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  1. #1
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    Have you ever been emotionally affected by death in a game?

    Hello all.

    I registered here to make this post. I'm not sure if jumping straight in with a question like this is acceptable around these parts but I'll have to take the risk. Please forgive me if this is an egregious overstep.
    I'm someone who makes games and thinks about them a great deal. One of the other things I am doing is recording a podcast with some friends. We're talking about death in our next episode.

    In that vein I would love to hear some stories from the RPS hive mind about affecting game deaths. This is a mechanic which is thoroughly entrenched in our medium - our characters deal death and they often die themselves. Once they died so we would spend some more money, now they die as part of the complex and interleaved mechanical structures which provide incentive for our continued efforts. Do we ever feel for their deaths? When has the death of a character in a game affected you emotionally?

    Warning - Mass Effect related spoilers ahoy

    Double Warning - as has been rightly pointed out this whole place is crawling with spoilers for dozens of games. If you are plot-sensitive run awaaaaay

    **Naturally if we talk about your story you will be notified and credited.
    Last edited by mrfox; 25-04-2012 at 11:14 AM.

  2. #2
    Moderator QuantaCat's Avatar
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    Yes. Shepard. Seriously.
    - Tom De Roeck.

    verse publications & The Shopkeeper, an interactive short.

    "Quantacat's name is still recognised even if he watches on with detached eyes like Peter Molyneux over a cube in 3D space, staring at it with tears in his eyes, softly whispering... Someday they'll get it."

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    The whole thread is massive spoilers of nearly everything, turn back now!
    Quote Originally Posted by QuantaCat View Post
    Yes. Shepard. Seriously.
    Shep didn't die!
    Legion, I was okay with, but it was still moving. The Salarian not so much.
    Last edited by Heliocentric; 24-04-2012 at 05:57 PM.
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
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  4. #4
    Lesser Hivemind Node TillEulenspiegel's Avatar
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    I'm often emotionally affected by books, film, and television. But games? Ehhh.

    I know I've missed a few good story-based games, but I'm struggling to remember one I actually played that made some kind of impact.

    Oh, I know. One Chance. That was surprisingly effective. If you haven't seen it before, go play it. I'd rather not spoil it.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    Eli's death was amazingly well crafted. I even said a "no!" out loud.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus duff's Avatar
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    Yes, mine in Tribes Ascend.

  7. #7
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    Yes Once Chance was an interesting one - thanks for reminding me.

    Any detail anyone wants to go into would be particularly incredible.

    I used to play Creatures - the original (I played the sequel but suddenly norns had added words like potassium and desperate to their vocabulary and some of the charm drained away).. I must have been about 12 when this game came out - let me tell you I took this stuff seriously. One particular matriarch passed away - I remember being very affected by that.

    But then I also used to spawn whole Albions with no player interference at all just to see what would happen. I called them 'wolfling' runs. Children are curious things.

  8. #8
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    No. Well, once Ira died in an ironman game and I was quite sad because she was my only medic. Also, does that already dead ghost chick in PST count? That was kind of sad, I guess.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tikey View Post
    Eli's death was amazingly well crafted. I even said a "no!" out loud.
    I know I at least visibly winced. That one still stings, all the more so because it's functionally the end of the series. It's as bad as Farscape...

  10. #10
    Lesser Hivemind Node Keep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TillEulenspiegel View Post
    I know I've missed a few good story-based games, but I'm struggling to remember one I actually played that made some kind of impact.
    Same. I sometimes play something that makes me feel I'm being railroaded toward a specific emotional reaction, and it just makes me wanna cry "Games don't work like that!"

    But the craft's always refining. I'm hopeful it'll crystallise before long.
    Free speech don't mean unchallengeable speech.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Smashbox's Avatar
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    Sorry, but we don't use spoiler tags anymore? What the fuck, people.
    Last edited by Smashbox; 24-04-2012 at 06:33 PM.

