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Video Game Heroes Who Killed Their Own Children

It is not unusual for video game heroes and villains to kill other characters. After all, the stakes can be quite high in games, with characters forced to battle their opponents in order to save the day. Even in seemingly kid friendly titles like "Super Mario" there is some degree of violence, with the eponymous plumber stomping on the heads of Goombas and throwing Bowser in lava-filled pits.

In some games, killing is part of the story and certain characters have to be defeated to progress, while others allow you to kill almost anyone you want. In entries like "Skyrim" it's possible to wipe out every living person across the map. Meanwhile, multiplayer titles often see players forced to take out opposing teams to win the match. 

Despite how common death is in video games, it is rare for a parent to kill their own children — rare but not unheard of. These protagonists and antagonists have all offed their offspring at one point. Whether its a villain stopping a potential rival from rising against them or a hero sacrificing their child for the greater good, all these individuals have murdered their sons or daughters.

Darth Vader - Star Wars Rogue Squadron 2: Rogue Leader

Darth Vader is one of the most well-known villains in the history of entertainment. Since his first appearance in "Star Wars: Episode 4 – A New Hope," he has instilled fear into viewers and set the standard for movie bad guys. Yet players have rarely had the chance to play as the iconic character, despite his fame and the sheer number of "Star Wars" video games. Although that does make some sense, as most games are designed for the player to be the hero.

The situation changed somewhat in "Star Wars Rogue Squadron 2: Rogue Leader." The game released in 2001 on the GameCube as a sequel to the first title that launched on the Nintendo 64. Following the events of the original trilogy, it sees players take on the role of a pilot for the Rebel Alliance as they battle against the Galactic Empire. Missions set in each of the three movies are present, with developer Factor 5 choosing to mirror the movies' narratives closely. 

Completing a sequence of difficult objectives or entering a cheat code unlocks a collection of secret bonus levels known as Triumph of the Empire. Players take control of Darth Vader while he attempts to stop the Rebels from destroying the Death Star at the Battle of Yavin. If the player is successful, the Sith Lord ultimately kills Biggs Darklighter, Wedge Antilles, and Luke Skywalker before blowing up the Rebel base on Yavin 4 and presumably killing Leia as well.

Charlie Kane - Twisted Metal

"Twisted Metal" is the first entry in the vehicular combat series of the same name. Released in 1995, the game sees players take control of a series of drivers and vehicles as they battle it out in a mysterious competition using outlandish weapons. In total, there are 30 different weapons that can be equipped on vehicles, with the ultimate aim of being the last person standing. 

Unlike many similar games, "Twisted Metal" has a proper narrative that is important to the overall experience. Taking place on Christmas Eve of 2005, the contest is organized by a mythical figure known as Calypso. With the action happening across Los Angeles, the contestant who makes it to the end is supposedly given a wish granted without any limitations. 

One of the people who takes part is Charlie Kane, a heartbroken cab driver looking for his lost son. He battles a serial killer known as Sweet Tooth and kills him. Charlie later learns that Sweet Tooth was his son, who grew up to become a terrible monster. Calypso then offers him immortality if he helps collect the drivers for future competitions.

Kenny - The Walking Dead

Developed and published by Telltale Games, "The Walking Dead" is a graphic adventure game that was released in an episodic format. The first installment launched in 2012, with four additional episodes following over the course of the next seven months. Based on Robert Kirkman's comic book series of the same name, the story largely follows a group of original characters, although there are references to the comics. 

"The Walking Dead" was unique due to its focus on the plot and characters rather than puzzle solving as is usual for graphic adventure games. The main character throughout the franchise is the young Clementine, who attempts to survive the zombie apocalypse with the help of a rotating cast of supporting characters. 

Kenny is one of the main characters in the first season of "The Walking Dead." Along with his wife and son, Duck, he encounters Lee and Clementine and joins them. Unfortunately, Duck is bitten by a walker and Kenny eventually realizes that his son has to die to stop him from turning. Either he or Lee can carry out the mercy killing depending on player choice, although the decision has lasting consequences for the loving father.

