Lamest ways to die in a video game

One of the first, and harshest, lessons you learn when attempting to master your favorite games is how often — and in how many varied and unexpected ways — you die. Some of these deaths are so frustratingly absurd, you consider dropping the controller and taking up a new and personally-insulting hobby. We're here to dredge those up, and probably some unpleasant behind-the-controller memories on your part:

The Kings Quest series lets you trip over a cat to your death

The Kings Quest series is notable as both a classic adventure game, one of the earliest of its type with animation, and also being the brainchild of Roberta Williams, co-founder of Sierra Online and one of the earliest and most successful women video game designers. It's also important to learn Roberta's name because you will curse it frequently, whether because of the infamously asinine "Rumplestiltskin" puzzle, or simply due to the overabundance of humiliating ways to die in the Kings Quest game series.

One screen away from the castle where you start in the first Kings Quest, you can endure the humiliation of finding out — the hard way — that they only created one animation for moving a rock you find there. If you push it facing the wrong direction, it rolls right over you, regardless of physics. By the third game in the series, they crafted sublimely infurating deaths, including one where you trip over a wisecracking cat and fall to your death. Because cats are jerks.

On the other hand, this seems a far more likely way to die for some of us than we would rather admit.

Quest For Glory invites suicide by lockpick

Quest For Glory was created by Sierra Online, who also created Kings Quest, and the games share a penchant for sadistic ways to spectacularly fail and die. The game is distinctive from other Sierra titles by having a role-playing element, where you can choose classes and traits of your character that alter their fate. In this case, one of the classes offers the opportunity to see the most mind-numbingly stupid death in the entire game.

Committing suicide in games by using weapons and such on your character isn't a particularly new, or startling, gameplay development. Sometimes it really seems like game designers get bored of plotting out seemingly endless combinations of items and uses, and really want to drive home that using items in certain ways is dumb and you should be punished for being dumb enough to try it. And as such, we have this one: to pull this ridiculous death off, you have to select the thief character, take your trusty lockpick, and … use it on yourself. Despite all the training you must have acquired in the use of this device, being a thief and all, your character decides to haphazardly jam it into their nasal cavity, puncturing their brain and ending it all immediately. Because screw you, and screw making sense.

The NES Transformers game sets you up to immediately fail

The Transformers: Mystery Of Convoy is a Japanese-release only NES game that's resurrected as a cutesy phone-app game and an anime, nearly three decades after it's release because of course it has. You play the Autobot Ultra Magnus, a character nobody has ever even tried to care about, and your quest is to find out who killed the way-cooler character he does a terrible job of replacing: Optimus Prime. The game was created to segue the plot between the second and third series of the cartoon because Transformers: The Movie wasn't released in Japan until the late '80s, and you couldn't hop onto the internet to find out why everyone's favorite character was dead and replaced with robots nobody heard of.

If you weren't extremely careful, someone would have to find out who killed Ultra Magnus too, and we're not talking about his gruesome death toned down for the movie. The NES game has always been noted for its extreme difficulty, and doesn't let up from the very literal beginning. Because during Ultra Magnus' entry into Stage 1, you can be shot down by planes before your introductory music even finishes playing, if you don't react immediately. You can easily use up all three lives in under twenty seconds. There's brutal, and there's getting a "Game Over" screen in less time than it takes to give the Universal Greeting.

In Sonic CD, you can commit suicide out of boredom

Sonic The Hedgehog is known for going fast. It's his raison d'etre, and why Sega fans had to pretend "Blast Processing" was an actual thing for an embarrassing part of the '90s. From the very first game, Sonic has expressed his disdain for your slow, not-blast-processed ways, stomping his feet and glaring at you to get with the program if you hesitate too long without hitting a button.

Normally, you would down some Sonic-shaped Spaghetti-Os like in the terrifying psychedelic commercials, and get with the program. In Sonic CD, however, they take advantage of the new system platform to express how thoroughly done with your crap they are. After a long-enough period of inactivity, Sonic completely loses his will to live, yells "I'm outta here!" and dives through the fourth wall to his death and an immediate endgame. And like … is there a sound of children cheering his suicide on? That's … morbid.

Killer Instinct has a boob-based fatality

Now, to certain folks, this death probably doesn't seem so lame. In fact, you might even welcome such a way to go. But bear (bare?) with us for a second.

Let's start with the execution. Orchid is clearly wearing some sort of full-body one-piece sports outfit in all the game closeups. The fatality includes the sound of a zipper that isn't there, and whipping open a jacket-like top that doesn't doesn't match up with how the outfit is put together. But let's say you find that forgivable. Even still, many of the opponents — like robots and ice monsters — just don't seem like they'd normally be responsive to something like this. One is actually a totally well past dead-as-dirt skeleton. And yet, somehow, the skeleton suddenly has eyes that bug out of his head. Seems like a bit of a wasted opportunity not to have used the bug-eyed animation go full Looney Tunes with the werewolf, since we're apparently okay with completely sacrificing the dignity of all the characters.