  12. #12
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    One of the outcomes on Rannock in ME3 is quite grim. Also I would have felt quite bad had I shot a certain person in the back, but I couldn't go through with it. Other than that I can't think of very much. There was a relatively minor character who died in the online gamebook Sryth that made me quite sad. Gamebooks tend to have more emotional power over me than most games, and also he had survived very dangerous situations to die in a relatively "generic" fight, and that sort of thing always gets me.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus coldvvvave's Avatar
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    Malik from DX:HR( not really a spoiler since it's possible to save her). I chose not to invest into augs and never killed anyone since I assumed Jensen to be a more nonlethaltakedown guy than JC. But Malik's death, I dunno. I reloaded a save and killed everyone, even invested into Typhon( bye, my humanity). Obviously, that was intended by a writer or someone and I knew that, but guess it worked.

    Other than hers, I dunno, I never resume games like JA2 or Valkyria Chromicles after losing a squaddie, I just reload.

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Hypernetic's Avatar
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    Other than raging in multiplayer games? No, not really. Maybe for a few seconds "in the moment" while playing the game, but nothing beyond that.

  15. #15
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    Only one time, which was in ME3 when I chose to kill someone.
    Didn't start crying or anything, but it was quite heavy and I took deep breaths for a while and felt bad about myself.

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coldvvvave View Post
    Malik from DX:HR( not really a spoiler since it's possible to save her). I chose not to invest into augs and never killed anyone since I assumed Jensen to be a more nonlethaltakedown guy than JC. But Malik's death, I dunno. I reloaded a save and killed everyone, even invested into Typhon( bye, my humanity). Obviously, that was intended by a writer or someone and I knew that, but guess it worked.
    Tranq rifle, emp grenade, cloak and a few concussion grenades, and a bunch of energy bars for melee takedowns 2nd time through I less-than-lethaled that encounter, the droid exploding killed 1 guy, but i still managed to unlock pacafist.
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
    http://playingitwrong.wordpress.com/

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Voon's Avatar
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    At times when the violence gets too real, too graphic, I felt bad killing a lot of people. Regardless whether said people are hostile or not. FarCry 2 tends to give me this feeling.

  18. #18
    On a slightly different tack I try to avoid using weapons of mass destruction in games with a vaguely realistic setting. I fought a nuclear war in Civ 2 many years ago and haven't used a nuke in hundreds of hours of Civ since. I can't stomach playing Defcon even though the tutorial made it clear it is a really interesting game. I have such a strong reaction of abhorrence to the idea of killing so many (innocent) people that I won't do it, even though I know rationally it doesn't make much sense (especially how free I am with the bullets in other games).

  19. #19
    Lesser Hivemind Node Juan Carlo's Avatar
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    I never ever cry. But I was emotionally invested in the ending to Mass Effect 3 in a way that I rarely am in video games (spoilers follow). The ending was very well done, I thought, especially the way they built you up so much to expect a more traditional Bioware type ending where the good guys come out on top. I made sure to say good by to everyone, selected my two favorite characters from the series for my teammates on the final mission (Liara and Ashley), stormed the teleporter----then, pow. Everyone's dead in one big explosion and you are left barely alive and crawling to the objective. It was a bit of a gut punch since I specifically selected the characters I wanted to ensure lived out the game to come with me on the final mission (since having people with you was the best way to keep them alive in ME2's final mission). Despite what people think of the very end of the game, I think that moment was indisputably awesome (in fact, it actually stands out as one of my favorite video game moments ever, I think). And it definitely wouldn't have worked as well had it not had three entire games of build up to that point.

    I really hate to get into another ME3 ending discussion (so please let's not go there), but I really loved the ending to that game (and I was always someone who was kind of luke warm to the ME series up to the third one, which I think is the best of the lot).
    Last edited by Juan Carlo; 24-04-2012 at 08:18 PM.

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Pretty much every major character death in ME3. ME3 made ME2 look like it took the cheap way out by allowing you a means to Save Them All™. Hell, ME3 had minor characters constantly laying down their lives just to get you from Point A to Point B, which nailed home the whole "desperate measures" motif in a way that the thousands I've murdered in other games failed to achieve.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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