Most storied games, while they generally have happy endings, are likely to see casualties along the way. These casualties can be minor, such as a nameless mook who vainly holds of an enemy army, to extreme, such as the main hero's best friend being shot in front of the hero's eyes. For the more major ones, they usually get some sort of major scene, complete with the works; sad music, the surviving characters breaking down, so on and so forth. The following is my own opinion of the Top 10 Deaths in gaming.

(MAJOR SPOILERS FOR VARIOUS GAMES BELOW THIS POINT. NUMBER 5 IN PARTICULAR IS ONLY ABOUT A MONTH OLD. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.)

The robot with a heart, E-102 starts off as your typical higher class badnik, until he meets Amy Rose and her flicky companion. Amy effectively teaches Gamma the meaning of the word empathy; an act that ultimately drives Gamma to rescue the animals trapped within the E-Series. At the end of his mission, Gamma, critically wounded, explodes, complete with sad music playing and all, and releases the final E-Series animal- the one within Gamma himself. For a Sonic scene, this is pretty dramatic... of course, its a matter of debate; was Gamma the robot, or the flicky within the robot, who lives on?

Tethe'alla's Chosen of Mana, Zelos comes off as a carefree playboy who doesn't take ANYTHING seriously... at first. Late in the game, if a specific choice at the game's major path branch is chosen, Zelos betrays the party, and you kill him in a boss fight, at the end of which he reveals where the bad guys are. On its own, its not horrible, but if you've seen his soulmate scenes, then you know, his playboy face is just that, a face. Deep within, Zelos feels his entire existance is nothing more than a sham, a literally forced life; when he betrays you, hes doing it for the sole reason of SUICIDE. Once you realize that, you realize how sad Zelos's death truely is.

Its THE spoiler for gaming, but that doesn't make the scene any sadder. Aeris/Aerith, the last of the Ancient Cetra race, joins you fairly early in the game, and is one of the most likeable characters in the entire party. Odds are, if you didn't know it was coming, you consistiently used her, not just for her battle prowess, but because she was a great character in general. By far the most gentle soul in the party, she won the hearts of everyone. Then she leaves to go do something only she can do... but Sephiroth follows her, and after manipulating Cloud and failing to kill her using him, Sephy does the deed himself. Aerith's theme kicks in, and continues playing, even over the boss fight that follows. Afterwards, your two non-Cloud members have their own reactions (Tifa and Yuffie are the best for the mood), and Cloud solemnly lays her to rest in the lake. Its depressing, and touches everyone who plays the game... every time.

Fon Master Ion, probably the sole innocent soul in the entirity of Tales of the Abyss. Throughout the game, hes always friendly, does everything in his power to help despite his frailty, uses his position as Fon Master (basically the pope) to help you when he can... no one can possibly bring themselves to hate Ion. Then his closest friend Anise's parents get kidnapped, and she is forced to take him to do something that would kill him. Naturally, your party gives chase to put a stop to it. It is ultimately a futile effort, however, as Ion begins to die in Luke's arms, but not before both giving Luke one more clue to saving the world, but taking a deadly poison from within Tear's body into his own, curing her while rendering his own final moments truely hell. Its heartwrenching, especially with what goes through Anise's mind after...

Noble. Valiant. Friend. All of these words describe Lavitz Slambert, Head of the 1st Knighthood of the Kingdom of Basil. Dart (and by extension the player) first meets him during Lavitz's jailbreak. When Dart tells Lavitz hes breaking IN to rescue his childhood friend Shana, Lavitz immediately postpones his own escape to assist Dart. Not too long after that, the party finds an impoverished family from Basil's enemy nation Sandora. Lavitz proceeds to invite the family to stay at his own home, further displaying his compassion. Acts like these continue for some time, each time rendering him more and more loveable to both the party and the player, to say nothing of his fantastic battle prowess. Then Lavitz's best friend, King Albert, is kidnapped, and Lavitz, like Dart before him, stages a raid on the prison to save him. Though Albert is ultimately saved, Lavitz is struck down along the way. It comes as a total shock, and lights the flames of revenge in literally everyone- Dart, Shana, Albert, stoic member Rose, then-newcomer Haschel, even the player.

