8 Gaming Heroes You Didn't Realise Actually Killed Innocents

Sometimes, games sweep an accidental genocide under the rug.

Unlike avatars, as seen in RPGs like the Elder Scrolls and Mass Effect, we can't fully control the actions/emotions of our playable characters, and as such, we often hope that the path our hero takes is done under a morally-acceptable light. In other words, we hope that they don't do things associated with vigilantes, antiheroes, or villains, like killing innocents or causing unnecessary destruction. Sometimes, however, this simply isn't possible and the hero ends up acting immorally, either because they are forced to (Altair) or accidentally do so (Spec Ops: The Line's Captain Walker). Unlike the aforementioned cases, though, this isn't made obvious to you, as it only occurs that your character has done something wrong when you put down the controller and begin thinking about it outside the magic circle. While it may seem strange that you didn't notice it the first time, this really speaks to the power of immersion present in video games. With that in mind, here are 8 notable example of gaming heroes who killed innocents.

8. Mario - Super Mario Bros.

From the glory days of the NES to the struggling period the Wii U currently faces, Mario has established himself as a cultural icon that virtually any gamer can recognize instantly, whether the tell is his hat, moustache, or Italian accent (courtesy of Charles Martinet). Though he first appeared in the arcade game Donkey Kong (1981), Mario found mainstream success with the launch title of the Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Mario Bros. His popularity only increased when he successfully transitioned to 3D gaming with Super Mario 64 in 1996, and has since stretched his influence into a variety of genres including educational (Mario Teaches Typing), racing (Mario Kart), fighting (Super Smash Bros. Brawl), RPG (Paper Mario), and so forth. However, one notable trait that has changed since his NES debut has been his enemies. You will notice that in games like Super Mario World and Super Mario Galaxy, enemies seem intent on killing you, insofar as they actually start moving towards you and trying to attack. This raises a question with the original game where, with the exception of boos, the hammer bros., and bosses, Mario is the one who instigates attacks against wandering foes like the Goombas. In fact, the official game description doesn't even say that the Goombas are a threat, as follows:
"You'll have to think fast and move even faster to complete this quest! The Mushroom Princess is being held captive by the evil Koopa tribe of turtles. It's up to you to rescue her from the clutches of the Koopa King before time runs out. But it won't be easy. To get to the Princess, you'll have to climb mountains, cross seas, avoid bottomless pits, fight off turtle soldiers and a host of black magic traps that only a Koopa King can devise. It's another non-stop adventure from the SUPER MARIO BROS.!"
Unless Goombas are a part of these "black magic traps", it's probably safe to say that Mario's first adventure may have involved an accidental genocide.

Red Stewart is big fan of the entertainment industry, with insights into film, television, and video games for starters. Despite growing up in the 21st century's era of modernization, he prefers many retro era ideas over the current trends found in many of today's media. Personally he's an introvert who loves reading as much as gaming.