Dying in video games is easy. It can be as simple as getting shot in the dome, falling down a bottomless chasm, or getting knifed from behind. Whereas getting killed with style is an entirely different story. It’s one to thing to topple over from something as lame a heart-attacking virus, but dying so fantastically that it makes both allies and enemies wet themselves in awe – that’s an art. Chronicled are ten, ridiculously balls-to-the-walls awesome video game deaths. These heroes and villains died making their last stand against overwhelming odds, but not before defiantly flipping off their enemies and making their departure from this world a hardcore, violent and totally badass one.
UPDATE: Previous misinformation re: Gray Fox corrected.
Warning: spoilers ahead
Mareg (Grandia 2)
When you and your party are out on a quest to defeat the evil god of darkness, chances are not everyone is going to make it out alive. Grandia 2’s half-man, half-beast Mareg understood that. So when the group was fleeing from a horde of monsters on Valmar’s moon, he chose to take one for the team. Mareg stayed behind and fought off Valmar’s minions to buy time for Ryudo, Elena and the others to board the Granasaber. Then, after saying an epic final prayer to the dead god Granas that helps his comrades escape, he was overwhelmed and slain.
Leo Cristophe (Final Fantasy VI)
Perhaps the most courageous and chivalrous character to ever feature in a Final Fantasy game, General Leo Cristophe was a man of extreme honor. He routinely exercised restraint to minimize casualties despite being a supremely talented swordsman. Unfortunately, his compassion was what ultimately spelt his demise. When Kefka showed up and murdered the Espers, whom Leo was negotiating a treaty with, the enraged general decides he’s had enough of Kefka’s crap and decides to fight him. As a master of illusions, Kefka used his magic to trick Leo into lowering his guard, and then ambushed his unprepared foe and sent him to the heavens. At least Leo had the sense to go down swinging, unlike a certain flower girl who just sat there waiting to be impaled.
Cyrus (Chrono Trigger)
Being the only knight that didn’t suck in the whole of the land, the prodigiously talented Cyrus had his work cut out for him. Not only was he charged with leading the king’s troops in battle, but he also had to teach his buddy Glenn how to grow a pair of balls and man the hell up. Unfortunately for Cyrus, both responsibilities ultimately ended up getting him killed. When the kingdom came under attack from the powerful sorcerer Magus, instead of running away and crying like everyone else, Cyrus grabbed the Masamune and Hero’s Badge and sets out to challenge him. Unfortunately, Cyrus lost the Masamune during the battle and is slain trying to hold off Magus so Glenn can escape. Also, his body spontaneously combusts into flames, making his death as flashy as it was ballsy.
Zero (Mega Man X)
Zero had just gotten the crap kicked out of him by a Boba Fett-esque robot sporting ridiculously over-powered battle armor, and things weren’t looking so great for anyone who wasn’t insane and robotic. Knowing that the fate of humanity rested on his shoulders (and that he could probably be rebuilt in time for the inevitable sequel), Zero jumped on the back of said robot’s armor and self-destructed. Sure, it didn’t actually kill the robot, but it did weaken him enough for Zero’s partner X to take him out later. And if kamikaze-ing himself for his partner wasn’t good enough, Zero also gave X his buster cannon with his dying words. Sweet.
Space Marine (Doom)
Anyone who feels comfortable using a chainsaw to kill Satan’s minions already has more testosterone than the human body knows how to safely process, but the Space Marine proved he was even more hardcore than your average chainsaw-wielding demon killer by diving straight into the bowels of Hell. Concerned only with protecting Earth from an invasion from Hades, the Space Marine romped his way through the underworld, using shotguns and rocket launchers to show Satan who was actually boss. While the fate of the Space Marine is unknown, he’s presumed dead. Because, let’s face it, he journeyed into Hell. Unless you’re Jesus, Persephone or a tragic musician named Orpheus, that’s usually a one-way trip.
Sylvanas Windrunner (Warcraft III)
Lady Sylvanas Windrunner was once one of the Elven kingdom of Silvermoon’s sickest warriors, but even her uncanny ability to arrow enemies from a mile away couldn’t help her or her troops when Arthas and the Scourge attacked. Drastically outnumbered by a seemingly immortal foe, Sylvanas’ forces were eventually cut down until only she remained. She fought Arthas directly, but was struck down and killed. Arthas, however, made the mistake of being a complete jackass and resurrected her as an undead slave. Sylvanas had other plans though, eventually breaking free to become Queen of the Forsaken. Pissed off and determined to march her undead legion to the gates of Arthas’ frozen fortress, Sylvanas refused to let something as trivial as death keep her from exacting revenge.
Axel (Kingdom Hearts II)
The red-haired, Chakram-wielding Axel is somewhat of a mystery. On one hand, he’s a complete dick when it comes to being a teammate, routinely betraying other members of Organization XIII and generally being a deceitful, cunning bastard. On the other, he’s loyal to the only friend he’s ever known, Roxas, and willingly kills himself to ensure that he survives. When surrounded by Nobidies, Axel channeled all of his power into an explosive attack that wiped them out, but mortally wounded him as well. As he slowly faded away into darkness, Axel used the last of his energy to open up the door to the World that Never Was and screw over Organization XIII one last time.
Captain Price & the SAS (Call of Duty 4)
If Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is to be believed, all the men of the SAS are burly, have immaculately groomed facial hair, speak in thick British accents, and spend their time murdering terrorists and rescuing ungrateful Americans from being nuked to hell by crazy Russian military leaders (sounds about right – Ed). After a lengthy campaign of violence, kidnapping, espionage and awesomeness, Captain Price and his team found themselves even more outgunned than the SAS squad in Bravo Two Zero. They eventually got picked off one by one, but not before Price passes his handgun to Sgt. Soap who used it to shoot arms dealer Zakhaev in the face. Winner: SAS.
Zack Fair (Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core)
Being a friend is hard sometimes. It can mean being a good wingman, helping a friend move into a new apartment, or in Zack Fair’s case trying to fight off an entire army of Shinra soldiers by yourself. Zack busted Cloud out of Hojo’s lab, but just as they were hitchhiking their way to safety they get ambushed by a ton of gun-toting Shinra soldiers. Most people would wuss out and surrender when faced with such odds. but Zack decided it was better to go out in a blaze of glory, and his last stand is truly epic. It takes a heroic soul to sacrifice your life for a friend, but it takes a humongous pair of balls to do it stabbing and slashing people to death while being shot multiple times.
Gray Fox (Metal Gear Solid)
Most regard Solid Snake as a complete badass because he’s gone toe to toe with nuclear warhead-equipped Gundams, but the sheer manliness of his actions are severely mitigated by the fact that he often uses rocket launchers, grenades and all sorts of totally non-manly weapons (a rocket launcher isn’t manly? really? – Ed). Gray Fox didn’t believe in that kind of crap. He took on Metal Gear Rex, destroying its radar with a laser cannon so that Snake could finish it off. Ninja or not, playing lethal tag with an enormous robot a hundred times your size is usually not the brightest of ideas. Suffice to say, Gray Fox was subsequently stomped to death. It’s unclear whether Gray Fox’s final stand can be translated as selfless martyrdom or sadomasochistic insanity – he was, after all, clearly madder than the hatter – but either way being violently dismembered by a killer robot is nothing short of badass.