The Top 7... Badass beheadings

2. Neck Rip

The game: God of War III

Of all the Greek gods that get torn to pieces over the course of God of War III, Helios is one of the more satisfying. Not because he particularly deserves it, or even because he tries to trick Kratos into obliterating himself in the Flame of Olympus. It’s because he’s got this faintly arrogant, golden-frat-boy thing going on that makes the more mean-spirited players desperately want to take him down a peg or two.

Above: To be fair, you’d probably be a little arrogant too, if your job was to drive the goddamn sun around all day 

What Kratos does takes him down a lot more pegs than that, of course. After shooting the sun god’s chariot out of the sky with a huge ballista, Kratos allows Helios and his horses to be crushed in the hand of a giant, lava-skinned Titan, who then hurls the whole mess into a distant cliffside. He then eviscerates all of Helios’s surviving guards, repeatedly stomps his face, and then slowly, excruciatingly pulls his head off.

Apparently he does this just to be a bastard, because he had two perfectly good blades the whole time. Not that we’re complaining; Helios’s decapitation, with its stretching strands of skin and tearing flesh, helped God of War set a new bar in videogame gore, and also managed to be one of the standout gaming moments of 2010. It’s so incredibly brutal that, no matter how many times we see it, it never, ever seems to get old.

1. A Promise Fulfilled

The game: Duke Nukem 3D

In the end, it could only be this one. Out of all the many, many decapitations games have seen over the years, this is unquestionably the most badass – not just in the sense that it’s raw and exhilarating, but also in the sense that a very bad thing happens, and it involves ass.

Above: Out of bubblegum, perhaps, but not out of ass 

There’s nothing particularly remarkable about the fight against the Overlord at the end of Duke Nukem 3D’s second episode. The thing barely even resembles a proper boss, looking more like an unimaginative piece of crap with a huge, toothy head and rocket launchers strapped to its hunched back.  However, it’s the threat that Duke yells at the start of the fight – “I’ll rip your head off and shit down your neck!” – that makes this so special. Mainly because, once the thing has been pummeled into submission, he does exactly that.

We’re not about to argue the relative shitting-venue merits of traditional toilets versus messy alien tracheas, or waste any time thinking about just how much Duke must have had to wipe before it was safe to put his pants back on. It made a point, and it helped cement Duke3D’s status as the silliest, most kickass game of its generation. What’s more, this wasn’t just a nasty decapitation – it was the first instance of a game hero defiling a corpse AND taking an on-camera dump, making it something truly historic.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody!

Feb 14, 2011

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Top 7


  • Mezolitik - September 20, 2011 4:49 a.m.

    That Salvador one was horrifying. I remember being totally stunned when I first saw it. The one in the special mode (I can't remember its name; 'kill lots of enemies 'til the time runs out') was infinitely worse though; he was bigger and he could run, IIRC. Also, for sheer hilarious violence, what about the Power Fist decapitation in Fallout 3? Veronica, in particular, literally punches raiders' heads off.
  • CoppertopJohnson - February 19, 2011 9:52 p.m.

    I've always been very partial to Mortal Kombat, myself. Good stuff, Mikel.
  • Zeb364 - February 17, 2011 10:33 p.m.

    And THAT is why Duke is the man.
  • oryandymackie - February 16, 2011 12:29 p.m.

    I remember being beheaded by Dr. Salvador. I dropped my controller and sat, for about five minutes, open-mouthed, before turning off the PS2.
  • philipshaw - February 15, 2011 4:21 p.m.

    This is the best top 7 of this year, great job Mikel
  • AntistasMetroid - February 15, 2011 4:21 p.m.

    Mr.Reparaz, your features never cease to amaze. Hit me up for some dracler huntin' some time...
  • The_Tingler - February 15, 2011 1:55 p.m.

    Could you guys remove the Sponsor Ads that last twice as long as the clips? Thank you.
  • jmcgrotty - February 15, 2011 1:18 p.m.

    How do people keep dying to Salvador. By no means am I world class player, bit he's never killed me.
  • snothammer - February 15, 2011 9:56 a.m.

    Dr. Salvador's decapitation made failing in RE4 so goddamn satisfying. I don't think I've ever been so pleased to die in a videogame. My former boss has that official art poster, and it makes me jealous.
  • JBizFoShiz - February 15, 2011 8:57 a.m.

    Does nobody else think of Sunny Delight when Helios says "Feel the power *of the sun*!" I must have ripped his head off 7 or 8 times last year, and always loved the tearing of flesh and subtle product placement for orange drink.
  • Lionzest7 - February 15, 2011 6:19 a.m.

    Guess all the heads popping off in Ninja Gaiden 2 were not noted? lol
  • Genericpenisjoketista - February 15, 2011 6:17 a.m.

    I was hoping to see Brutal Legend's decapitation at #1, but after watching the two that placed higher than it... I can see why they did. This was an excellent article and I enjoyed reading every last bit of it. Especially the reasoning behind why Duke was at #1. "Because something very bad happens, and it involves an ass." Stay awesome, Mikel.
  • DangerZone723 - February 15, 2011 3:14 a.m.

    Brutal Legend should have been at least #2. I haven't laughed that hard at a game in... well, forever.
  • keltar93 - February 15, 2011 2:44 a.m.

    Once again, GamesRadar finds a far-fetched excuse to attach a great Top 7 to a special event. I fully expect the DECAPITAAAAYYYYYSSHUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUN!!!(perfectly qouted, fetalspray) to become a TalkRadar sound effect
  • theintellectual - February 15, 2011 2:26 a.m.

    nothing to fight the valentines day blues like watching somebody get their heads violently torn off.
  • Yeager1122 - February 15, 2011 1:44 a.m.

    Truely what valentines day is all about ripping peoples heads off.
  • Bitmun - February 15, 2011 1:16 a.m.

    Obligatory; what about this little number from Bayonetta? Nothing like ripping off the head of a god, especially since he's been a massive prick to you throughout the entire first quarter of the game. Still, good list, very fun read. The videos were nice.
  • 510BrotherPanda - February 15, 2011 1:09 a.m.

    Thanks Mikel; the Brutal Legend and Duke ones cheered my lonely self right up!
  • Japanaman - February 15, 2011 12:57 a.m.

    What? No mention of Reptile's fatality from MKII where he pulls your head off with his tongue. That HAS to be the best beheading ever!
  • Strangleme - February 15, 2011 12:51 a.m.

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

Showing 1-20 of 39 comments

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