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Unluckiest Video Game Characters

Friday the 13th is the day you’re most likely to get struck by lightning, run over by an ambulance and stabbed in the face by a bad tempered fella with a hockey mask, so why not do yourself a favor and remain indoors with our top five list of the unluckiest characters in gaming history.

5. Niko Bellic It seems that Niko can’t go anywhere without getting shot at. Every time one of your pals in GTA 4 calls you up and tells you they have some work to do, you know it’s going to end with bullets flying. Pick up a car for Brucie? Sure, let me just get my M4. Roman wants a lift to his poker game? Better bring a flak jacket. Everywhere Niko goes, he brings a shootout with him. He can’t even enjoy a nice quiet funeral without 10 carfuls of villains turning up to try out their new Uzis. Considering how gunfight prone Niko is, it’s amazing that his buds keep pestering him to go bowling. Knowing his luck, he’ll run into a Russian mob boss who just so happens to be out for a company Christmas party with 75 henchmen. 

Unluckiest moment: Being born as Roman Bellic’s cousin

4. The Boy from Limbo  Don’t. Touch. Anything. The poor unnamed boy from Playdead Studio’s Limbo doesn’t have a chance of making it through the game unharmed. Stuck in a 2D monochrome netherworld, he’s forced to dodge monstrous spiders, hostile tribesman, falling branches, swamps, quicksand, lightning, pitfalls, moving gears and reams of other death traps all designed to kill him dead as soon as he goes near them. Throw Limbo’s complex physics puzzles into the mix and you’ve got one very unlucky young boy. “Trial and death” was a term coined at Playdead, who specifically designed the puzzles to kill you, lots and lots of times. But that’s nothing compared to the sneaky insta-kill booby traps that Playdead have snuck in. The ground you walk on in Limbo is more bear trap than earth, so it’s very easy to lose both your legs in one of the ten million snappy little buggers that Playdead have helpfully hidden underneath bushes, behind logs and even on branches. You can be strolling comfortably along, breathing in Limbo’s beautifully thick atmosphere, when for no reason whatsoever a bear trap comes swinging at you out of a tree, chomping your little black and white pompadoured head off before you can say “dick move.”

Unluckiest moment: Approaching an innocent looking branch, only to get lanced through the face by a gigantic spider leg.

3. Max Payne  Christ, where to begin? Max Payne’s misfortune really deserves an article of its own. His family gets murdered, his friend gets murdered, his boss gets murdered, that bloke with one eye gets murdered, more people get murdered then someone else gets murdered, then Max murders his partner...There are so many murders in Max Payne’s life that he has to use slow motion to keep track of them all. In fact, Max is probably pretty lucky, seeing as he’s the only person in the entire series that hasn’t died yet. It’s not through lack of trying. Max gets himself into more shootouts than six John Waynes. Bad guys follow Max around like teenage girls chasing Paul McCartney. Even moving to Brazil and disguising himself as Zach Galifianakis from Hangover Part 2 isn’t enough to shake off his fanbase of gun wielding mad men. But it’s not all doom and gloom for the one man support group. He still gets to administer some Max Pleasure to the saucy Mona Sax...before she gets murdered.

Unluckiest moment: Coming home from a hard day at work, only to find that some thugs have spray painted black “V” symbols all over his living room. Oh, and murdered his wife and daughter.

2. Leon Kennedy  It’s hard to feel sorry for a man with scarcely enough brains to make a zombie hors d’oeuvre, but Leon really does have some tough luck. Freshly recruited into the local police force, Leon arrives in Raccoon City for his first day on the job only to find that everyone in town has turned into shambling, brainless corpses. Outnumbered and outsmarted, he quickly jumps into a nearby squad car, which he immediately crashes after being attacked by a zombie that looks exactly like him (seriously, watch the cutscene.) But dumb as he is, no one deserves the turn of bad luck that befalls Leon next. Picking himself up out of the wrecked car, he catches a glimpse at the rear view mirror, only to realise that he’s about to be hit by the only moving vehicle in a 70 mile radius. Leon only just manages to get clear of the squad car before a huge eighteen-wheeler smashes into it explodes. Alone and surrounded by zombies, Leon is determined to make it into work and fights his way to the police station, only to find that his welcoming party has been cancelled. Baw.

Unluckiest moment: Quitting the police force, only to be put in charge of protecting the one person in the world stupider than he is.

1. Nathan Drake From age-old ruins to reinforced concrete floor, if Nathan Drake steps on it it’ll break. Where most people can cross a bridge pretty easily (one step in front of the other is the trick) if Drake tries to walk over anything it immediately collapses into dozens of conveniently climbable chunks. This man spends more time hanging off things than the gardens of Babylon. Somehow though it always plays to his advantage; falling off things has saved Nate’s life more than once and every time some huge structure collapses, you can always count on it killing everyone except this one man demolition crew. Nate is what you get when you cross Stan Laurel with Indiana Jones. Take the submarine in Uncharted 1, which Nate manages to blow up just by walking through it, or the monastery in Uncharted 2, which easily supports platoons of gun-toting Russians, but crumbles like a nervous Ryvita as soon as Nate so much as coughs on it. If it breaks, Nate will break it. If it doesn’t break, Nate will still find some way of breaking it. It’s just a good job he’s got the moves to clamber out of these situations, otherwise he would have fallen to his death the first time he tried to climb some stairs.

Unluckiest moment: Somehow managing to crash a plane by having a fist fight in the cargo bay.


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