Easter is here, so what better time to look at the many characters who have died in video games, but then returned to the lands of the living. Our heroes and villains have been brought back from the dead by magic, cybernetics, time travel, and many other ways, but they always return with more powers and quite often a quest for vengeance.
So, let’s take a look at the top ten resurrections in video game history. It’s what Jesus would have wanted.
Warning: Major plot spoilers follow!
Mass Effect 2
Right at the very start of the game, our heroic Commander Shepard dies by asphyxiation when their space suit is breached – a particularly nasty way to kick the bucket, I think we can agree. Shep then gets pulled in the orbit of a planet where his body is recovered by Cerberus who then spends two years bringing them back to life.
Uldren Sov, the main bad guy from Destiny 2’s Forsaken campaign, dies at the end of the chapter in the Destiny saga. Good riddance, we all thought. Except… a few months later a cutscene showed him seemingly coming back to life. We later discovered that a Ghost called Pulled Pork (yes, really), had resurrected him as The Crow, a guardian fighting with Light and now one of the good guys. He’s now part of the Vanguard and has been helping out during The Season of the Chosen, bantering with Osiris and Amanda Holiday.
Also, every single Guardian in Destiny had previously died and been brought back to life by a Ghost. No need to hide in a cave for forty days, a blast of light and a witty quip from Nolan North will see you right as rain.
Fun fact: all the dragons in Skyrim have been resurrected by the game’s big bad, Alduin. Although mortals can kill the physical Dragon they cannot destroy it’s immortal Aedric soul, thus allowing Aldiun to whip out his magic wand and bring them back to life. The only way to truly kill a Dragon is to be the Dragonborn and nom on it’s soul when you killed it. Mmm… tasty.
Heihachi Mishima is a rather terrible parent. I think we could all tell that, even before he decides throw through his five year old son, Kazuya Mishima, into a ravine to see if he’s strong enough to survive. Years later, the now rather more powerful Kazuya takes revenge and kills his dad but – plot twist – he’s not actually dead and returns at the end of Tekken 2 to throw his son in a volcano. This family really needs some therapy.
But wait, there’s more! Kazuya’s crispy remains are discovered by G Corporation, a cutting-edge biotech firm, and they bring him back to life so he can go back to trading punches with his dad, eventually beating him in battle. What a happy ending!
Hideo loves to bring characters back to live in really, really silly ways. I mean, Liquid Snake comes back from the dead by possessing Revolver Ocelot in Metal Gear Solid 2, which did actually happen, but then by Metal Gear Solid 4, Ocelot has managed to become un-possessed, except he still thinks he is because he brainwashed himself…. Obviously.
Then there’s Big Boss. He’s killed at the end of the first Metal Gear (except that was retconned to be Venom Snake in MGSV), and a second time at the end of Metal Gear 2, except really he was put in a coma and then revived to be a super old guy and reveal all at the end of MGS4 (with a mid-game fake-out as his body is burned!).
Detroit: Become Human
Markus, one of the game’s android protagonists, is shot and killed during an early chapter in the game – look, let’s just accept that androids can be alive for a moment here. We later see his body dumped in a waste disposal site, where he surprisingly flickers back to life and is forced to scavenges body parts off other dying androids. It’s really quite creepy and nasty, showing that androids, like humans, will do anything to stay alive.
Another game that kills you – Subject Delta – right at the start of the game. The intro movie shows Delta running around Rapture with Eleanor, a Little Sister, only for that great big meanie Sophia Lamb to tell him that Eleanor is not his daughter. Not mean enough? She then forces him to put a gun to his head and kill himself! Fast forward ten years and Delta is resurrected by some more Little Sisters and goes on the rampage to hunt down Sophia!
Command & Conquer
The Brotherhood of Nod’s leader Kane has been fried by a giant Ion Cannon from space and impaled by Michael McNeil (played by Michael Biehn), but always seemed to survive and return to lead the Brotherhood in the next C&C game with little explanation.
In truth, the only way to kill Kane seems to have been for EA to effectively can the entire franchise!
Good news for the actors in the upcoming Mortal Kombat film, it would be more difficult to list the characters who haven’t died and come back to life than list the ones ones who have stayed dead. Thanks to the series’ convoluted story filled with sorcery, ghosts, clones, elder gods, cyborgs and time travel, death is rarely permanent in Outworld.
Sub-Zero died in the first game and returned as Noob Saibot, later on turning as up Cyber Sub-Zero in MK9, died again, and was still brought back for Mortal Kombat X. Shao Khan kills forty-three characters at the end of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, Liu Kang had his soul consumed by Shang Tsung but then Raiden revived his corpse as a zombie, and in MK11 Sindel, Nightwolf. Katana, Jade, Smoke, Sub Zero, Kabal and host of others are killed off then resurrected by Quan Chi.
Super Mario Galaxy
How about this one to wrap things up? At the end of the game, literally everyone except Mario, Luigi, and Rosalina dies as the universe implodes. However, thanks to the Lumas a new universe is created and everyone is returned. This doesn’t change the fact that Mario is responsible for mass genocide, even Thanos only snapped half of all living beings out of existence, but Mario? Well, this clearly means that Mario is worse than Hitler. Fact.