5 Most Tragic Incidents in Games

Some parts of your favorite games may be fun and wholesome. Others are depressing and sad tales. Here are the five most tragic incidents in games.

For this list, I chose to include only five entries because I’ll also explain the lore and backstories behind the incidents. Some of these entries will be major parts of a game or minor tales told by the environments. So you can expect plot spoilers!

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The Downfall of Ashina – Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

5 Most Tragic Incidents in Games

If you haven’t played Sekiro, skip this entry because it contains major spoilers.

The story starts with the hero of the North, Isshin Ashina. This legendary swordsman founded the Ashina Clan which was feared by everyone. Time and time again, Lord Isshin proved that he can and will slaughter any foe that stands in his way. In the introductory cinematic of Sekiro, you can see Isshin fighting General Tamura and ultimately killing him.

The Interior Ministry, which aims to overtake Ashina, were scared of Isshin Ashina, as they should be. But at the time of the game’s events, Lord Isshin is gravely ill. Because of this, the Ministry attempted to go through with their plans after all. But there was one thing that kept anyone from passing the castle gates: Gyoubu the Demon.

Gyoubu Masataka Oniwa was a leader of a bandit clan and was defeated by Lord Isshin. Because of Gyoubu’s battle prowess, Isshin accepted him to his service as a warrior of Ashina. The fact that Isshin gifted the huge spear of General Tamura to Gyoubu reveals how much Isshin trusted and admired him. But after Sekiro kills Gyoubu the Demon, the Ashina Clan becomes weaker and this favours the Interior Ministry.

As you know, Genichiro Ashina loved the Ashina Clan more than anything. He was but a peasant boy whose mother was killed. Isshin adopted Genichiro and regarded him as his grandchild. At the time of the game’s events, Genichiro is the leader of the Ashina Clan and he is willing to do anything to protect the clan. But after Sekiro defeats him and prevents him from being granted immortality by Lord Kuro’s power, the Clan doesn’t have much to rely on…

In the end, Lord Isshin succumbs to his illness and the clan of Ashina falls. The Interior Ministry causes mass chaos and destroys everything. What the player needs to realise is, despite Genichiro Ashina and every Ashina Samurai being enemies to them, is that they are not the villains. They simply wanted their clan to prosper and keep it protected. All fail in the end, and Ashina is no more.

One can think that Sekiro’s single-minded focus on saving his master affected the downfall of Ashina. You might want to read my article about why Sekiro is the best warrior in a Soulsborne game to understand more about him.

Irina’s death and her father’s fate – Elden Ring

5 Most Tragic Incidents in Games

Irina is the first non-hostile character you’ll meet when you enter the wet and cold Weeping Peninsula. She’s a mild-mannered and blind girl whose father is Castellan at Castle Morne. She asks you to deliver a letter to her father, asking him to abandon his duty and come back to her.

As for the situation at Castle Morne, the servants, who were Misbegotten, went feral and attacked. Because he is Castellan, Irina’s father Edgar is bound by honor to remain at the castle. He wears Banished Knight’s unaltered armor and his sense of duty reminds me of Banished Knight Engvall. Read more about him and the Banished Knights here.

After delivering the letter to Edgar and killing Leonine Misbegotten boss at Castle Morne, he will return to his daughter, only to encounter her lifeless body… He’s overtaken by grief and he vows to find whoever committed the heinous crime. But there’s one piece of evidence that gives us an idea of who must’ve been the killer. It’s the Iron Cleaver embedded in the ground near Irina’s body. The Misbegotten wield these cleavers and most probably, a Misbegotten from the Castle must’ve killed the poor girl.

When you reach the Revenger’s Shack in Liurnia, Edgar invades you. He was not your enemy at first, so why would he invade you now? There is no choice but to kill the poor man. When you investigate the Revenger’s shack, you can find corpses and a lot of Raw Meat Dumplings. It’s possible that Edgar went mad due to the Frenzied Flame… That is further proven by the comment by the spirit near the shack.

…Ahh the poor fellow… Gone perfectly mad.
Love… Revenge….the frenzied flame melts it all away…

Spirit near the Revenger’s Shack

Massacre at Ilinalta foothills Shrine of Talos – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

This unmarked shrine of Talos is on the Helgen side of Ilinalta Lake. You can visit the place very early on in the game. It is a site of a crime committed against the Nords by the Thalmor. There are multiple corpses of Nord worshippers that are slaughtered in a bloody massacre. You can also find the corpse of the Thalmor soldier who did it. Someone must’ve fought back and managed to kill the elf. On him, there’s a letter signed by Elenwan. It says that the Thalmor couldn’t find a Talos Shrine in this area, and if the soldier thought he really was on to something, go search for the shrine himself. Clearly, he did find it and it ended in a massacre.

The Tragedy of Lenora View – Red Dead Redemption 2

Lenora View is a little cabin located near Strawberry in Big Valley. A man named Jim Peyton lived here. He married a lady named Mildred, who then took the name Mildred Peyton. At Lenora’s View’s doorstep, you can find some gifts for the married couple and a letter sent to Jim from Mildred. He was supposed to pick her up from her mother’s place a week after the marriage but he never arrived. In the letter, Mildred asks Jim if he has second thoughts about the marriage, and that she’s longing for his arrival.

Not far from the cabin, there’s a random encounter where a man on a cliff calls the player and says that someone lies dead down there. Yes, that unfortunate man was Jim Peyton. His wagon fell down from the cliff and he died there. This accident happened when he was on his way to pick Mildred up…

The Twisted Social Experiment of Vault 11 – Fallout New Vegas

5 Most Tragic Incidents in Games

If you haven’t explored Vault 11, I suggest skipping this entry because this contains spoilers.

The incident at Vault 11 is so incredibly shocking. Each year, the Vault’s computer threatens to kill everyone in the vault if they didn’t sacrifice one of their own. The vault-dwellers used democratic voting to choose who’ll be the Overseer. This overseer will have to enter a chamber and they will be killed in there. Obviously, this situation made the people desperate and they panicked. Six groups were voters in this election, including the Justice Bloc, which we will discuss further below.

I’ll be brief about this section because I do not want this article to be overly long. In the selection of the final Overseer, the group Justice Bloc coerced the woman Katherine Stone into doing… favours for them. They threatened that if she resisted, they will vote for her husband as overseer. That’s practically a death sentence for Nathan Stone, Katherine’s husband, and she chose to let the members of the Justice bloc have their way… But in the end, they betrayed her anyway after using her and elected Nathan as overseer anyway. Katherine was overtaken by grief and anger. She murdered many members of the Justice Bloc and she herself became overseer. Remember that her husband was only nominated at that point and because of his wife’s actions, his life was saved.

Overseer Katherine ordered that after this, the next overseers will be chosen at random with help from the Vault’s computer system. This was outrageous for the Justice Bloc remnants and they initiated a battle. This fighting killed almost all vault-dwellers.

Here comes the twist: Vault 11’s “Sacrificing” was a social experiment. If the dwellers didn’t betray one of their own and refused to sacrifice anyone, a congratulatory video from the Vault-Tec computer would play. Yes, the deaths of everyone in Vault 11 were because of a sick experiment. The few people who survived this ordeal were granted the chance to escape.

There were five survivors. They were too traumatized and chose to punish themselves by committing suicide. One person in the group disagreed, however. This caused an argument and at the end of it, four successive gunshots will be heard. The sound of a man sighing and the pistol dropping to the floor will be heard then.

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