8 game franchises that killed their protagonist (and continued)

Often times, a story spanning multiple entries has one character connecting them all together. This allows the audience to relate to someone and helps to stay focused throughout the story. Video games are no exception to this rule. See how long Mario has been around.

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However, some developers oppose this trend. Maybe they wanted a new direction with a new protagonist. Alternatively, maybe they concluded a story and then decided to continue the franchise after the fact. Whatever the reason, the results have been mixed. Some series have managed to find new blood to continue, but others should have died with their stars.

Mass Effect

Shepard in Mass Effect 3

The space series shot this twice. To take down the Savior of the Galaxy, BioWare killed Commander Shepard early in Mass effect 2. Fortunately, Miranda Lawson’s Lazarus Project at Cerberus was successful in bringing them back to life. They then had a chance to fight Collectors and Reapers, but their next time at Death’s Door was more final.

Once Shepard sacrifices himself at the end of Mass effect 3, they died in the galaxy and go down in legend. The fans didn’t like it, but here we go. EA and BioWare, however, couldn’t let the franchise rest, so they created a new set of characters for Mass Effect: Andromeda. This title was supposed to breathe new life into IP, but it went as well as Reapers on a Prothean – which is not great.

God of the war

Kratos in God of War III

If the players thought Mass Effect was impressive, God of the war shame. In the old games, Kratos was killed apparently every two weeks, but he still found a way to catch up from the depths of Hades. Sacrifice yourself at the end of God of War III, however, seemed final.

Indeed, the series remained dormant for a few years. That is, until the 2018 reboot shows an older Kratos, who had started a new life (literally) and a new family in the realm of Norse mythology. Will this new story kill him again and pass the torch to his son? It remains to be seen, but it still deserves a place on this list.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

Starkiller in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II

Though trained to root out the Jedi and others opposed to the Empire, Darth Vader’s secret apprentice – nicknamed “Starkiller” – strays from his master’s cause. What started as a simple diversion soon blossomed into a full-fledged rebellion. In the process of saving his friends, the ancient Sith battles both his master and the Emperor, the effort ultimately costing him his life.

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Despite this setback, Vader believes his apprentice’s potential is just too good to be left out. So he clones Starkiller for the future. The developers leave ambiguous if this new Starkiller is really a clone, but this ambiguity is of no use. Fans will never have the answer, as this series has unfortunately been deleted from the official Star wars cannon.

Red Dead Redemption

John Marston in Red Dead Redemption

John Marston got the small end of the stick in the first Red Dead Redemption. Not only did the Pinkertons blackmail him into hunting down members of his former gang, but they mercilessly shot him down before he could live a quiet life with his family. Surprise, surprise, the government is not his friend.

The sequel does not follow up on that, as it is actually a prequel. Red Dead Redemption 2 recounts the exploits of the aforementioned gang, experienced through the eyes of veteran member Arthur Morgan. The sad part is that he too meets his untimely end before the credits roll. Only Red Harlow of Red Dead Revolver escaped this fate.

Assassin’s Creed

Altair, Desmond and Ezio in Assassin's Creed

In a series depicting various figures throughout history, it would be difficult for a character to stick around for long. That said, players get a more complete picture of early Assassins than they get with newer ones. Fans have been with Altaïr and Ezio until their twilight. Modern protagonist Desmond died younger, sacrificing himself to prevent the ill-defined apocalypse of 2012.

These events have given way to a host of new Assassins, none of which last longer than one match. The only thing that ties them together is the modern storyline, and even that has shifted to new protagonist Layla. Yet fans still view modern history as the worst part of every game.

Final Fantasy X

Tidus and Yuna in Final Fantasy X

While every main line Final fantasy the entrance establishes its own universe, Final Fantasy X was the first to get a direct follow-up. Sadly (or fortunately, for some), the brave protagonist Tidus is gone by the end of the story. He was a manifested dream of the faith, of the summoners who wanted to preserve a society of a thousand years ago.

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The team’s resident summoner, Yuna, took center stage for Final Fantasy X-2. His own adventure was much more cheesy and lighter, which put off many fans of the original. She and her fellow Gullwings have traveled the world collecting sartorial spheres and other treasures, sort of bringing Tidus back to life in the process. If Square Enix makes a third entry, it will likely revert to the status quo.


Cole and Delsin in the famous series

The first one Infamous The title revealed that electric hero Cole McGrath would one day meet a devastating entity known as “The Beast.” This set the stage for a follow-up where Cole became a powerful protector and gave his life to stop this monster (assuming players didn’t choose the wrong choices). Although the story seems to be drawing to a close, Sucker Punch was not ready to leave their superhero series.

They then surprised fans with Infamous: Second Son. This game featured a new narrative featuring a new conduit named Deslin. His brash demeanor gave him a refreshing change of pace from Cole, but his exploits seemed insignificant compared to what had come before him. This kept the game from achieving the same status as the first two, and the developers never followed through on the groundwork they laid.

The walking dead

Lee and Clémentine in The Walking Dead

With their point-and-click titles, the developers at TellTale take pride in their choices and narrative impact. The walking deadAt the heart of this is Lee and Clementine’s relationship. It made sense for Lee to die at the end of their first adventure in the zombie apocalypse.

This paved the way for Clem to take first place in Season 2 of this episodic adventure. Similar to how she learns from previous events, past choices and their consequences inform the player for the future. All of this gives something much better received than the main show.

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