the darkness Articles RSS Feed | the darkness RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network The Most Iconic Character Deaths in Games Mon, 17 Aug 2015 03:59:59 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

There's nothing quite like the death of a beloved character that allows them to meet their demise in a memorable fashion. Games are no strangers to having characters die, but these are some of the most iconic and memorable deaths to date. Since we will be looking at deaths of characters in various series, consider yourself warned of spoilers.

Now then, prepare to experience ultimate sadness. 

Sarah: The Last of Us

The opening to The Last of Us remains one of the most memorable and powerful beginnings in any game. While we knew what to expect, thanks to pre-release interviews and previews, the death was no less dramatic.

After having some quality father-daughter time, Joel and Sarah meet up with Joel’s brother in order to flee their neighbors who have become homicidal. After multiple close calls and encounters with bloodthirsty humans, Joel and Sarah make it to the edge of town where they are stopped by a soldier. Despite Joel’s pleading, the soldier receives orders to open fire, wounding Joel and leading to Sarah’s death shortly thereafter.

With great voice acting and framing, the scene is powerful and deeply affecting. Even worse, for those of us who are parents, this added an additional fist of emotional gut-punching.

John Marston: Red Dead Redemption

Red Dead Redemption was a powerful story about family and the unfulfilling pointlessness of murderous revenge. Also hunting - gotta get those skins yo! John was recruited by some shady lawmen that are holding John’s family hostage to hunt down members from his old gang, who kinda shot him up and left him for dead.

After doing all that was asked of him, Marston retires to his home and is ready to spend time with his family. After some daily routines of establishing his farm, a posse of men led by the marshals shows up at Marston’s house, eager to wipe the Marstons out in an effort to hide the government’s involvement with a former outlaw.

The resulting gunfight sees Marston going down in a blaze of lead and glory, and it's forever embedded in our memories.


Mordin Solus: Mass Effect 3

Mordin was the embodiment of the quirky scientist. The salarian had a unique, albeit slightly broken, way of speaking, a constant desire to work, and rarely allows his conscience or personal feelings to affect his judgment. In the series you learn Mordin helped develop the genophage, a disease that affects the krogan and essentially hampers the ability of the krogan to reproduce, crippling the krogan race.

After dealing with a Reaper on the krogan homeworld of Tuchanka, you discover you can help develop a cure for the dreaded genophage disease. Once you have the cure, you try to broadcast it via the Shroud, but due to previous salarian sabotage, someone must travel to the top of the Shroud in order to override the sabotage. Whoever travels to the top will not be coming down though.

Surprisingly, Mordin volunteers to sacrifice himself in order to broadcast for the genophage disease he helped create. He seeks to make up for his involvement in the creation of the disease and other mistakes by breaking the curse of the dreaded genophage. While it is possible to stop Mordin, by killing him, or allowing him to live and participating in a form of genocide, no other outcome has the effect of watching Mordin sing “Scientist Salarian” while becoming engulfed in explosions. It’s a rather touching scene and a fitting end to a fantastic character.


Andrew Ryan: BioShock

BioShock remains a landmark title and an intriguing look at choice in games, among other things. Andrew Ryan is the founder of the underwater city of Rapture where there are practically no inhibitions on science or anything really. Needless to say, things go downhill rather quickly.

Your character Jack braves the horrors of Rapture in his quest to find Ryan, get some answers, and get the hell out of Dodge. Upon confronting Ryan, you learn Atlas, the person you have been communicating with the entire game and your guide, has been manipulating you and using mind control to force you to do his bidding. The resulting scene is entrenched in the minds of players everywhere as Ryan dies, adhering to his philosophy and to prove a point. Memorable indeed.


Sgt. Paul Jackson: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

The Call of Duty series has always been known for its grand set pieces, but nothing prepared us for this moment. Sgt. Jackson and a group of US soldiers are attacking the location of what they believe is a terrorist’s hideout. It turns out it was a decoy and is housing a nuclear weapon which is about to detonate. Jackson makes the decision to rescue a soldier who fell behind and then the fireworks happen.

To this point, deaths in games were not uncommon, but FPS games rarely featured the death of playable characters. This moment changed that. Unfortunately, it also led to the further CoD entries adding an obligatory “shock” moment and struggling to top the one before. Regardless, this moment remains effective.


