Oddest Gaming Death

6 min read

First off, let me apologise for my absence from the website last month. I took a break from writing while my hand healed. The bones in my left hand had begun to experience a grinding pain while typing, and I think it was probably the result of nearly four years of intense typing for both Otaku Magazine and Play Tech.

But this short break seems to have done wonders for it, and it also allowed me some time to get used to the routines and nuances of my new job. But before I get back into writing articles properly, I thought I’d share with you a funny story. We’re all gamers here, and I’m sure that something like this has happened to most of us at least once. My buddy, Simon, thought this was hilarious, and it reinforced his opinion that I somehow find the most creative ways to die in videogames.RE Zero 2

Continued, after the jump.

This time, I was playing Resident Evil Zero on the Gamecube (fantastic game). Now, before I describe what happened, let me tell you how Resident Evil games used to work – for those whose first experience with the series is RE4 or later. The way it used to work was that the games rewarded you with cool unlockable items, like weapons, outfits, and sometimes even entirely new characters and sub-games, if you played skilfully. Unfortunately, Capcom’s idea of skilful play back then was a bit warped – requiring the player to save their game as seldom as possible, to use no health sprays at all to heal your character (only herbs), and to avoid using the more powerful weapons. There were some freaks out there who could clear the games without saving at all, which would yield the absolute highest ranking, but most of us couldn’t stomach the thought of playing three to five hours of game only to die near the end, and so we would usually save  at the halfway point or near the end somewhere.

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So there I was, playing RE Zero, which I had cleared before, so now I knew what to expect and had my minimal-save strategy all planned out to unlock some cool stuff. I’d been playing for about an hour and half. Now, another explanation is due here before I continue, or the funny side won’t come through. In RE Zero, you controlled two characters at once, Rebecca Chambers (the hottest RE girl, in my opinion) and Billy Coen. You could switch between these characters at will, and as you’ve probably guessed, this was sometimes necessary for solving puzzles. One button let you switch between characters while another let you tell your partner to either “wait there” or “come here”. The button to tell them to wait or follow was – of all the buttons Capcom could have made it – the Start button. Remember that, it’s important.RE Zero 3

At any rate, just prior to the famous Centipede boss fight, you have to solve this puzzle where there’s a key underneath a heavy cage in an empty swimming pool. Luckily, the cage is attached to chain connected to a winch on the wall. Rebecca isn’t strong enough to winch up the cage, so what you have to do is use Billy to winch up the cage, then let him hold it, switch to Rebecca, climb down into the pool, and get to the key from underneath the cage while Billy holds it up. I got this far -  without saving, as I was trying for a good rank – and then something happened.

My buddy, Simon, phoned me. And what does a gamer do when they see their phone light up? Well, what would you have done? Naturally, I pressed the Start button to pause the game while I reached for my phone, and if you’ve been paying attention to what I’ve written so far, you can probably see what’s coming, right? Yep, in RE Zero, the Start button calls your partner over to you – it doesn’t pause the game! So Rebecca, still standing underneath the heavy iron cage, turns around and shouts to Billy, “Come here!” So Billy obliges by turning around and heading over to Rebecca… and letting go of the winch handle, causing the cage to come crashing down on Rebecca’s head, killing her.RE Zero 1

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I stared in disbelief for a moment as my hour and a bit worth of game time just when down the toilet, and almost didn’t answer the phone. Of course, I blasted Simon over the phone, and explained to him the situation, which he understood well, being a RE Zero player himself. Until this happened, we had no idea it was even possible to die this way. As I said before, Simon thought this was friggin’ hilarious, and one of my better, more creative videogame deaths.

So there you have it. I’m sure that most of you have similar tragic stories about videogame deaths due to unforeseen circumstances, and can relate to the sense of pain and loss I felt here. I’ve had a few other crowning achievements in many a game over the years. A death that I had while giving Simon a demo of Star Wars: Jedi Knight 2, for instance, was worthy of recognition in the Gaming Darwin Awards, but that is a story for another time.

Last Updated: May 5, 2009

  • I started to get that grinding feeling in my left hand as well. But in my case I am 100% sure that it was a combination of typing as well as, and no kidding, the Street Fighter IV Hard Trials as well as online play. Those trials, especially with certain characters, can destroy your hands.

  • That is a pretty funny story, lol. But why oh why would they lay the controls out like that!? It’s like an accident waiting to happen.

  • Matthew

    Tell me about it. If anything, they should made the start button the “switch character” button instead of the “toggle wait/follow” button – because they must have known that someone would try to pause the game with it – especially since Resident Evil 1 on the Cube worked that way.

  • Matthew

    Hahaha… I hear you there. Those hard mode trials in Street Fighter IV are murder. 2D fighters at their most technical level are harder than 3D fighters could ever be.

    Did you notice the little white pulse that shoots along the health bars every time you hit your opponent? Apparently when it reaches the end of the health bar, your character can move again, and your next hit will combo if it’s quick enough – useful for those higher level combo trials where you have to link weak attacks in hard ones… God I hate those…

  • Q121

    So how ever do you pause this game???


  • Matthew

    You access your inventory – which is definitely not accessed by the Start button.

  • I dont need those little white pulse, I just see frame data like Neo sees the Matrix. “I know Kung Fu”… lol

  • I somehow never noticed that though, thanks for the tip, i would just do the next move over and over until I nailed the timing and then would carry on with the move after that. THis will help a lot more.

    Im on Gens final Hard Combo now, what a bastard.

  • Matthew

    There once was a time that I used to wrestle with that stuff – now I just went far enough to get all the cool concept art of the female characters and left it at that.

  • Matthew

    I’m currently wrestling with Vega’s. Just because he’s been a favourite of mine SF2CE. I can do every seperate piece of the combo fine – but for some reason pulling them all together at once is just asking too much…

  • I have become somewhat addicted to the trial modes lately, im not sure why, but now i want to finish all of them! Getting my Madcatz Stick end of this week, which should smooth things as well.

    Championship mode is like crack.

  • Matthew

    I play the PS3 version, so I got one of those X-Arcade Tanksticks. My buddy and I spent a whole Saturday jamming on it. Damn, that’s a quality piece of hardware – problem is that it takes up a lot of space and is a pain in the balls to set up.

  • lol, I also split the combos up into pieces. But its true that putting them altogether is the hard part. Ive managed to complete all of Hondas, Akumas, Balrog, Blanka and err, i think one more, still got a long road ahead of me…

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