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The Top 7... Deadliest shark attacks

In real life, everyone knows sharks are perfectly lovely creatures that hold down good jobs, drive responsibly in hybrid cars, and almost never prey on humans. In popular media, however, they’re vicious aquatic bastards who like nothing better than to sneak up on unsuspecting swimmers and devour them as gruesomely as possible, preferably in front of an audience.


Above: You know, like this 

Videogame sharks are no exception, and knowing they exist makes us a little nervous every time a game asks us to take a swim through some murky water. That’s because when sharks actually do show up, it usually means you’re about to be on the receiving end of some potentially terrifying, instant-kill bite action in an environment where you’re damn near helpless. And if the game knows what it’s doing, it’ll try and menace you a little first.

Naturally, some games pull this off better than others. What follows are some of the creepiest, bloodiest and most memorable incidents of sharks swimming up to ruin (or improve) our fun.


7. OKAMI


Site of incident:
The Sunken Ship

This particular “attack” doesn’t really fit the traditional mold of a shark swimming up and biting your shit off, but we’re including it for two very important reasons. First, it’s yet another excuse for us to shoehorn Okami into a list article and remind you that you, personally, are to blame for its commercial failure. Second, its shark is nasty.


Above: Oh boy, we can’t wait to take a swim with that thing 

Showing up late in the game, the armored shark Ichiro is the horrific offspring of Jiro and Saburo, two bizarre half-shark, half-crab creatures that embody everything wrong and squishy about marine animals. As if they weren’t gross enough on their own, they’ll fuse together the next time you see them, combining their sharky parts to make one big, armored monstrosity that will then act like he’s going to eat you.

Aside from being hideous and unnatural, he’s also fast and aggressive, although he forgoes traditional chomping in favor of leaping out of the water and attempting to belly-flop heroines Amaterasu and Rao to death.


Above: Less scary than being eaten, but still pretty deadly 

The beast seems tough until you get his armor off, at which point he can be easily subdued by just painting cherry bombs into his general vicinity until he goes belly-up. It’s a disappointingly swift end for one of the game’s creepier bosses, but Ichiro did his job – which, for the record, was to give us the heebie-jeebies before we found out just how little he was capable of. Here, watch him in action:

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6. ECCO THE DOLPHIN: DEFENDER OF THE FUTURE


Site of incident:
A small lagoon walled in by a large reef

In spite of being created by the same studio that would later be responsible for undersea gorefest Jaws Unleashed, Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future is often fondly remembered as a bright, happy adventure filled with soothing New Age music and friendly sea life.


Above: HAPPY! 

So it’s sometimes easy to forget that you spend a lot of time dogfighting with sharks. In fact, one of the first – and most frightening – challenges young Ecco has to face is a battle with a Great White shark so massive that it would probably be classified as an extinct Megalodon by any sane measure.


Above: Also it has theme music that’s like the theme from Jaws, but with more quiet menace 

Making matters worse, you have to taunt it into chasing you through a narrow passage. And as any shark expert can tell you, agitating a giant predator on purpose is absolutely the best idea ever. It’s such a good idea, in fact, that the shark is almost guaranteed to eat you the first several times you try it.


Above: Better known as the “SHIT-SHIT-SHIT-SHIT-cam” 

In case you’re wondering, Ecco’s main reason for challenging this enormous bastard in the first place is to steal its “Power of Vigor,” which he will eventually use to fight invading aliens. First, though, he has to snatch it from this thing’s mouth…


Above: Oh hell no 

Which will most often result in this:


Above: Ha ha, it’s like he’s smoking a dolphin cigar 

It’s far from the bloodiest or most shocking shark attack we’ve ever seen, but in terms of raw, sustained terror? If you cringe at the thought of dipping your toes into a shark tank, then going head-to-head with this monster is a recipe for heart palpitations, no matter how many times you tell yourself that it’s just a game and you’re being stupid. For further proof, here’s some video footage of the ordeal:

80 comments

  • megalodon - August 20, 2012 8:20 a.m.

    certainly the Mistake that leads to the Shark eating Batman or catwoman in the penguins lounge area of Batman Arkham City deserves to be mentioned
  • valiz - August 14, 2012 3:05 a.m.

    I feel a bit cheated, where is Hungry Shark? :(
  • FanofSaiyan - December 7, 2009 4:13 a.m.

    Do the Jak & Daxter and Ratchet & Clank series count?
  • Chippie17 - October 26, 2009 7:23 p.m.

    Think your missing the one from Super Mario Galaxy xD
  • Kytl - October 6, 2009 12:29 a.m.

    so many sharks in video games these days, even Monster Hunter 3, though you have a giant sword or other weapons with you so no problem
  • AngryScotsman - August 11, 2009 12:25 p.m.

    Jawesome.
  • STR33TFiR3 - August 9, 2009 12:53 a.m.

    I didn't know that those menacing sharks could be actually killed in crysis. Time for a sweet revenge, huh?
  • noobeater - August 7, 2009 11:35 p.m.

    great article...megladon pfft thats nothing google: lipluradon or suming like tha. not a shark but biggest carnivore ever to live ...during age of dinosaurs in the sea.
  • Teh_Ty - August 5, 2009 4:41 p.m.

    I remember an arcade game from a while ago that was a railroad shooter, and the main enemy was sharks, and the bosses were mythical creatures and one was a HUGE shark. That boss was awesome. The last boss was impossible. It was posiden. [sp?]
  • zIndianaJonesz - August 5, 2009 12:06 a.m.

    they seem to be scary along with the game itself jaws unleashed was pretty bad crysis was even worse
  • Conman93 - August 4, 2009 10:54 p.m.

    This isn't really relevent to the article,but bear with me... This is aimed at South Park viewers.Have u ever noticed that whenever anyone in South Park goes into a game store, u can see the boxart of Okami on the shelves. I wonder why that is ?
  • IIIJabbaIII - August 4, 2009 8:47 p.m.

    I love how the song in scarface says "past the point of no return" right when you stop and get gobbled up XD
  • TreeBird1 - August 4, 2009 8:24 p.m.

    Who'd have ever thought being a video game character could be so perilous?!
  • YuGiOhisbetterthanMagic - August 4, 2009 7:36 p.m.

    i want cyisis now...=(
  • GamesRadarMikelReparaz - August 4, 2009 5:55 p.m.

    @dante1924: I'll cover that on Thursday.
  • silvereye - August 4, 2009 3:12 p.m.

    A SHARK TOOK DOWN A F***ING HELICOPTER! I dont care how crap that game is, Im going to get a copy just to blow up helicopter
  • stroypa - August 4, 2009 2:13 p.m.

    you didn't include banjo kazooie!!!
  • HowardRoark - August 4, 2009 1:15 p.m.

    "Above: GODDAMMIT I’M A SHARK WHAT THE HELL DO THOSE WORDS SAY" I fucking died. That was hilarious. recatcha: rhombus Nishii
  • Unoriginal - August 4, 2009 12:37 p.m.

    This reminds me of when I was just a tiny 12 year old baby. I was playing the Mario 64 water level for the first time and my friend told me there was a shark in there somewhere. I exited the level and didn't finish that level until last year on the DS, I was that afraid of sharks. Great article and thanks for the nostalgia.
  • Glides - August 4, 2009 12:20 p.m.

    Wow that shark attack in Ecco is disturbing... 48th

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