For many video game characters, there’s a chance that their actions could lead to horrible ends. Whether it’s players falling off a cliff by pushing the stick the wrong way, or a villain facing their end at the hands of their adversaries, many of these deaths are swift and over before the characters can think too much about them.


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Meanwhile, there are characters who evade death but find themselves in a situation much worse. From eternal torture to being painfully transformed into something unnatural with no hope of escape, these characters found themselves suffering ongoing punishment where death would have been a mercy.

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9/9 Sorceress Adel – Final Fantasy 8

The Sorceresses of Final Fantasy 8 are powerful magical beings with a tendency for evil actions. While Edea is the main Sorceress we hear about throughout the game, we also learn about others. One of these is Adel, the former ruler of the nation of Esthar, who led her country to war for world dominance.

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Taken down by a resistance movement within her own country, Adel’s power meant drastic actions had to be taken. She was sealed in a cryogenic device that suppressed her powers, and this device was shot into space. However, it seems that she spent her time sealed in this tomb fully conscious, as her thoughts can be seen in radio interference early in the game.

8/9 GLaDOS – Portal

At the end of the first Portal, the player defeats GLaDOS, the evil AI ruling over the Aperture Science Enrichment Center. Although it initially seemed like the player had escaped, the release of Portal 2 showed them being pulled back into the facility and sealed away in stasis for an unspecified period of time.

When GLaDOS is reawakened in the early stages of the sequel, she reveals that she wasn’t truly dead, and her consciousness existed in a black box backup where she got to witness the two minutes before her defeat over and over, quite likely for decades. She passive-aggressively hints that this may be a big part of her bitterness towards the player for much of the game in one of her more memorable quotes.

7/9 Mimir – God Of War

In Norse mythology, Mimir is a figure famed for his wisdom who was beheaded and carried around by Odin to act as his secret counsel. In God of War, his role is similar, as he did once act as counsel to Odin but wasn’t yet beheaded. However, when Odin was tired of Mimir’s attempts to contain his negative impulses, he had Mimir bound to an indestructible tree on Midgar’s highest peak.

When Kratos finds him in the events of the game, he has been bound there for a hundred years, undergoing regular torture. While Kratos does free him from this torment, his fate doesn’t improve that much, as Kratos simply removes his head, leaving him unable to move on his own terms.

6/9 Gwyn, Lord Of Cinder – Dark Souls

The world of Dark Souls takes place in an Age of Fire, where a mystical flame of the gods gave rise to humanity, ruled over by Gwyn, Lord of Cinder. However, over time the flame would begin to go out, threatening the arrival of the Age of Dark. To prevent this, Gwyn decided to rekindle the flame.

However, this came at a cost, as Gwyn would become engulfed in flame, and for hundreds of years prior to the events of the game, he has become charred and hollow, a grim husk of what he once was. When the player faces off against him at the end of Dark Souls, it is effectively a mercy killing.

5/9 Gilbert Alexander – Bioshock 2

Gilbert Alexander was a mechanical engineer in the undersea city of Rapture, tasked with working on many of the security systems found during exploration. However, he would eventually become the subject of a cruel experiment by Sofia Lamb, the new ruler of the city, leaving him a fleshy mass living in a tank deep within the city’s laboratories.

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He even expresses how grim his fate is, even encouraging the player to kill him and put him out of his misery. However, due to how the game treats this choice, if the player wants the best ending, they have to leave him to his fate and extend his torment.

4/9 Cornelius Agrippa – Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Cornelius Agrippa was a mystic in the Amnesia universe, based on a similar real-life mystic. After encountering the game’s mysterious and powerful orbs, he approached Alexander of Brennenburg for his assistance in studying them. However, Alexander betrayed him and was imprisoned in his castle.

The player encounters Agrippa during the events of Amnesia: The Dark Descent, now a decaying husk with his soul still trapped inside. His body is emaciated and chained, his lower jaw is missing, and his eyes have clouded over. Despite this, he remains alive and talkative, a horrifying image of what the supernatural powers at work are capable of.

3/9 Fiora – Xenoblade Chronicles

Xenoblade’s protagonist, Shulk, witnesses the death of his childhood friend, Fiora, at the hands of enemy Mechonis forces early in the game, a death that kicks off most of the events of the game. However, Shulk and the party eventually learn that her death wasn’t final.

Instead, the Mechonis forces took her body and implanted her into a Face, a huge powerful robot that Shulk and friends can’t fight because of its unique invincible properties. While Fiora is conscious as a pilot of this robot, she is unable to control her own actions, meaning she gets to witness herself attacking her friends helplessly until she is saved later in the game.

2/9 Raziel – Legacy Of Kain: Soul Reaver

In the Legacy of Kain universe, the vampire clans all report to Kain, and as he gains new vampiric abilities, he passes these traits onto the clans through their leaders. However, one of these clan leaders, Raziel, gained wings before Kain, resulting in his punishment for his transgressions.

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The punishment was to be thrown into a swirling whirlpool known as the Abyss, which tore Raziel apart for five hundred agonizing years. This turns him into the wraith the player takes control of throughout the game, now a hideously deformed devourer of souls.

1/9 All Targets – Dishonored

In Dishonored, protagonist Corvo Attano pledges revenge against a series of targets for the death of the Empress and his false imprisonment as her killer. While killing these targets is an option, Dishonored encourages the player to pursue non-lethal options to prevent a rise in the rat plague through an increase in “chaos.”

However, the non-lethal methods of removing Corvo’s targets from power are arguably worse than a simple assassination would be. Lady Boyle can be handed to an obsessive stalker to live her days out as an unwilling sex slave. The Pendleton twins can be mutilated and forced to work in their own mines. Campbell can be branded a heretic and ostracized, and he can be encountered later in the game as a deformed being twisted by the plague. All grim fates that the game views as more “just” than murder.

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