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Old 12-11-2012, 11:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Back to Life



An unfortunate demise stings a bit more acutely in a video game. The medium's so defined by reviving and continuing that it's sometimes a shock when a character dies for real. Yet this isn't necessarily the end. Games often resurrect characters for a number of reasons, and some do it more convincingly than others.

ADA WONG (Resident Evil 2)

At this point in the insatiable Resident Evil franchise, some fans may have forgotten that Ada Wong actually died in her original game appearance. She returned in both Resident Evil 4 and 6, yet she didn't look to survive her debut in Resident Evil 2. Her death comes from either a bullet or a Tyrant attack, depending on the scenario, and she breathes her last in the arms of Leon Kennedy. Later games show her alive and scheming, and there's even a hint of her tenacity in Resident Evil 2's last boss battle. Some players might've wondered if her death could be avoided through some seemingly mundane choice earlier in the game, as was the case with Barry Burton in the original Resident Evil. But they didn't need to worry about saving Ada. Capcom did that in due time.



JOHNNY CAGE (Mortal Kombat)

Several Mortal Kombat characters were killed off and resurrected over the years, but none so noticeably as movie star Johnny Cage. While he was one of the more popular choices from the first two Mortal Kombat titles, Cage's exit was foreshadowed when martial artist Daniel Pesina, who portrayed Cage in both games, brought a lawsuit against Mortal Kombat publisher Midway. Cage was nowhere to be seen in Mortal Kombat 3, and subsequent games repeatedly revived and killed him off. Cage is alive once again the most recent Mortal Kombat's rebooted timeline, but even that might not stick.



CID (Final Fantasy IV)

Final Fantasy characters regularly cheat death for the sake of a plot twist, and it's especially common for the cast of Final Fantasy IV. Airship engineer Cid shows up alive and well after leaping from an airborne vessel and blowing himself up, while karate expert Yang needs only some rest after he sacrifices himself to destroy an enemy cannon battery. In fact, the only permanent party-member death in Final Fantasy IV is that of Tellah, an elderly sage who overexerts his sorcery. Perhaps some series fans were genuinely surprised when Final Fantasy V's sole perished party member actually stayed dead.



NANAMI (Suikoden II)

The first two Suikoden games seldom pull their punches. Both titles chronicle costly rebellions, and characters die on both sides of the wars. And on top of the deaths mandated by the plot, party members can perish at random if players aren't careful during open-field battles. Yet a few seemingly doomed character can be spared. The original game lets players save Pahn, one of the hero's bodyguards, if his levels are high enough, while another loyal servant, Gremio, is magically revived before the game's final battle so long as players have recruited every other character.

The second Suikoden toys with this idea even further: the hero's stepsister Nanami goes down in a rain of arrows, and she dies for good unless the hero leaps to her side, a decision that players get only a few seconds to make. If several other requirements are met, Nanami returns at the game's end, brought back not by runic magic so much as a plot device and a bit of deception on her part.



CRONO (Chrono Trigger)

Killing off a central character was a remarkably bold move for Chrono Trigger, which sees its silent protagonist vaporized when he stands up to a planet-wrecking space mite named Lavos. Of course, a largely upbeat RPG like Chrono Trigger can't leave things at that. Crono's friends traverse space and time to bring him back, eventually working out a solution with a doll-like Crono clone and an extremely precise form of the game's time-travel mechanic. In theory, players could leave Crono dead and finish the game without him, but they'd be monsters for doing it.



IRENE LEW (Ninja Gaiden II)

Ninja Gaiden II sets itself up for a bittersweet conclusion. Series hero Ryu Hayabusa defeats a revived form of the first game's main villain, but it can't save CIA agent Irene Lew, who lies unmoving in Ryu's arms. No worries! Ryu's sword sacrifices itself to revive Irene and bring the Ninja Gaiden trilogy to a happy ending (remember, Ninja Gaiden III is set in between the first and second games). Irene isn't the only Ninja Gaiden II character to be spared. Fellow agent Robert T. Sturgeon apparently goes down fending off a demon horde, yet he appears in the little-seen Ninja Gaiden anime, and a 2010 interview with scenario writer Masato Kato confirmed that 'Jungle Rat Rob' survived.



MARIAN (Double Dragon II)

Marian wasn't really a proud pioneer in the original Double Dragon. The girlfriend of series hero Billy Lee, she's just there to get kidnapped and rescued. And when the second Double Dragon rolls around, she's there to get killed off in the game's introduction, hence the 'Revenge' subtitle for the game. It makes things rather bleak; retrieving Marian was the player's motivation in the first game, so it's a shocker when she's gunned down and blinked out of existence in the arcade Double Dragon II. The NES version is a little less violent in its setup and much happier in its conclusion. After Billy and Jimmy Lee take down the final boss, Marian's brought back to life by 'an angel.'



ZERO (Mega Man X)

Zero dodged a noble death at least twice in the Mega Man X games. The original Super NES title saw him give up his life to help his friend X destroy a particularly vexing boss. Zero returned in the next game and became a staple of the series, but the final battle of Mega Man X5 left him a shattered husk of a robot. This was intended to be the end of the Mega Man X series and the starting point for the Mega Man Zero games, but Capcom's business side rolled ahead with Mega Man X6, X7, and X8. Zero returned to life once again, making for a more awkward segue into the next sub-series.



NAKORURU (Samurai Shodown II)

Fighting games tend to play fast and loose with whatever storylines they have, but there are always fans devoted enough to notice when dead characters return. Preceding even Johnny Cage's resurrection, SNK mucked with one character's demise in Samurai Shodown II. Upon finishing the game with nature-loving Ainu warrior Nakoruru, players watch her sacrifice herself to preserve the homeland of her people. For Samurai Shodown III, however, she's back without much explanation. Not even her admirer Galford questions her reappearance, though he actually saw her die in the previous game. As the series continued, Nakoruru not only stuck around—she multiplied. Her evil 'treachery' incarnation from Samurai Shodown III was the basis for a new character named Rera in Samurai Shodown V.





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Old 12-11-2012, 11:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Back to Life

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Old 12-11-2012, 11:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Back to Life

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There's like 3 Ada Wong's in RE6. Bitch doesn't know when to quite lmao.
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