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R.I.P. – The characters residing in Gaming Heaven

R.I.P. – The characters residing in Gaming Heaven

When game characters die their souls end up in one of three places. The majority currently reside in Gaming Limbo, having made little or no impact on anyone’s gaming life, serving only as near-meaningless cannon fodder, or axe fodder or whatever.

The next most populous plane of gaming after-life is Gaming Hell, which is where characters go whose death was a blessed relief to all who ever met them. There they are punished eternally for their unfair attack sequences, repetitive dialogue and their helpless, needy and/or uncooperative behaviour.

Finally, there’s Gaming Heaven, a very exclusive club indeed. Unlike regular Heaven it’s not reserved for pure, goody-two-shoes characters, but rather for those whose existence had a meaningful and memorable impact. To put it more bluntly, they died before they could get annoying.

Here’s a handful of characters who’ve earned their own personal cloud up there in Gaming Heaven…


Eli Vance
Half-Life 2

Okay, so as usual we are assuming that Eli will not recover from the severe wounds he received at the end of Episode 2. He will be remembered above all as a good father, but also as a true hero, a loyal human being and an all-round nice guy. Once of the best characters ever – he will be missed.


Lars Halford
Brütal Legend

Now, the whole point of Brütal Legend’s story is that Lars doesn’t actually do that much of any use, but his charisma and leadership skills are vital to the human resistance and in death he becomes a simple of hope and belief. We might have a statue to remember him by, but we’re sure going to miss his rousing speeches. And his hair.


Andrew Ryan

As a staunch atheist, Andrew Ryan would no doubt be appalled at the idea of Gaming Heaven but that’s where, as one of gaming’s best ever dead characters, he belongs. It’s not so much the man himself that leaves a mark, but the city he created. Rapture is essentially an extension of his personality and a realisation of his beliefs so when you explore its many and varied locations, you’re exploring the mind of Andrew Ryan.


Ricardo Diaz
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Remember when you could meet a homicidal maniac in a GTA game without exposure to any kind of bogus emotional depth or being encouraged that you should try to form some kind of relationship with them? Ricardo Diaz represents the pinnacle of that era but he, like the very notion of a GTA character who’s personality isn’t totally inconsistent with his indiscriminately violent behaviour, is dead now.


Sgt. Paul Jackson
Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Up until his death, Paul Jackson was little more than a pair of hands, a gun and a crosshair, but during his final few minutes you’re made to feel a much deeper connection with him. The dozens of times he ‘died’ up to this point were frustrating setbacks at worst but this death – one from which he will not respawn at the last checkpoint – actually forces you to think a little about how bleak and inglorious war actually is. Rest in peace Sergeant Jackson.


Col. Mael Radec
Killzone 2

In Killzone 2 it’s Radec, more than any other character, that gives the Helghast as a whole a personality and gives you a reason to hate them. He’s a truly cold, ruthless character and his willingness to casually kill off major NPCs gives the story an uncompromising edge rarely seen in games. The boss battle against him at the end of the game almost earns him a place in Gaming Hell mind you, but we’re willing to turn a blind eye this once.

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  • alan

    Great list but what about James from fallout 3? In some regard he only served as a catalyst for the games storyline, but his wise liam neeson-esque voice and unmistakably father-like presence was matched only by his noble patronage and ultimate sacrifice for the greater good. A pinnacle of humanity and far more deserving than that captain narcotics generic colombian from GTA.