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15 ways to tell you’re in deadly peril in a video game

Every single game ever made wants your character dead. Well, unless it’s got dancing babies on its box or it’s trying to lose you weight by forcing you to swing your arms around like a twat. With that in mind, we thought it might be helpful to give you a guide on how to spot impending video game danger. After you’ve brushed up on our exhaustive guide, which covers every sure-fire sign of peril from ominous music to evil facial hair, you’ll be dodging video game death like a pro. Oh, and we guarantee you’ll never look at a pile of leaves the same way again.


You reach a save point in front of some massive, ominous door


Yeah, never a good sign this. Games which force you to save manually – Resi, God of War etc. – are rarely charitable. So when they casually suggest you should maybe protect your progress with this form of safety net, you better bloody do so. Because you can be sure of two things about that door: A) There’s something behind it that almost definitely wants to rip your face off and B) There’s no way in Hell you’re beating the bastard first time.


Above: Hmmmm, it’s probably the second one, right?


The game gives you every weapon it has for apparently no reason


Wow, cheers Mr. Game that’s been a total dick to me for the last 10 hours. You’re really giving me every death laser, rusty, infected chainsaw and Arnie-shaming mini-gun with maxed out ammo, with absolutely no strings attached? Shucks, you’re too kind. Wait, where did this army of tooled-up to the teeth aliens/flesh-eating mutants/military insurgents suddenly spring from? Dang.


There's any sign of blood


Blood is bad, pure and simple. See even a drop of it in a game and you can be sure whatever did the stabbing, shooting or ingesting to cause said plasma spillage is still in the area. Be it trails, pools or disturbing messages written in the red stuff; the presence of the claret of life means someone has suffered hugely. And, chances are, your character’s about to as well.


Above: Don’t be fooled, some bad stuff’s about to go down here

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51 comments

  • onewingedantista - January 21, 2010 4:47 p.m.

    First! Awesome article, guys. I lol'd lots. Beware The 'stache!
  • Doctalen - January 21, 2010 4:51 p.m.

    I love how the trees are always out to get you in games. A good example would be Fallout 3, the one place there are trees and they drug you. Not to mention Point Lookout where they drug ya and then cut up your brain.
  • banjokazoozie - January 21, 2010 5:10 p.m.

    this stuff is so true, lol at ronald mc donald with a knife
  • pimlicosound - January 21, 2010 5:13 p.m.

    The picture of a bloody-fanged Ronald McDonald is enough to frighten anyone, but is sure to scare clown-haters half to death.
  • Jacob816 - January 21, 2010 5:22 p.m.

    Awesome article. So true, yet really funny.
  • NanoElite666 - January 21, 2010 6:15 p.m.

    You forgot graveyards. Nothing good ever seems to happen when your character has to traverse through a graveyard.
  • NinjaJamez - January 21, 2010 7 p.m.

    Funny and educative.... a house mark of games radar.
  • zayleffein - January 21, 2010 7:03 p.m.

    I totally got chills when I saw Ronald McPennywise lol Great Article
  • bilstar - January 21, 2010 7:25 p.m.

    And going from a sequence of corridors or pathways into a large, open and probably pretty symmetrical area. Cool article.
  • OmNomRomRearghNergh - January 21, 2010 8:01 p.m.

    Ahh leaves, the silent killer.
  • noobeater - January 21, 2010 8:07 p.m.

    quality article guys,
  • dahsif - January 21, 2010 8:20 p.m.

    I nominate this feature for the Pulitzer prize.
  • DriveShaft - January 21, 2010 9:28 p.m.

    Lol, if you hear music YOURE DEAD if you hear silence YOURE DEAD, sad but true in survival horrors x]
  • dante1924 - January 21, 2010 9:48 p.m.

    The door slamming thing happens repeatedly in spirit tracks! I am walking around the dungeon, and suddenly, a wall springs up, and I have to fight a horde of monsters! Marcus is so screwed in your image!
  • dante1924 - January 21, 2010 9:52 p.m.

    Actually, when I think about it, zelda games have almost all of these things.
  • TrIp13G - January 21, 2010 9:52 p.m.

    I submit that Prince of Persia is the exception to the water rule.
  • garnsr - January 21, 2010 10:06 p.m.

    In the PS1 days, a sure sign that something was going to happen was when you'd hear the disc drive spin, and you knew something terrifying was being loaded, about to burst out at you.
  • speno93 - January 21, 2010 10:31 p.m.

    silence and darkness nearly always scare the shit out of me in videogames. Hell I get freaked out when the piano starts attacking you in Super Mario 64, that instrument's scary!1
  • Cwf2008 - January 21, 2010 10:32 p.m.

    That picture of Ronald McDonald about to knife that guy was hilarious! And who doesnt love Cpt. Price's mustache...oh...er i mean. Ya its cool
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