The Top 7... Badass beheadings

5. A Million Little Pieces

The game: No More Heroes 2

Another series filled with notable decapitations, No More Heroes has plenty that are spectacular enough to rival Mortal Kombat’s most gruesome efforts. In No More Heroes 2 alone, lightsaber-detached heads fly from damn near every enemy that crosses antihero Travis Touchdown’s path. One guy even has his head cut off and reattached, before yanking it back off himself in a grinning act of defiance.

If you’re looking for sheer, satisfying nastiness, however – and we are – there’s no death more awesome than the one suffered by Million Gunman. Part of this is because he’s an incredible bastard. Not only is his stage a pain in the ass to navigate, thanks to temp-heroine Shinobu’s horribly implemented jumping, but he’s a patronizing old dick who’s disgusted at having to fight a girl and uses “Fuck you!” as a battle cry. Even if he wasn’t such a charmer, though, it’d still be pretty cool to see him die like this:

You have to give the old bastard credit: It’s not many people who could, after being separated from their bodies, maintain the cool composure necessary for a calm “Yes, sir!” before being cut to ribbons. That Million Gunman pulls it off before having what’s left of his identity smash-chopped into flying gibs is kind of breathtaking, even in the context of a videogame.

4. Dr. Salvador’s Surgery

The game: Resident Evil 4

The rest of these entries are restricted to beheadings that are made badass largely by the fact that you, the player, are dishing them out. But this one is so unforgettable, so perfectly horrifying, that it just wouldn’t be right to exclude it.

Above: It’s also the only one to be immortalized in a game’s official art 

We’re talking, of course, about what happens if you allow the chainsaw-wielding, bag-headed Dr. Salvador to get too close to you. When Resident Evil 4 came out in early 2005, game baddies with chainsaws were nothing new. So the first time we saw Sal, we figured he’d just deal out some damage while Leon – at full health – unloaded a pistol point-blank in his face. We sure as hell weren’t expecting this:


Sure, there were plenty of other decapitations in the game, frequently delivered by creatures that were arguably even scarier than Dr. Salvador. But you never forget your first, especially not when it’s this humiliating and grotesque.


The game: Brutal Legend

<spoiler>Hey guys, guess what? At the end of Brutal Legend, the bad guy dies.</spoiler> We know, we know – you totally weren’t expecting that to ever happen.

Above: Aw, we thought this lovable mug was going to stick around forever 

But now that we’ve revealed that small chunk of the ending, we can get into how he dies: with the most metal execution in videogame history. After Emperor Doviculus louses up the game’s final battle with giant chicken-legged things and his own personal interference, he retreats to a cave to… hang from some chains. After doing his best to make the preceding fight miserable, it turns out Doviculus isn’t so tough one-on-one – and after he’s been beaten to a pulp, hero Eddie Riggs can finally give him what he deserves:

Swiping clean through his neck with a huge battleaxe just isn’t enough. Mirroring the end of the game’s first big boss fight, Eddie makes it stick by screaming one word in Jack Black’s signature wail – and it’s that that makes Doviculus’s head shoot straight up, spray gore everywhere and ruin all the carpets. That the whole ridiculous spectacle is in slow motion only makes it that much more gratifying.


Top 7


  • JackSkellingtonsSkin - February 14, 2011 10:51 p.m.

    So romantic
  • Thegynecologistwithchipmunkcheeks - February 14, 2011 10:52 p.m.

    Perfect for valentines day
  • Genocide4Jawas - February 14, 2011 11:02 p.m.

    I've played through RE4 a few times, but I've never seen the Dr. Salvador chainsaw death because I NEVER let those creepy fuckheads get close enough for that noise
  • Outlander - February 14, 2011 11:16 p.m.

    Wow. I had never played Duke Nukem 3d... I never knew he literally ripped someone's head off and shit down their neck. That's what valentines day should truly be about.
  • Hullonotna - February 14, 2011 11:17 p.m.

    Brilliant. The last 2 were epic, and the duke still has it. Can't wait to see what he does in DNF
  • Nin10DOH - February 14, 2011 11:20 p.m.

    I hope they have some of that badassery in Duke Nukem Forver. I'm sure it will though...
  • RicePuddingUK - February 14, 2011 11:21 p.m.

    Ha! I love how Duke Nukem is coming back everyones like "OMG Duke Nukem! Best series ever" and completely forgets everything else, like sheep! Never spoke about it before.
  • BigDannyH - February 14, 2011 11:22 p.m.

    RE4 bag head dude sawing off my loaf of bread is hands down the scariest thing I've experienced in a game. Agree with G4J, when you hear that saw ... peg it!
  • Yaro - February 14, 2011 11:30 p.m.

    @ RicePuddingUK Well to be fair the series was pretty much dead for the last decade. Anyway, awesome top 7 Mikel. I spit my drink at: Natural enemy: a helicopter. =)
  • juicenpancakes - February 14, 2011 11:38 p.m.

    Happy VD everybody! Yeah! The videos do so much for this article. Thanks for going the extra mile, Mikel. Here are some loving valentines for you that I found on some fantastic website:
  • batmanboy11 - February 14, 2011 11:39 p.m.

    Awesome list!
  • CancerMan - February 14, 2011 11:40 p.m.

    I personal favorite decapitation omitted from this list were the glaive decapitations in Dark Sector. Satisfying slow motion gore that never got old. Also that Legend Decapitation is fucking Metal!
  • fetalspray - February 14, 2011 11:48 p.m.

  • wiitard07 - February 15, 2011 12:10 a.m.

    I was hoping Eddie's decapitations would make it up to number 2 or one, but I love helios and Duke's! Also I think that the rapid tap A kills in Dead Space II where you put the Puker's head over your shoulder and rip it off, and the one where you pick up the pack and punch its head off deserve some love. Also from Dead Space II *MASSIVE SPOILER ALERT* The one where you fail to correctly use the Needle machine and it lifts Isaac's whole head off and the one where you javelin off Tiedman's head.
  • NightCrawler_358 - February 15, 2011 12:17 a.m.

    Awwwwwww, lovely! These were all great entries, I couldn't even think of some that I would've added! WAIT! the Demoman's Highlander sword in Team Fortress 2 decapitates every enemy it hits, so thats a pretty cool one too.
  • WickedSid - February 15, 2011 12:24 a.m.

    Eddie's was awesome, Kratos' was awesome, Duke's was the best and he tops it off with whistling his own theme song.
  • trojan12 - February 15, 2011 12:24 a.m.

    Duke doesn't lie when it comes to kicking ass!
  • deadpool125 - February 15, 2011 12:29 a.m.

    @#5: When the Gatekeeper to Hell asks you who sent you, Tell 'em it was Gunnery Chief Ashley Williams. I've been on a Mass Effect binge and only just noticed that Ashley and Shinobi have the same voice.
  • Pruman - February 15, 2011 12:45 a.m.

    No Dead Space? Something like 80% of the death animations in the game are decapitations. The Brute one in particular stands out as the most brutal for me.
  • Strangleme - February 15, 2011 12:51 a.m.

    GODDAMN this Top 7 is EXCELLENT!! I Love you mikel!! Happy Vagintines Day!!!

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