Piers Nivans: The definition of a loyal soldier, and ultimately a good friend. Throughout Chris's story, Piers helps Chris overcome his amnesia, and helps Chris snap out of his revenge crusade thats resulting in the deaths of many of Chris's men. Piers's undying loyalty to Chris, even when he wants to do nothing more than punch Mr. Redfield square in the nose, show just how much he cares about his captain. By the 5th chapter, Chris is talking about retiring after that mission... and naming Piers as his successor. Its quite a fire forged bond. Then a giant BOW rips Piers's arm off and begins to strangle Chris. Piers's response? Inject himself with the virus, and use those powers to free Chris, and help take that BOW down. Then, with the last of his humanity, he forces Chris to escape the exploding base alone, and stays, dying in its destruction of his own free will, sacrificing himself not just for Chris, but for the world. It really elevates Piers from "likeable soldier" to "loveable character," and makes it that much sadder...

Sigurd, the holy blooded noble knight of Chalphy and loving father of Celice, spends half of the 1st generation of FE4 accused of treason. A blatantly false accusation, at that. After his wife vanishes without a trace, and Sigurd spends a year in hiding, he decides to return to Grandbell to clear his name once and for all. After defeating one of the men responsible for framing him, his sister and brother in law attempt to reinforce him, but are assassinated. Sigurd is, naturally, grief stricken, but carries on regardless. Finally, he reaches his friend Alvis, and is convinced that he'll finally be able to clear his name... until Alvis and his fire mages reveal their own deception. Sigurd's army is scattered to the wind, and Sigurd himself incinerated by Alvis's holy fire... the last thing Sigurd sees is that Alvis married his now-amnesiatic wife. To recap: Sigurd's wife vanishes, is declared a traitor, his sister and brother in law assassinated, his army decimated, and he himself incinerated by the man who stole his wife. Sigurd's fate is TRUELY heartbreaking.

Alys Brangwin, the Eight Stroke Warrior, is a compassionate (although it rarely shows) hunter, and is the mentor of the game's main hero, Chaz Ashley. Throughout the game, her simultaneous care and sarcastic wit makes her an endearing character. Then, during the mission to rescue the android Demi, the dark wizard Zio appears, and attempts to shoot Chaz with a black energy wave. Alys takes the hit for him, showing just how much she cares for him. Against all odds, she lives, although dark poison is eating away at her life. Chaz and company embark on a journey to find a legendary relic that had the potential to cure Alys. Not only do they find the relic, but they find Alys's old friend Rune, a wizard who could use the relic. Hope seems high... until the heroes return to Alys and learn that they were too late, and, after thanking Chaz one last time, Alys dies of her wounds, the party's hopes of saving her officially dashed to oblivion. Naturally, Zio becomes the target of revenge, but still, to paraphrase Linkin Park, you tried so hard, and got so far, but in the end, it didn't even matter. To know that is devestating...

Throughout both InFamous games, Zeke and Cole's like-brother friendship was tested in countless trials, and they withstood each and EVERY single one. Their bond seems absolutely unbreakable... then the final mission of 2 comes, and by now everyone knows that either the normal humans (Zeke) or the conduits (Cole) must die in order to save the other. By this time, there is no other alternative; one will live, and the other will die. Who depends on Cole's karmic allignment. Hero Cole, although it scares him to death, literally, chooses to sacrifice the conduits, including himself, to save humanity, and Zeke buries him at sea alone. Evil Cole decides to save the conduits, and Zeke becomes the last stand of humanity, forcing Cole to personally strike him down. Despite all the horror Cole commits on this path, hes visibly disturbed by this ONE particular act. Zeke and Cole... they may as well be brothers, but in the end, one is destined to die...

Zack Fair... a truely tragic tale. One of the nicest and friendliest SOLDIERs in the history of... well, ever, after several years of Test Tube Doom, breaks both himself and his best friend Cloud free, and decides to return to Midgar, home of Shinra, for one reason- to reunite with his beloved Aerith. Along the path, he overcomes many obstacles, and learns that even after the years following his "disappearance," his friends within Shinra, Tseng and Cissnei, still held true to him, trying from the shadows to assist where they can. Despite everything, however, on the last cliff overlooking Midgar, Zack is confronted by the Shinra army. despite ravaging their numbers, Zack is gradually overwhelmed, until one thought is literally all that keeps him going- "Aerith." Alas, that isn't enough to keep him going, and he is gunned down. With his dying breath, he entrusts Cloud with his legacy... between the music (The Price of Freedom) of the scene, the future foresight of any FF7 fan of how it will end, and the reactions of both Aerith (who feels his life fade due to her Cetra power) and Cloud, the entire scene is beyond heartbreaking, and by FAR the saddest death in gaming. It almost makes Aerith's own death happy; with it, Zack and Aerith are FINALLY reunited... just let that thought sink in...

There you have it. My opinion on the Top 10 Deaths in gaming. Wether you agree with my choices or not, I hope the list was a good read.

List by Smash Master (10/26/2012)

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