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The best dead things in videogames

Dead stuff makes a vastly under-rated contribution to the world of videogames. Sure, the heroes are usually a living, breathing, virile lot, with pulses and all that boringly conventional malarky, but dead things bring a much more varied array of coolness to the table. We're not necessarily talking dead characters here. We're not even necessarily talking complete corpses with all the parts. After all, you don't need to be anatomically complete or in a pre-decomposition state to have worth.

With Valve's splendid Left 4 Dead out this week, zombies are of course everywhere right now (seriously, look behind you), so we felt it was about time to shed some limelight on the less obvious members of the living-impaired community; the less traditional, less conventional heartbeat-shy who nontheless bring their own unique brand of festering to the table. Read on, and see if we've included your favourite living-challenged lump of inanimate stuff.

(There may be one or two zombies, but only really cool ones)

Pinata Guy - Manhunt 2

Notable for: Death by hanging just as you reach his cell. Making us curse the lack of a baseball bat on the first level. Mmmm, sugary innards.


Dead birds - Condemned: Criminal Origins

Notable for: Teaching kids that collecting animal corpses is an 'achievement'. Disgusting mothers and ruining carpets worldwide.


Burning cop and Axe-in-the-face woman - Resident Evil 4

Notable for: Making us go "Uurgh!" and "Cool!" at the same time. Confirming British prejudices against mainland Europe.


Decapitated barbarian - Castle Crashers

Notable for: Being dead and cute in equal measure. Proving once and for all that you can get away with any level of gore and dismemberment as long as it's cartoony. If only Manhunt 2 had been cel shaded!


Dangling corpses - Gears of War



Notable for: Giving us a cheap, ghost train scare early in the game. Splattering beautifully when shot. Making us wonder just what the hell's been going on in that prison anyway. Who's running it? Why's it empty apart from Locust and dangling corpses? What the hell kind of correctional institute is it!?


Player-controlled zombies - Metal Slug 3

Notable for: Being soul-destroyingly slow. Obliterating everything on screen with a burst of over-powered blood vomit. On balance, being the best status change in videogame history.


Skeleton - Oblivion

Notable for: Looking like a basic bit of environmental detail until you realise you can use the axe like a golf driver and whack its skull off down the hall. Fore!

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28 comments

  • Romination - January 27, 2010 3:54 a.m.

    Price is alive. Antiquity of article and stupid plot twists proven
  • bonerachieved - October 29, 2009 2:56 p.m.

    METAL SLUG 3 YESSSSSS
  • GameManiac - October 29, 2009 1:59 a.m.

    Areis (Aerith)????? STILL PEOPLE?!?!?!?!?!?! 11 years is long enough people! move on already!! ...If you want to though... (Moving on...) Can Nintendo PLEASE take off that Cubone's skull mask/hat/whatever the hell it's meant for off already and show us what its hiding under there? It's just one of three pokemon that are hiding something (the other two are Diglett and Dugtrio).
  • Tochy - November 22, 2008 12:25 a.m.

    Snake? SNAKE?! SNAKEEEEEEEEE?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Defguru7777 - November 21, 2008 2:36 a.m.

    Man, I wish I was dead...wait.
  • Hurricrane - November 20, 2008 11:03 p.m.

    ROFL i loved the Tomb Raider drowning video
  • oreomonkey - November 20, 2008 12:58 p.m.

    if you replace first with something different they'll just start saying FRIST!!!! OR FISRT!!!
  • Moschetto - November 20, 2008 12:30 a.m.

    +1 for Ace of Spades. -1 for lack of Manny. It all evens out.
  • EvilZeus - November 19, 2008 11:02 p.m.

    How does fricken Gears get credit for dangling corpses over Oblivion? WTF? FTW? FTL? I'm highly disappointed. Ze End.
  • Thequestion 121 - November 19, 2008 8:30 p.m.

    I love the dry bones.
  • AbleCluster - November 19, 2008 5:14 p.m.

    Dude, you just gotta love a good video game! Nothing like it! jess http://www.anon.cz.tc
  • Elbo444 - November 19, 2008 1:17 a.m.

    but it's so fun being first, you guys have obviously never been first before, cool article
  • MacGyver1138 - November 18, 2008 10:28 p.m.

    Ahhh. I was hoping that anyone affected by the "Bloody Mess" perk from the Fallout series would be on here. I am all for drprofessor's idea of replacing any of the "first" posts with something. I personally think that it should say, "I am a douchebag," as opposed to just, "douchebag."
  • Juriasu - November 18, 2008 5:18 p.m.

    hareguu would fit nicely on this list!
  • kram101 - November 24, 2008 10:22 p.m.

    wow ur a real emo kid
  • EcoEclipse - November 23, 2008 8:05 p.m.

    It's Aerith. Not Aeris. I realize that her default name in FFVII is Aeris, but in every other game relating to the VII storyline, her name is Aerith, so it's obviously her established name.
  • Kattleox - November 20, 2008 8:24 p.m.

    What about the dead soldiers in The Sorrow's river in MGS3? Or any dead guy you pack into a locker in MGS? For that matter, What about the Sorrow?
  • Jorw - November 19, 2008 1:02 p.m.

    You forgot Manny Calavera and I'm never going to forgive you.
  • Corsair89 - November 19, 2008 6:43 a.m.

    Auron would have been a great addition to the list.
  • TrIp13G - November 19, 2008 3:40 a.m.

    Captain Price. I hope you aren't dead.

Showing 1-20 of 28 comments

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