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

You find yourself in some ludicrously elaborate labyrinth-like dungeon or cave network

Only baddies build dungeons. Hell, Hitler probably had a massive Zelda-esque water temple erected in his basement just for really evil kicks. If your character finds themselves in one of these stupidly convoluted structures they’ll no doubt have to traverse a variety of puzzles. Most of which have been designed to sever spleens. Even if you do survive the Goonies-inspired traps of doom your only reward will be to face a giant monster/bug/evil spirit/dinosaur/semi naked ninja chick that’ll try to eat/maim/possess/chop your Johnson off.

You’re in a helicopter

Honestly, your character would be safer in a three-wheeled car driven by a deaf person. Who’s been blindfolded. Then forced to down seven bottles of premium distilled Russian vodka. Consulting our big book of indisputable gaming facts shows 99.24% of video game copters are destined to be shot down by an RPG or surface to air missile. If by some miracle the baddie who’s firing at you misses, then you can be sure you’ll get swatted down by a massive alien abomination with tentacles five minutes later. Either way, say your prayers: your shit’s going down.

You climb a huge set of stairs

Nothing. Nothing good ever awaits you at the top of a set of gaming stairs. Just once we’d like to get to the summit of some and have our character’s ruined hamstrings rewarded with a big chest of credits, an awesome laser sword or a date with a chick with three boobs. But no, it’s always a small armada of enemies, an enormous door with a boss behind it or worse, more f**king stairs. If we can’t save the world by staying on the ground floor of Evil Incorporate then the world can go screw itself. We’re taking our character to the virtual pub down the street.

You walk over a pile of leaves

Don’t be fooled. Video game Mother Nature wants you deader than an alligator purse. Oh sure, that pile of foliage your character’s walking towards might look harmless enough, but it’s most likely concealing a bottomless pit filled with spikes that have been coated with the Ebola virus. Same goes for trees that have bits of rope between them. Oh, and rickety rope bridges? Yeah, every single one of those assholes is out to get you.

Above: Our advice? Take on the baddies. They ain't go anything on those leaves

Jan 21, 2009

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  • 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 i mean. Ya its cool
  • hey003 - January 21, 2010 10:40 p.m.

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