Mourn us or mock us
One thing that makes video games so great is the fact that death--a permanent end in the real world--is but a fleeting moment in a game. Because you're immortal in these virtual worlds, you're free to die and respawn however you so choose. Are you a soldier seeking a glorious death? Pit yourself against an endless horde of enemies on the highest difficulty. Always wanted to go out as a noble sacrifice? Stay behind in the enemy base to give your teammates the time to capture a flag. Trying to make a statement for pacifism? Refuse to fight back against your virtual aggressors.
But not every in-game death can be so righteous--in fact, most video game fatalities are pointless, forgotten mere moments after they occur. What's worse is when death could've easily been avoided; it's humiliating to fail where countless others prevailed. Then again, it can also be pretty hilarious. These are the seven most embarrassing deaths we've ever experienced, and we know they've happened to you, too.
7. Leaping to your death in an FPS
The object is to slay others, not yourself. But in the heat of a particularly impressive multi-kill, sometimes you just lose it. It being your pride, because you just sent your character sailing off a cliff or into the molten hot magma of a lava pit. Was it the sheer excitement that made you jump? Strafe shooting without watching where you were going? A desperate subconscious effort to escape the absurdity of war? Who knows--all you can say for certain is that your sharp-shooting hot streak has come to a most inglorious end.
To add insult to injury, a notification of your suicide has now popped up in the upper right-hand corner of every player's screen, and your kill count has dropped by one. Greenhorn FPS fans who never dabbled in Quake or Unreal Tournament only know a world where venturing beyond the boundaries of a map earns them a 15-second scolding before termination, but jumping off the edge of a building will always be fatal. To those that know this disgraceful death, we salute (and pity) you.
6. Being beaten by a button-masher in a fighting game
It's not like they're going to change it up. Spammers in fighting games have a very simple M.O.: find one particularly exploitable normal or special move, then repeat it ad nauseam until they win. You could argue that projectile spamming or bread-and-butter combos are a quintessential part of any 2D fighter, and you'd be right. But there's a difference between consciously keeping your opponent locked down with a barrage of fireballs, and chucking out plasma because it's all you know how to do.
At least fireball and shoryuken spam requires some knowledge of the special move inputs. It's far more dishonorable to be beaten by someone who opts to simply mash buttons and pray for a win. When you effectively KO yourself because you unsuccessfully tried to trade with Blanka's electricity, the resulting feeling can best be described as a mixture of self-hatred, fury, and abject misery.
5. Tripping over environmental hazards in a hack-'n'-slash
When you're playing a game like Diablo or Torchlight, you're in pursuit of a simple two-step feedback loop. Step 1: Click enemies. Step 2: Get loot. Elements like skill trees, companions, and lore are simply icing on the cake. You're mainly interested in becoming the most efficient killing machine possible--because when the monster death toll rises, your profits and stat bonuses go up.
What you're not so concerned with, however, are things in your environment that aren't gold-laden chests or slobbering fiends. Things like spike traps, poisonous gas clouds, exploding barrels, and electrified grates. But when your precious character dies to an inanimate pillar of flame, you'll finally understand that timeless adage: "Don't stand in the fire." We shudder to think of how many mythical champions lost their lives because they were staggering back and forth over deathtraps in a manner akin to Sideshow Bob.
4. Being slain by a braindead jungle creep in a MOBA
MOBAs are so intense, fun, and addicting because they pit player against player. Unlike a bot, there's no telling what your opponent is capable of--their next move might be just what you were expecting, or the complete opposite. But the creeps that populate the lanes are far more knowable, following a programmed set of rules and never straying from those directives. The neutral creeps that populate the jungle are even more docile, refusing to leave their designated area and totally ignoring your hero until you attack. You'd think that would make dying to jungle creeps virtually impossible.
You'd be wrong. Whether through hubris or inexperience, it's all too common for the team's designated jungler to die at the hands of a completely predictable automaton. Maybe you thought you could survive another hit; maybe you just weren't paying attention. But the worst part is what comes next: being publicly shamed by the announcer, your death to an AI being broadcasted for all to see. The resulting morale swing--your teammates shouting in disbelief while your opponents hurtfully mock you--is devastating. But hey, at least you're technically not feeding the enemy team.
3. Mistakenly assuming you were supposed to lose in an RPG
Consarn it, this fight is difficult. There's no way the designers intended for you to beat this boss, because no matter what you try, your opponent's health bar simply refuses to drop. So to move things along, you'll just lay down arms and let the enemy wail on you. Now let's see where the story takes us next, and--oh. You're just lying dead on the ground, because this is a Game Over screen.
RPGs have a tendency to put the player in unwinnable situations for the sake of tension, but like your mother always said, you should never assume. Otherwise, you just might doom your party members to a pointless death when the fight was about to turn in your favor. What's less shameful--but a far worse experience--is refusing to accept defeat when an encounter was designed to be impossible. Short of exploiting a bug or diving into the game's code and hacking your way to victory, nothing you do could help you accomplish such a Sisyphean undertaking.
2. Getting boxed in by a tower rush in an RTS
Scouting is such a huge part of strategy games for a reason: when you know what's coming, you can prepare. But why bother? This is bronze league, and you've already got enough to worry about--managing your build order, upping your APM--without sending a lone worker on a reconnaissance mission all over the map. Your opponent is probably thinking the same exact thing, opting to focus on a basic opening and worry about army composition later. But as you move to expand your base, a horrifying realization sets in, and despair overwhelms your entire being.
You've just been tower rushed, cornered by attack-capable structures being used as an encroaching offense instead of home turf defense (much like a medieval siege tower). You can try to assemble an army or repair your buildings all you want--it's as futile as a rat trying to escape an exit-less maze. And as the claustrophobia starts to strangle your resolve and your hand wavers over the Surrender button, it hits you: all this could've been prevented, if only you had checked to see what was happening two feet from your main base.
1. Dying to the first enemy of a platformer
There are so many ways it can happen. You forgot which button was jump. You were running too fast. You hit a block and bounced right into harm's way. You tried to jump on their head, but mistimed it. Your reaction speed sucks. But no matter how you slice it, nothing could be more embarrassing than running headfirst into the very first baddie of a 2D sidescroller. This was the easiest possible test that the game could throw your way, and you failed--hard.
If you can't even overcome a single enemy drone, what hope could you possibly have against the final boss? Perhaps there's a lesson to be learned here: the true value of a 1-Up, the frailty of a one-hit-and-you're-dead existence. And look at the bright side--you won't have to go very far to redeem yourself with a second chance. Even if you're too ashamed to admit it, everyone's died to the first Goomba at least once. The true measure of a gamer is what you do with that next life.
Today is a good day to die
Have you experienced these shameful deaths more times than you can count? We want to hear about all the terrible, comical, pitiable ways you've perished in a game, so leave a comment below telling us of your sordid tale.
And if you're looking for more great content, check out The Top 7... Innovative game consoles that didnt deserve to fail and Gamings biggest F MY LIFE! moments.