Heihachi Mishima -Tekken 2

The "Tekken" series is one of the most successful and popular fighting franchises in gaming. The original installment launched in 1994 and was followed by "Tekken 2" in 1995. The sequel expanded the roster to more than 20 fighters and was the first entry in the series to feature modes such as Survival, Battle, and Time Attack. The plot focuses on a second iteration of the King of Iron Fist Tournament, with Kazuya Mishima (the son of antagonist Heihachi Mishima) corrupting the powerful Mishima Zaibatsu organization even more. 

Throughout the "Tekken" series, Heihachi has a difficult relationship with Kazuya. The pair are constantly in conflict and come to blows on a number of occasions. Heihachi initially had high hopes for Kazuya but this changes when he is forced to kill his wife after she is possessed by the Devil Gene. Seeing what his son is transforming into, Heihachi attempts to put an end to the threat and throws him down a deep ravine. The fall would have killed him but the near-death experience activates the Devil Gene within Kazuya and resurrects him — allowing the pair to continue their battle with each other.

Atrus - Myst

Designed by the Miller brothers, "Myst" is a 1993 puzzle adventure game. The title became a cult hit when it launched, moving millions of copies and becoming the best-selling PC game of all time until "The Sims" took the crown in 2006 (via GameSpot). The success of "Myst" led to a number of clones and several official sequels, including 1997's "Riven." 

Players have to solve a variety of puzzles from a first-person perspective by interacting with objects and finding clues that will aid them. The mechanics largely revolve around exploring the mysterious island and uncovering its secrets. Magical books have a big part in the story, with the player transported to the island after reading about it and laying their hands on the book's pages. 

After reaching the island, the player interacts with Sirrus and Achenar, who have been trapped in two books. However, the pair have actually imprisoned their own father Atrus in D'ni. If the player chooses to free Atrus, he burns the books containing his two sons, effectively killing them as punishment for the crimes they have committed.

Lorraine - The Park

Funcom released psychological horror game "The Park" in 2015 for PC, with ports later coming to the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Players navigate an abandoned theme park seemingly home to a number of supernatural events. With no combat and traditional enemies, protagonist Lorraine slowly uncovers why the location closed down and why she has been drawn back to the area.

"The Park" follows Lorraine as she attempts to find her son Callum while dealing with her own mental illness. While there was some criticism of the way that the character's mental health is portrayed (per Forbes), it did receive praise for the horror elements that left players on the edge of their seats. As Lorraine explores the park, her strained relationship with Callum is revealed, as well as the fact that she harbored thoughts of harming him in the past. In the final part of the game, the Bogeyman forces her to pick up an ice pick and plunge it into Callum.

Kain - Legacy of Kain series

The "Legacy of Kain" series began in 1996 with the release of "Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain" and soon expanded into a library of six games. Originally developed by Silicon Knights, Crystal Dynamics continued the story of Nosgoth and the eponymous Kain after the first entry. With a gothic fantasy art style and dark themes, It is mainly an action-adventure series played from a third-person perspective with hack-and-slash combat. While "Legacy of Kain" has been dormant for more than a decade, the titles have come to modern systems as updated ports. 

Raziel was first introduced in "Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver" in 1999 and became an integral part of the series going forward. He acts as the protagonist in that game and its sequel as he comes into conflict with his father. Initially working under Kain, he ultimately surpasses his father in terms of strength and power. This prompts Kain to order his execution, although he is brought back to life by The Elder God and seeks revenge against those who betrayed him. It is later revealed that Kain killed Raziel to create a paradox that would allow him to manipulate time and alter future events.

Oswald Mandus - Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs

"Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs" is a spin-off of the survival horror game "Amnesia: The Dark Descent." Launched in 2013 for PC, other platforms followed over the next few years. It was developed by The Chinese Room rather than Frictional Games, although the company did serve as the publisher. An indirect sequel, "Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs" does not follow the story of its predecessor and instead tells an entirely new tale. Much of the gameplay is the same; however, there are some significant changes, including the removal of the inventory and sanity meter.

