Video game deaths stick with fans for a lifetime. Everyone remembers seeing [name redacted] bite the dust for the first time (don't worry, I'm not going to ruin your day by spoiling a random game for you here, just pretend I said your favourite one), but it takes more than just shock and awe to make for a memorable and well-received death sequence.
A lot goes into the writing, presentation and execution of these scenes, but one way to make a character's death even more effective is to have them realise what's going to happen just before it does.
These moments of clarity, whether they come mere seconds before the inevitable or days before, sometimes offer players the biggest insight into who these people really are. The writers can use a character's reaction to their death to sell the drama of the moment, add in a moment of humour or even transform a tragedy into something more bittersweet.
These are the moments we're celebrating today: those great instances where heroes or villains realised their luck had well and truly ran out.
10. Tess Finds Hope - The Last Of Us
Though The Last of Us' world is often quick and brutal when it comes to deaths, the nature of the zombie-like cordyceps outbreak means that some characters have to reckon with their demise before it actually happens. After all, being bit in this universe is a death sentence (unless you happen to be the one girl in the world who's immune).
It's Tess who first succumbs to this fate though. Joel's companion in the hard years after the death of his daughter, Tess finds redemption in helping immune Ellie out of the quarantine zone in the hopes of delivering her to the Fireflies, who are making a cure. Her journey doesn't last long though, as she's bitten and sacrifices herself to give Joel and Ellie time to escape.
Her confrontation with Joel is the particular highlight. Angry and frustrated, she's instrumental in talking sense into him and forcing him to believe in the cure, and to become Ellie's guardian on the treacherous journey. It's a genuinely heroic moment in the face of death, and one few would muster in a world as desolate as The Last of Us'.
Also, Sam's realisation he's doomed deserves an honourable mention here too.