Night Trap lets you snatch defeat right from the fanged jaws of victory

Night Trap is basically Five Nights At Freddy's if you exchanged the animatronic creatures for cyberpunk vampire things, a house rather than a pizza restaurant, and most of the plot with extremely soft-core porn involving Z-list television actresses in tiny, grainy full-motion video. So maybe it's really nothing like FNAF, besides the whole game being seen through security camera footage.

It was a big, literally being discussed in the US Senate, deal for a few months, and then mostly forgotten once gamers realized it was mostly about getting lectured by Dana Plato from Diff'rent Strokes, coupled with dry ice effects and "vampires" that looked like extras from an X-Files porn knockoff. So it's not a great game, but it does offer the unique opportunity to ruin everything you've done at the very last possible moment! After setting off booby traps throughout the house to get rid of all the vampires Plato's character — an agent of SCAT (Sega/Special Control Action Team, you filthy children) — steps through one of the traps on her way out of the house after congratulating you. Guess what? You now have the chance to trap her on her way out the door, which rewards you with a screaming guilt-trip, a hilarious animation of her tumbling into who-knows-maybe-outer-space, and a game over right in the middle of what should have been your successful ending. So, maybe not something to brag about.

In The Sims 2, they just embrace that you want to kill your character

The Sims is a wholesome, if kinda baffling when you think about it, game at its core. You create a for-the-most-part fairly normal character, and live out a for-the-most-part normal life: going to work, furnishing your home, looking for companionship. It's not really a game where outright murder comes to mind, but gamers being the kind of people they are, it sort of became a thing.

With the very first game, it was difficult, but not impossible, to kill off your character. You could electrocute yourself with mishandled appliances or catch a disease from a pet you refused to clean up after, but it was mostly punitive stuff for extreme negligence. Players, of course, took this as a challenge, inventing elaborate Saw-like traps to torture Sims to death. They might delete doors from a house on fire, or just delete doors in general, trapping the Sim so they slowly starve to death. A quicker, and more popular, way involved inviting everyone in the neighborhood over for a pool party, and then selling the pool ladder so they can never, ever get out.

But those were technically glitches. By Saw– er, Sims 2, the creators included all sorts of goofy ways to kill off your character, to the point where your character can't even look at the sky too long, without a satellite falling out of the sky and crushing them. Maybe it's a bit … overkill? Ha ha, be sure to tip your waitress we're not even done with the article yet.

Never dig straight down in Minecraft

Minecraft is an open-world game that is nearly twice as big as the world the people playing it actually live on. You can do … pretty much anything there, within the functional limitations of the game's internal physics. People have manipulated the physics of said world to build working computing machines that can save and load their own data … in a world essentially saved on the hard drive of their own computing machine (*insert Inception sound effect here).

One thing you should never, ever do, however, is dig straight down. You almost wonder why they even included the ability in the game because it leads to certain doom (maybe that's why). You could plunge through the roof of a gigantic cavern and fall to your death or, if you're more industrious and lucky(???) you could dig yourself into the lava core of the planet. It's … pretty bad news, either way.

Don't even dip your toes in the water in Halo

You've heard of Halo. We've all heard of Halo. It's an insanely popular first-person shooter that you pretty much can't escape hearing about at this point. You play a biochemically and cybernetically enhanced supersoldier fighting a species of oppressive theocratic aliens, but that requires plot and we just care about killing things and hopefully not getting shot while dipping our crotches in the face of people we killed.

Yeah, that. Water kicks your soldiers' booty worse than it does Mario's. With all this fancy augmentation, it's startling how even getting ankle-deep in water kills you dead. Maybe stuff a couple of floaties in that armor or something?

Fail a simple cut scene in Dead Space 2, die horribly

Dead Space 2 has a lot of ridiculous death scenes, seemingly because the programmers found themselves wondering what would happen if you just decided to leap into a giant fan that happens to be part of the background scenery.

The one that we're talking about, however, is actually pretty avoidable. It's part of a cut scene that you have to complete to move forward in the game, and in the video, you can see the player actively avoiding the blue highlights indicating the proper time to advance the memory-wiping device. If you go to the trouble to screw up this incredibly simple mini-game, you are "rewarded" with a gratuitous shot of the device suddenly gouging its way into the player's eye and through his skull. Which, honestly, is the sort of thing you were probably hoping for, screwing up a mini-game that insures eye trauma either way. Weirdo.

Mass Effect 2: maybe don't hook up with a sex vampire serial killer

In Mass Effect 2, depending on gameplay, you could find yourself dealing with a character called Morinth. She is an Ardak-Yakshi, or "Demon Of The Night Winds," a cursed subset of Asari that are compulsive "sex vampires." Due to a genetic defect, any attempt to procreate with an Ardak-Yakshi leads to a neurological overload, bringing paralysis or death to the partner. In the game, she is known as a serial killer.

These are all things you already know in advance. Yet you still have the option to seduce her, if you hate either yourself (or this game) enough. All it takes is engaging in some extremely cringey dialog that has about a dozen red flags last time we checked, and then you "hook up." By which we mean you don't even get to kiss her before you start twitching and die painfully. What a rip off.