Huge story spoilers follow for Assassins Creed: Odyssey, Dante’s Inferno, LA Noire, Life is Strange: Before the Storm and Red Dead Redemption 2.

I rarely play games that make me feel sad. This isn’t just because I’m a hollow shell, devoid of normal human emotion with tear ducts only capable of dispensing dust and dead flies, but also because I don’t seek out games to make me feel this way. It should serve as a powerful reminder of the strength of great storytelling that the deaths in this list were totally crushing. Unless you skimmed past the spoiler warning at the beginning of this list, you may already have some idea of who I am going to be talking about (and mourning) this week.

Last chance. Big spoilers ahead.

5) Dante Alighieri – Dante’s Inferno

Yes, Dante dies at the start of the game and so the setting for this entire entry is the Inferno itself. The death I am referring to is the lack of a sequel for this game that it thoroughly deserved. The game ends with the cliffhanger ending of Dante cheating Lucifer and escaping Hell, only to be followed into Purgatory by a snake, hinting that Lucifer may have been able to pursue him from Hell.

Many gamers like me spent years hoping for a following game that would find Dante battling through Purgatory (we didn’t try to think of why) with his scythe and holy magic projecting crucifix but unfortunately this never materialised, and it is doubtful at this stage that it ever will.

4) Cole Phelps – LA Noire

I’ll say it. Cole Phelps’ late game story arc and death were nothing short of lazy writing. The rising star in the L.A.P.D., Cole Phelps was on a mission to clear up the streets of Los Angeles, and to rigidly stick to his principles while doing it. Hours and hours later of chasing down perp’s, interrogating suspects and resisting the temptation to become yet another ‘dirty cop’, this intriguing and rewarding story ends with Cole being killed by flood water in a storm drain.

I wasn’t even going to mention the plot twist crowbarred in that he was cheating on his wife, but now I’m so annoyed again that I have to bring it up! I genuinely don’t get how Rockstar could have thought this would be an appropriate end to such an originally well written and very likeable character, and one of the main reasons I haven’t bothered picking up the current gen remaster of this title is because of the disservice they did to Cole Phelps in the LA Noire’s final act.

3) Brasidas – Assassins Creed: Odyssey

Brasidas was a great character in Odyssey, and deserved a long, rewarding retirement after his years of military service for Sparta. He died as Spartan warriors wish to, cut down in glorious combat by a foe who bested him one on one. Butchered by Deimos, wielding Brasidas’ own spear, in a ruthless and brutal conclusion to their battle.

Whilst being far from a particularly deep or complex character that you meet on your odyssey, Brasidas was one of the few characters I liked enough to not want to disappoint with dialogue choices, so often sided with him when given the chance. His death shouldn’t have come as a surprise, yet it did, and I was sad when his time came to be killed off. I enjoyed his appearance in the second part of the Fate of Atlantis DLC, but as he appears as but a shell of his former self, doomed to wander Hades for eternity, he’s hardly as fun a character as he was when still alive.

2) William Price – Life is Strange: Before the Storm

Throughout my playthrough of the first Life is Strange I was always confused as to why Chloe held Max moving away against her so much. It was far from Max’s choice, and also not the latters’ fault that Chloe lacks the people skills to make any real friends. I wasn’t overly enthused by the opportunity to play as Chloe in Before the Storm but was intrigued enough to see what ideas this prequel would bring to the table.

Sadness, as it turns out. Sadness, and more sadness. At the end of Before the Storm, Chloe is faced with the double gut punch that not only is her best friend moving away, but also that her father has been suddenly killed in a car crash.

Remember when I said I was confused why Chloe held Max leaving against her? As it turns out it is because the funeral for William Price is barely over before Max is whisked away by her parents to a new life in a new city. While this can’t have been easy for Max, Chloe was suddenly thrust into a world where she had nothing. Her mother eventually started dating a man she loathed, adding more fuel to the fire, and Chloe was left stranded in a maelstrom of angst, depression and fury.

Not the most cheerful of entries I know, but it’s about to get a whole lot worse.

1) Arthur Morgan – Red Dead Redemption 2

Full disclosure: I am playing through Red Dead Redemption 2 at the moment, and have just had the plot twist where Arthur discovers that he has tuberculosis; and not long to live. I know from conversations with friends in the past that he eventually succumbs and dies to his illness, but damn it I will not allow it. I’m putting the story of Red Dead Redemption 2, which I love, on the backbench for a while so I can just roam around exploring the stunningly beautiful open world the game has to offer, and making the most of my time with Arthur.

I haven’t played the first Red Dead Redemption so I am on the fence as to my view of John Marston, who takes over after Arthur’s death. I haven’t been overly keen on him in his appearances thus far in the game, but I am assured this is deliberate on Rockstar’s part and that he isn’t supposed to become likeable until later on. Be that as it may, I’m still not ready to say goodbye to this brilliant character, though let’s set a date for me to continue the story and accept Arthur’s end. How about the 35th of never?

Thank you for reading this list of video game character deaths that were completely devastating. I promise I won’t be so grim about next weeks’ topic, as it’s impossible to be after this week, and so I will speak to you then.

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