The lights are on
If you're a gamer, you've watched your in-game character die thousands of times. You've fallen down pits, been riddled with bullets, exploded, and decapitated, but most of the time your character respawns at the last patch of safe ground. However, a playable character dying as part of the game's story is something that's become more and more frequent over the last couple of generations. As the industry's storytelling methods have progressed, we've seen several instances of a protagonist's death as a plot device. Take a look as we remember some of our fallen heroes.
Major spoilers ahead, obviously.
Sgt. Paul Jackson - Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
You may not remember his name, but you definitely remember Sgt. Jackson's death in Call of Duty 4. During his company's attempted escape of a deadly LZ, a nuclear blast causes their helicopter to crash. Jackson initially survives the crash, but the sluggishness of the controls as he crawls indicates to the player that he's in very rough shape. He dies on the ground while looking at the wreckage and mushroom cloud that the nuke created. Gamers loved this moment, and apparently Infinity Ward did too considering they did the same thing twice in the sequel.
Commander Shepard - Mass Effect 2
While this is simply a possible outcome, it's a permanent one if it happens to be how Mass Effect 2 ended for you. If certain conditions are met during your playthrough, the commander will barely make a jump onto the Normandy SR-2 as you escape with Joker. Realizing he's not going to make it, he tells Joker to leave him and pilot the ship. Shepard's grip loosens, and he plunges to his death below. If you go into Mass Effect 3 after this happens, you'll essentially be starting from scratch without any of your previous Shepard's decisions affecting the new game.
Crono – Chrono Trigger
Since Crono is a silent protagonist, players find it easy to put
themselves in his shoes and imagine that they are the ones hopping
through time. That kind of identity projection works great when Crono’s
saving the world…but not when the spikey-haired hero gets vaporized by
the world-consuming Lavos. Getting erased from time isn’t typical gamer
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Noble Six from Halo:Reach?
The third and final death of Big Boss was pretty epic, imo.
Despite being able to restart, I always felt bad when getting eaten by a flower in Mario.