Set in London during the late 19th century, "Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs" centers on wealthy industrialist Oswald Mandus. After the tragic death of his wife, he is left to look after his twin sons alone. Short of money in the wake of a series of bad investments, he goes on an expedition to Mexico to discover the mythical substance known as Vitae. After touching a strange orb, he is shown a vision of the future in which his sons suffer during the First World War. He kills them to spare them this fate and also as a sacrifice to fully unveil the power of the orb.

Lone Survivor - Fallout 4

Set in a post-apocalyptic world following a war between the United States and China, "Fallout 4" unfolds in Massachusetts some 10 years after the events of its predecessor. One of the most notable changes to the "Fallout" formula is the addition of a canine companion in the form of a German Shepherd known as Dogmeat. Taking place hundreds of years in the future, the player controls the Sole Survivor. He enters Vault 111 with his wife and son, Shaun, and all three are cryogenically frozen. 

Some time later, two strangers awaken the family, kill the Sole Survivor's spouse, and abduct Shaun before placing the protagonist back in his cryogenic chamber. When his pod malfunctions, he is able to escape the Vault and track down his child. By the end of the game, the primary antagonist and leader of the Institute turns out to be an elderly Shaun. Depending on the choice of the player, the Sole Survivor can either kill Shaun or work with him.

Samara - Mass Effect series

"Mass Effect" became one of the biggest gaming franchises of the last two decades when it made its debut in 2007. Created by BioWare, the series follows Commander Shepard in a near future in which humanity has integrated into galactic society with a wide array of other alien races. However, an army of ancient machines known as the Reapers threatens all life in the galaxy, prompting the heroic Shepard to assemble a crew of fighters to attempt to stop them. The roleplaying franchise spans the original trilogy and a spin-off sequel in the form of "Mass Effect: Andromeda." 

One of the companions Shepard can recruit in "Mass Effect 2" is the Asari justicar Samara. A warrior who follows a strict code of honor, she hunts down her daughter Morinth who has murdered many innocents and caused a great deal of violence. Both characters are powerful biotic users and the battle between them can end in either dying at the hand of the other, with the player choosing who wins. In the third game, Samara is also given the choice to kill another of her daughters after the monastery that houses her is destroyed.

Feng-yu - Devotion

"Devotion" is a 2019 psychological horror game. Played from a first-person perspective, it is set in 1980s Taiwan with the story taking place in screenwriter Du Feng-yu's apartment complex. The gameplay revolves around the player exploring the complex as they attempt to piece together information from various diary pages and letters. There's also a number of puzzles that need to be solved and the player can use different items to manipulate the world and open up the way. 

Players control Du Feng-yu, a father and husband who sees his career slow down as his daughter begins to suffer from an unknown illness. Rather than seek proper medical help, Du Feng-yu instead chooses to get aid from religion. Using the teachings of a cult leader known as Mentor Heuh, he becomes obsessed with curing his daughter by pleasing the deity Cigu Guanyin. After his wife leaves him as he descends further into madness, he performs a dark ritual in a final attempt to save his child. This involves submerging her in rice wine and locking her in a bathroom for a week, which appears to lead to her death.

Kratos - God of War series

The "God of War" series has become one of Sony's biggest exclusives. Debuting in 2005 on PlayStation 2, it has had about a dozen releases and is set to expand even further with the launch of "God of War Ragnarök" in 2022. The action-adventure games see Kratos fighting various gods from the ancient world, including the Greek Olympians and Titans and Norse gods. Developed primarily by Santa Monica Studio, the series is known for its graphic violence and dark themes. 

The Spartan warrior sets out on a quest for revenge against the Greek gods after he is tricked by Ares. Following a tragic upbringing during which his brother was kidnapped by the Olympians, he eventually married Lysandra and had a daughter with her called Calliope. Later, when fighting against an army, he makes a pact with Ares and is given the Blades of Chaos, allowing him to defeat his opponents. However, the blades also instill a bloodlust in Kratos and Ares leads him to kill his wife and daughter, an act so evil it causes Kratos to abandon the god of war and swear vengeance upon him.