Lee Everett: The Walking Dead: Season One

You’ve rescued a little girl from zombies and ensured her survival through countless perils and near-death situations. You deserve a break right? Well Telltale said, “Psh, whatever. Screw that noise.”

After everything that has happened and all Lee has done to ensure Clementine’s safety, Clemtine is kidnapped, and a rogue zombie bites Lee, sealing his fate. You can cut off the bitten appendage, but nothing will stop the inevitable creep of the Reaper.

Once you free Clementine from her captor, Lee and Clementine make their way through a horde of zombies and hole up in an abandoned storefront. Once here, Lee shows Clementine the bite and informs her of his impending death. You can have Clementine shoot Lee to cut his suffering short and prevent Lee from becoming a zombie, or you can choose to allow Lee to die and later turn into a zombie, presumably. This scene led to many tears shed in the real world along with Clementine’s digital tears. So many feels…

Jenny: The Darkness

The Darkness is a criminally underrated game, and you really owe it to yourself to play. Jenny is the love interest of the main character, Jackie Estacado. The two have essentially known each other their entire lives and are hopelessly in love. What’s even better is Jenny is conveyed realistically and comes across as a believable character instead of just eye candy.

There’s even a touching moment that allows you to sit on a couch with Jenny and watch To Kill a Mockingbird, among other things. It’s an intimate moment that isn’t too uncommon from what people do in real life. Of course, things end poorly.

Possessed by the titular demonic power of The Darkness, Jackie constantly resists the demonic power in an effort to keep some semblance of free will. The Darkness will have none of that and proves to Jackie his free will is no more. Jackie’s uncle is holding Jenny hostage in the orphanage where Jackie and jenny grew up.

When Jackie attempts to rescue Jenny from his homicidal uncle and a crooked police chief, The Darkness renders him helpless and forces him to do nothing but watch while the brains of the love of his life are splattered over the wall. It’s brutal. It’s gut-wrenching, and I’ll be damned if it doesn’t provide motivation to kill those crooked jerks.


Dupre: Ultima 7 Part Two

The Ultima series is one of the influential and well-regarded RPG series in gaming. While the eighth and ninth entries are held in spite by fans, they aren’t enough to blight the legacy of this franchise. Dupre is first introduced in Ultima II, which was released way back in 1982. He remains a constant companion and a series stalwart.

During the events of Ultima VII, Dupre becomes possessed and becomes the Bane of Wantoness, proceeding to slay many innocents. He was eventually cured by the Avatar, the playable character. After this, you learn in order to mend the broken pieces of the Serpents of Chaos (which keeps the entire universe in balance and from self-destructing) a human sacrifice of one who is in “balance” is required.

Only five people are candidates and straws are drawn with the Avatar drawing the short straw. When the time comes to sacrifice yourself, Dupre throws himself in the crematorium, stating he cannot take the guilt over the lives he has claimed. His last words are, “Let it be said Sir Dupre died bravely!” A noble sacrifice indeed. Start the video at the 4:50 mark.

Meryl: Metal Gear Solid and The Twin Snakes

Solid Snake is a stoic soldier who is focused only on the mission and feels nothing along the lines of love, or so you might think. In Metal Gear Solid, Snake encounters Meryl, a soldier held on the island Snake is infiltrating. Meryl assists Snake during some of his battles before they both become kidnapped.

Snake is then being tortured by Ocelot who tells Snake he must resist his torture, which is essentially pressing a single button repeatedly. If you fail, you aren’t shown the consequences until the last confrontation with Liquid Snake at the end of the game. During the confrontation, you spy Meryl, but aren’t able to get to her with Liquid around.

After temporarily getting rid of Liquid, Snake rushes over to Meryl for a happy reunion filled with smiles, laughter, and good times! And she’s dead, all because you could not resist the torture. So it’s completely your fault. I’ll be in the corner popping some anti-depressants now.

