Storytelling is nothing without stakes, and the way to worm oneself into the hearts of an audience is to craft characters and relationships that people can relate to or invest in... and then rip them apart.
Yes, death is a prevalent part of a good number of narratives and video games have plenty of them. Some of them go down in history as either the best or the worst, but regardless of their quality there's another factor to consider - did you see this coming? Was it an out-of-nowhere shock? Or did it feel like a painful inevitability?
Knowing a character is destined for a personal "bad ending" doesn't necessarily detract from the impact of it, of course. If anything, we might spend minutes or hours on the edge of our seat waiting for it because it's been so heavily alluded to.
This list will comprise of some video game destinies that seemed like a certainty because of one particular storyline moment that spelt things out or sealed a fate.
Naturally, since we're discussing the subject of character deaths, it should be noted that this list will contain heavy spoilers. You've been warned. Oh, and grab the tissues as some of these are real tear-jerkers. You've been double-warned.
10. Cortana Explains Rampancy - Halo 4
One of the most powerful storyline beats of Halo 3 is the stoic soldier Master Chief risking it all to save his AI companion Cortana. At the end of the game, after saving the universe, the pair find themselves stranded somewhere in space. John-117 enters stasis and Cortana stays active to scout for potential rescue or danger.
Four years later, Cortana wakes Master Chief from his slumber as they are sucked into a gravity well down to the shield world of Requiem. In the process, Cortana shows flashes of malfunction. Upon touching ground, she explains to the Master Chief that AI are only designed to work for seven years, after which they begin to think themselves to death. At this point, Cortana has been in service for eight years.
Despite the Chief's continuous pained pleas through the story, the fact that the pair are so far away from Earth - and Cortana's creator, whom Chief hastily believes can help - and distracted by a new threat, things can only end badly. Cortana never fills John's head with false promise, he does that to himself.
Players, who have been guided by Cortana for three games, are not as blinded by the possibility of losing her as Master Chief is. Her heroic sacrifice at the end of the game is beautiful but entirely expected.
(Let's just not talk about her unnecessary and awful resurrection in Halo 5).