A while back Lonnie, Bloody Disgusting’s resident comics guru, listed the 10 most brutal deaths in comics. This got me thinking about the myriad horrible ways I’ve died in video games over the years. Fast forward about a year and I’ve finally got around to listing the most brutal, gory and downright embarrassing ways I’ve died in horror games. There is obviously a very deep well to take from, but I believe I’ve found a pretty solid bunch of traumatizing deaths my increasingly fragile psyche has had to endure over the years.
Check out my picks — including videos, so you can re-live each death with me — after the break, and feel free to offer your own in the comments!
Left 4 Dead is a series that puts a significant focus on cooperation. You need to work as a team in order to survive, so if you’ve ever fallen off a cliff that usually means your teammates are either dead, incapacitated, or they haven’t quite grasped that whole “teamwork” thing.
This isn’t a particularly painful way to die — I’m sure it isn’t comfortable dangling from a cliff for five minutes, my lack of really any upper body strength would mean I’d last about five seconds in a real life scenario — but it’s how helpless the situation is that really makes this death a memorable one. You’re hanging on for dear life with all sorts of mayhem going on around you, and all you’d like is a helping hand. When no one is willing or able to take a few seconds out of their day to lend some assistance, you die. Eventually.
Too bad Valve didn’t implement some sort of “Let Go” feature so you don’t have to wait. As someone who has dangled for minutes at a time as my fellow survivors relaxed and stocked up in a safe room, patiently waiting for me to die, that’d be a welcome addition.
Yeah, I know, Resident Evil 6 has too much action, how could Capcom do such a thing, blah blah blah. Moving on!
The only positive thing about this extremely gory death is that it mercifully tosses you in head first. I imagine it’d be exponentially worse if you had to go in more slowly, perhaps even one leg at a time almost as if you’re cautiously testing the temperature of a pool. Unfortunately, the whole way down you have a slimy wannabe Regenerator with a name I have no hope of ever remembering dragging you into those spinning blades. Also, I’m sure its breath is putrid, and having that be the last smell that graces your nostrils only makes this worse.
The Resident Evil series is brimming with memorable death scenes — I came so close to including a death from RE4 in this list, then decided it was too predictable — but to me, this is one of the best. It surprised me. I laughed, I cringed, and I even loaded from the previous checkpoint so I could see it again.
The worst part of this death isn’t the death itself. Don’t get me wrong, being eaten alive ranks pretty damn high among my personal list of ways I definitely don’t want to go out, but what makes this worse is the knowledge that a few hours after you’ve been turned into a happy meal, you’re going to be dinosaur poop. Tyrannosaurus Rex poop (arguably the coolest of all the poops), but poop nonetheless.
Also, Capcom, where’s our Dino Crisis 4? Could you get on that, please?
Poor, poor Madison. She was so brave, she fought so vigorously, and for what? So she could be tortured, murdered, and almost definitely raped by a mad doctor.
If you haven’t played Heavy Rain, it’s an interactive movie that invites you to play a larger part in the overall experience. I struggle to call it a video game, since there’s little in terms of actual gameplay. Horror fans will enjoy the Condemned style investigation scenes and the decidedly tank-like character movement reminiscent of the survival horror games of old, but you probably won’t appreciate the numerous quick-time events after Resident Evil 6 ruined those for everyone.
In Heavy Rain, when one of the main characters dies, you move on to the next. That means there are many horrible ways to die. Among them all, this stuck with me the longest. Like the T-Rex death, the knowledge of what’s happening to you after the fact is the worst part.
Resident Evil used to be the go-to horror franchise for memorable death scenes, but I think that series might’ve recently been dethroned by Dead Space in terms of how twisted its arsenal of deaths are. Seeing Isaac get torn apart limb from limb by a boss, or bisected as a door slams shut on his midsection, or decapitated and taken over by a severed Necromorph head — if you’re fond of gory and painful deaths, Dead Space has some of the best.
The original game was incredible, but Dead Space 2 upped the ante in basically every area, including the many awful ways Isaac can perish. The most talked about scene ended up being the one where Isaac had to direct a disturbingly large needle into his eye. If you had the hands of a surgeon and got it right, Isaac took a needle to his pupil, but if you messed up — even a little bit — the needle gets jammed into his face, killing him in an excruciatingly painful way.
That’s my list, and I’m sticking to it. If you disagree or would like to offer your own memorable death experiences, I encourage you to do so in the comments!