Wander: Shadow of the Colossus

It’s a story we’ve heard a thousand times before. Man’s girlfriend dies. In order to bring her back, guy proceeds to listen to strange voices and kill sixteen colossi. After slaying the final titan, man becomes possessed by evil because the colossi were guardians to ward evil away. Man dies and girlfriend is shortly resurrected after his death. All that and he never got to see the fruits of his labors.

Aeris/Aerith: Final Fantasy VII

You knew it was coming, but people still mourn to this day. While characters in games had died before, the death of Aeris was unexpected and accompanied by a beautiful score; ensuring players will never forget this scene. ‘Nuff said.

Were there any iconic deaths I missed? Should any of these entries have been left out? Sound off in the comments!

Second Chance: 10 Underrated Games You Need to Play Mon, 25 May 2015 11:52:53 -0400 The Soapbox Lord


These ten titles are only a handful of underrated and overlooked games out there.


What are your overlooked favorites? Sound off in the comments below!


Second Sight


Imagine playing a stealth title where you had the powers of telekinesis, astral projection, and more instead of gadgets and guns. Welcome to Second Sight! While the player does have firearms at their disposal, the game strongly emphasizes stealth and smart, tactical decisions to stay undetected. Ever wanted to pull a guard’s gun from their hand with telekinesis and then use a tranquilizer gun to subdue them? Here you can! Sam Fisher has nothing on John Vattic.


The game follows John Vattic, a skeptic to psychic abilities who awakes without his memories and psionic powers! The player helps guide Vattic on his path to regain his memories, and stop an evil plot which seeks to use human guinea pigs bestowed with psychic powers as military weapons. Developed by the team at Free Radical Design, the game was a welcome departure from their fantastic FPS Timesplitters series.




You have to love Grasshopper Manufacture and Atlus. Grasshopper develops some of the most bizarre games and Atlus seems to publish something for everyone. If there is a niche, Atlus has ya covered. With that said, I am not sure which niche the developers had in mind for Contact. The game is an RPG, but it is so different from every other RPG I have ever played.


The game follows Terry, a young boy who is enlisted by a professor to help repair the professor’s spaceship. However, there are two separate plots at work here. The game follows Terry and his adventures, but the game also includes a separate storyline for the player themselves as well. The professor actually directly addresses the player on multiple occasions and aims to keep them a secret from Terry. Needless to say, it is a different tale, and the fourth wall has never been shattered this much sans Deadpool’s presence in a game. Another interesting aspect to the game was how experience was gained instantaneously whenever an action was performed. Took a hit? Your defense increases and so on. It was not uncommon to grow stronger during a battle, gaining an edge on your foe.


The game can be difficult to track down, but if you are interested, it is one of the most unique games you can find to date.


El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron


This game is absolutely stunning. No really. Watch the video above you and see this game in action. Words do not do this work of art justice. With its anime-inspired, watercolor art aesthetic, the game looks like a painting come to life. With a combat system revolved around taking your opponent’s weapons and armor and utilizing it against them, it made for a different tempo from other games.


I do need to include this disclaimer though. The game is inspired by the Book of Enoch. So if you are sensitive to religious content, themes, etc., you might not enjoy this as much as I have. However, if that does not bother you, you are in for one gorgeous treat!




Ah Bulletstorm, the definition of glorious excess and irreverent. This is a game that turned heads for its great, arcade-inspired shooting and kept your attention with one of the most gleefully puerile scripts in all of gaming; it’s terrific stuff. Hell, there’s a female in the game who tells the main character, “I will kill your d***.” Since the developers are based in Poland and English is not their first language, they asserted they did not realize how crude the game was, and they added the gratuitous language because it sounded funny, hearing Steve Blum using language that would make a sailor blush while sliding to get that skill shot makes for a great time.


By using a point-based system to unlock upgrades and weapons, the game encourages experimentation and originality when dispatching foes rather than simply having another boring game of Whack-a-Mole with guns. With tight controls, guns that are fun to use and have a sense of power, the shooting in Bulletstorm never gets old. Did I mention you get to set a giant, mechanized fire-breathing lizard upon your foes? Oh yeah, that happens. And Steve Blum! What else could you possibly want?


