Sometimes, life sucks. Everything that can go wrong; does: you’re doing terrible at work and/or school, your friends all hate you, and your whole life feels totally unfulfilling. No matter how deep you sink – no matter how low you go – you still won’t have it as bad as some of the characters on this list. These are some of the most tragic, hard-luck characters in gaming. Whether through some fatal flaw of their own (or just a general grudge against them on behalf of the universe) their lives are so deep in the gutter that it’s actually difficult not to pity them.
Marcus Fenix (Gears of War):
He starts the game out incarcerated on charges of treason for trying to save his father’s life – which ended up causing the death of an entire brigade of gears. Over the course of the ensuing war, he lost several of his closest friends (including Dom, who committed suicide by ramming a truck into a pipe for some reason), as well as his father (who died before his own eyes a second time).
Then he shed manly tears and watched the sunrise, because it seemed like the right thing to do.
Kratos (God of War):
- Kidnapped his brother
- Had him swear servitude to Ares, who then tricked him into slaughtering his wife and daughter
- Imprisoned him for the crime Areas made him commit
- Made him a god then stole his divinity
- Killed him on more than one occasion.
- Acted like complete and utter cock-waffles.
So, yeah….Kratos might’ve been a brutal, abrasive asshole, but the gods kinda had it coming.
Scott Shelby (Heavy Rain):
If that’s not tragic, I don’t know what is.
Had a hell of a time getting to that point, though.
Jackie Estacado (The Darkness):
John Marston (Red Dead Redemption):
Yeah, Ross is a real nice guy.
Eventually, Ross decides that he doesn’t really care to let Marston live, even though the gunslinger upheld his end of the bargain: he leads an attack on Marston’s ranch along with the Bureau and the U.S. Army. Family friend Uncle is killed almost immediately, and Marston ends up sacrificing himself to save the life of his wife and child. The cost of redemption is a high one, indeed.
This is where things get weird. Itt turns out that the Shadowlord IS him: he’s the soul of the original Nier(called a gestalt); his daughter is the soul of original Yonah. He needs the body of the current Yonah to ensure his daughter’s survival, as he’s unwilling to live in a world without her. Naturally, it goes downhill from there: After defeating The Shadowlord, he realizes that he’s basically caused an extinction event – everybody who has a ‘gestalt’(basically, everybody in the world) starts dying of the same disease that was killing Nier’s daughter. At this point, he has two choices: sacrifice himself to prevent mankind from going extinct (in which case everyone forgets he ever existed) or live out the his final, disease-ridden days with his beloved daughter.
Yeah…not exactly a great choice, is it?
Big Boss (Metal Gear):
He did so, only to find out that the whole thing was just a ruse set up by his government to avoid taking the blame for a nuclear attack it launched. Can you really blame him for defecting after that?
James (Silent Hill):
The world of Terranigma is separated into two locales: The Overworld and Underworld. This is important.
Right at the beginning of Terranigma, he ends up opening Pandora’s Box and turning his whole village to stone. In order to reverse this, Ark must naturally embark on an epic quest at the behest of the village Elder, who he looks up to as though the man is his own grandfather. Naturally, he loses a number of close friends and loved ones along the way, only to find out that the grandfather is actually working for the big bad of the game – at which point Ark is sent to revive his lightside self in order to combat the Elder.
Reviving his lightside self kills him. Sort of. The two selves end up merging together, and he’s reborn as a baby. Scores of friends end up dying on his behalf, including his former lover (who killed herself rather than have him force her to murder him), and finally returns to the Underworld…only to find that everyone he ever loved and cared about from that realm considers him their enemy. After slaughtering all his friends and family, he finally faces off against and defeats the elder, and is rewarded…
With one final perfect day in his village: with the caveat that once he goes to sleep, it and everyone within will cease to exist.
So…yeah. He must’ve pissed off a few gods in a past life.
Honorable Mentions: Ezio Auditore Da Firenze, Tirion Fordring, Cyan, Zack, Ammon Jerro
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