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You know who else was killed off? Harry ****ing Mason in Silent Hill 3. He'll always be the best protagonist of that series to me, but I wouldn't want him to just keep coming back simply for fanservice.
*End of Spoilers*
Before you die you see the Tails Doll---Backdrop Observer of the Metroid: Other M board Apparently Edward: Wise Old Sage of Korodai
but how's that make it any less "dark". That just makes it more unbelievable is all. Superman can be toned down too. Doesn't mean he's any darker and lighter than he was before.
I find your example is wrong edward but I get where you are coming from. Does it matter if it is a mass of zombies or parasite infected populace or another strain of virus to change how dangerous they are? What about something that can slice your head clean off your shoulders or a behemoth that can stomp you flat? Saying the series has lighten up is silly as the first game is imfamous for Barry's silly dialog.
I think even if these characters are major they can't live forever but it should do justice for the character example Jill's 'Death' in 5 would have done her justice if it did happen saving her partner from death against their major enemy.
http://www.youtube.com/user/Starsoulklr I'm an Ultra Nerd for Video Games so see what I've got for viewing.