Hard Corp: Uprising


Sigh. What the hell Konami? Besides canceling Silent Hills and Kojima leaving after MGS5 is finished, Konami has also allowed Hard Corps: Uprising to be the last entry in the Contra series for four years now with no signs of another entry. Hard Corps delivered what we have come to expect and love from Contra: lots of enemies, gigantic bosses, challenging gameplay, and tight controls. What Hard Corps added was some maneuverability to the player’s repertoire of tricks. With the addition of double jumping, dashing, and projectile deflection, the added mechanics allowed the players to do more than previous entries. The addition of co-op made for double the fun and double the deaths. Any fan of Contra and side-scrolling shooters should give this one a try!




Let’s get this out of the way: this game is doggoned cute! There I said it! Happy now? I never thought a game could be considered “cute”, but here is the perfect example. Your task is to reunite Ilo and Milo, two friends separated by various obstacles and complications. It’s harder than its cute, patchwork visuals let on. With multiple characters to control, crazy physics, and wide playing areas to traverse, the game certainly scratched the cerebral itch. Now give it a shot and get sucked into its adorable world!


To the Moon


I recently mentioned how To the Moon was one of only two games to ever make me shed a tear. Boy did it! The tale of two scientists helping a dying man to achieve his dying wish is one of the most touching narratives in gaming and is accompanied by one of the best soundtracks in the business. I really don’t want to talk about the game too much in fear I’ll give something away. Just devote the three to four hours it takes to complete the game and enjoy!


Condemned: Criminal Origins


Launching for the Xbox 360, Condemned was a unique title for Microsoft’s new console. The game followed FBI agent Ethan Thomas on the trail of a serial killer. What made the game stand out, besides the crime scene investigations, was the combat. First person brawling has been done before, but has rarely been done well or turned out enjoyable. Condemned was one of the few that managed to be well done and enjoyable to play.


By having the combat unfold in first person and in melee range, the fighting felt visceral and intimate. You weren’t detached by using a firearm to snipe hapless enemies from a distance. You were fighting tooth and nail for your life while wielding whatever weapons were found in your environment. You also were usually locked into combat with less than four enemies, further adding to the intimate feel of the brawling. Monolith really delivered something great with this one; just skip the sequel. It jumped the shark three times in a row and then circled back to eat the shark after it had finished its aerial acrobatics.


Spec Ops: The Line


Spec Ops: The Line has one of the best narratives in gaming. Period. The game was a brilliant subversion of military games and our obsession and voracious appetite for them. The strange thing is critics and people “got” Hotline Miami’s message about violence, yet the underlying meaning in Spec Ops seemed to go largely unnoticed, despite both titles releasing a mere five months apart from one another. In fact, many reviewers focused on the lackluster multiplayer instead of the narrative or mechanics at work. 


Spec Ops: The Line is not a game you enjoy. In fact, it is a demanding piece of art to endure, yet it is worth it in the end. There are four endings to the game, but one of the developers was quoted as saying a fifth ending was possible when the player cannot take any more and simply stops playing. Sunshine and lollipops this is not, but rarely do we play games which actually ask us hard questions and force us to examine ourselves.


The Darkness


Released in 2007, The Darkness was an adaptation of the popular comic series published by Topcow Comics. Developed by the talented team at Starbreeze Studios, The Darkness delivered a slick, dark shooting experience with some satisfying demonic powers to utilize against your enemies in the mob. What really makes the game memorable to me is the character of Jenny.


She is the main character Jackie’s love interest in the game, but is actually more than a cliché female character. The relationship between the two also manages to elicit emotions from the player other game romances cannot. There is a part in the game where you are at her house and have the option leave. If you leave, nothing happens, and the plot and game continues. If you opt to stay however, a special moment occurs. However, rather than anything sexual occurring, Jackie and Jenny cuddle on the couch and make convincing small talk while To Kill a Mockingbird plays on the television. It is something far more intimate than loyalty missions and countless conversations have ever done. The game is also a great shooter too; so it’s a win-win!


Did I mention Mike Patton (of Faith no More, among countless other projects) did the voice of the titular Darkness with no sort of voice software or editing? You know you want to play it now.


We all know some underrated games. Games we feel did not get the attention they deserved or a fair shake at the time of their initial release. With that in mind, here are ten games you really owe it to yourself to play if you have not. I guarantee you will not regret it!