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

You pass a seemingly inconspicuous vent or hidey hole

Jeez, dude. You’re really in for it now. Hard gaming science dictates that 93.6% of all video game vents have something terrible crawled up inside them, just waiting to pounce and suck out your bone marrow. If said vent is slightly ajar or has a few loose screws you can raise that stat to 114%. Unless you’re carrying a machete that would make Mick Dundee’s look like a butter knife, you can safely assume whatever’s jumping out of there is making you its dinner.

Any moment where your character isn’t totally miserable in a survival horror

Your reluctant cop/space miner/enterprising schoolgirl should never at any point enjoy a single modicum of happiness during a horror game. Such a brief interlude of joy among the unremitting, wrist-slashing misery can only mean something terrible is about to happen. Most likely involving a big carving knife and your character’s crotch.

Above: Wow, cracking a smile? You’re so screwed, Sheva

You befriend/trust anyone with facial hair

If you take nothing else away from this feature, learn this: any NPC you meet with even a hint of face fuzz will invariably betray and try to murder you horribly at some point. Remember kids, only trust clean-shaven characters. OK, at a push you can befriend someone if they’ve got a really awesome handlebar moustache. Sure, they’ll probably try to kill you. But being murdered is a small price to pay for the privilege of bathing in the presence of such a magnificent soup-strainer. God, we’re hot for Captain Price.

Above: Man, that's some straight up evil face fur

A door slams shut behind you of its own freewill

Any door, gate or fancy electronic barrier you walk through that then shuts on its own accord is doing so because it wants you out of the union. If you encounter one of these sentient sociopathic doorways: beware. You’re almost certainly about to find yourself trapped inside a massive, cavernous arena, where a boss character is motivating itself for your murder by imagining you mugging its mum.


  • kaittybee - March 18, 2010 5:49 p.m.

    this is by far my favorite article on this website. this article saved me from dying in quite a few games! LONG LIVE GAMESRADAR!
  • Bloori - February 18, 2010 8:55 p.m.

    ronald mcdonald?! Lol, and there should be- If you are a little girl in Resident Evil. I saw a little girl die there. or, If you are stuck in a room full of strange people who don't answer, then their heads turn 360 to face you. That is a Definate "Oh shit, i'm gonna die in this game" moment. Trust me, that should be there.
  • RoflZilla - January 27, 2010 8:40 p.m.

    you also forgot going over a hill. it seams evory time you get to the to the is a big ass monster waiting for you.
  • AuthorityFigure - January 27, 2010 12:18 p.m.

    DOOM3 contains virtually ALL of these devices... It's like they just checked them all off when designing the damn thing.
  • g4m3rk1dd - January 25, 2010 5:21 p.m.

    lol anywhere near water? what about that game hydrophobia? XD and if u have the worlds most kick ass fast food clown behind you about to well...kick your ass...then yes its an automatic game over
  • MaynardJ - January 25, 2010 3:33 p.m.

    Nice article!! Two more ideas: 1. I agree with Picnic1 on the seemingly abandoned area, but you're even more certain of imminent death if you find another character (preferably a hostage) there and a cutscene starts. Something bad will happen during or after that cutscene, I'm thinking of Metal Gear Solid right now. 2. I'm currently playing Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, a very notable exception to the water rule. If you and your partner get separated during a cutscene, you're about to be attacked. Surely this applies to a lot of other games.
  • Spybreak8 - January 24, 2010 11:59 p.m.

    Haha I love the Deadspace, lights out, McDonalds guy behind him one and the librarian silence was also pretty funny. I just got done playing Mass Effect again and you gotta love it when it autosaves before or after you enter an area/building etc.
  • nugby - January 24, 2010 11:04 p.m.

    "Take on the baddies. They ain't go anything on those leaves" That line is AWESOME!
  • Picnic1 - January 24, 2010 10:17 p.m.

    Good article. I especially liked this line: 'Any door, gate or fancy electronic barrier you walk through that then shuts on its own accord is doing so because it wants you out of the union' I would add another way that you can tell you are in deadly peril. When you enter any seemingly abandoned industrial warehouse area (this has later been extended to include buildings like churches). This allows an unlimited number of would be assasins to appear from nowhere and fire at you from windows, overhead gantries, behind barrels or other scenery, sit in huge cargo boxes, waiting to kill you with a sniper rifle or even come down from the ceiling through a skylight on a wire. I'm thinking of Max Payne 2 and Half life 2.
  • Guardian88 - January 24, 2010 3:36 a.m.

    When the lights go out, it WOULD be scary as f*** to see Ronald McDonald just standing behind you. HAHAHA but that picture is really f***in' funny!!!
  • patri0t - January 23, 2010 9:45 p.m.

    wow i didnt know how dangerous games could be thanks for the tips GR!!
  • RaIdEn - January 23, 2010 5:19 a.m.

    forget uroboros, zombies, aliens, sociopathic killers and demons, if i find out ronald mcdonalds loose in a building with me, im turning off the game and snapping the disk. creepy ass clown bastard
  • kratos2144 - January 22, 2010 11:32 p.m.

    On the last quote i think you meant to say "They ain't got anything.." And you guys said. "They ain't go anything.."
  • Xeacons - January 22, 2010 7:24 p.m.

    I can't believe you guys got so much against facial hair. How bout all our favorite heroes? Mario, Gordon Freeman? L4D's Bill? Need I continue? Guys you can trust!
  • jackthemenace - January 22, 2010 6:39 p.m.

    i love these articles :D you guys are an inspiration to gamers everywhere. i will never look at a pile of leaves the same way again ¬.¬
  • FreekinIdiot - January 22, 2010 4:49 p.m.

    God I love the one with psycho Ronald McDonald, he turely is a deeply malevolent creature of satan but man does he do good burgers :)
  • Conman93 - January 22, 2010 4:19 p.m.

    Lol im playing chrono trigger now, and there is always a conveniently placed save point out of nowhere. Same in mario and luigi 3 Lol at the zelda ones.Sooo true
  • Oddeh7 - January 22, 2010 3:15 p.m.

    So librarians can now kill genetically enhanced hedgehogs with a finger and their mind? Oh god no. Plus, Issac Clarke VS Ronald McDonald = BEST DEATHMATCH EVAR
  • rxb - January 22, 2010 1:24 p.m.

    Good read, all soo true. Personally I hate the self locking doors most.
  • StrayGator - January 22, 2010 5:57 a.m.

    Doctors should be exempt from the facial hair rule. gordon freman and eli vance are probably the 2 people i'd like to have on my side during a zombie apocalypse / bar fight. That's even before mentioning Dr. Light. oh, c'mon.

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