Emperor. At the end of this grand journey, players are left with two options, a light or dark side ending. At the time the light side was considered canon to George Lucas. This involved a fight to end Darth Vader though instead of killing him for the Emperor, Starkiller attempts to end the reign by attacking the Emperor. This doesn’t end well Starkiller quickly uses the force lighting on him where our protagonist gives into the force allowing himself to become a martyr to a new Rebel Alliance.