TA Top Five: Resurrections

By Jonathan Barnes,
Happy Easter Sunday! Those of you who celebrate this Christian holiday know that it marks the resurrection of Jesus, who stepped out of a Vita-Chamber, grabbed a BFG, and took swift vengeance on Shadow Moses... or something like that. I don't know. I'm not exactly a churchgoer.

This week, in honor of that resurrection, we're going to take a look at the Top Five gaming characters who have died (or thought to have died) and come back to life in one way or another. As always, if your favorite game/character was left off this list, we did it intentionally just to watch you go rabid in the comments section. Finally, be warned, here be spoilers for BioShock Infinite DLC, Diablo III, and Gears of War 3.

Honorable Mentions

Starkiller - Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II Achievements

Is he a clone? Is he not a clone? Why does he have these memories? While The Force Unleashed II may have been a bit... underwhelming, Starkiller was actually a reasonably compelling character. While the canon/good ending of the first entry showed a reasonable end to Starkiller, the entire narrative of The Force Unleashed II seemingly revolved around discovering just how (and why) Starkiller "came back".

Adam Fenix - Gears of War 3 Achievements

Thought dead for the majority of the series, the revelation that Marcus' father Adam was actually alive and on Azura was one that shocked many gamers. While his presence may have been short-lived, his impact was immeasurable.

Diablo - Diablo III Achievements

You knew he'd be back, right? You can't keep the devil down. Diablo III may have started with the titular demon vanquished, gamers always had the feeling that his return was just around the corner. As the wasted remnants of Hell rallied behind Diablo's underlings, your hero gradually slayed them one by one, trapping them in the Black Soulstone. Unfortunately, holding that much concentrated evil in one spot is not exactly the greatest idea in the world and well... bad things happened.

The Top Five

5- The Courier - Fallout: New Vegas Achievements
Lonesome Road 2

Shot in the head (by Chandler F-ing Bing) and left for dead in the desert, it's amazing that the Courier even made it out of his hole, much less took on New Vegas. While you could also throw in the Lone Wanderer who dies at the end of Fallout 3 Achievements and comes back in "Broken Steel", the entire action of New Vegas is predicated on your character coming back from the dead, hunting down his killers, and taking on/joining the various factions of the vast landscape.

4- The Fateless One - Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Achievements

The entire story behind Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning was the ongoing battle between the immortal Tuatha Deohn and the inhabitants of the rest of the kingdom who are VERY mortal. When one group has infinite respawns and the other is playing with a stack of quarters, you know things aren't going to turn out rosy for the coin carriers. Enter "The Well of Souls", a meta-spiritual-scientific experiment that aimed to give mortal warriors immortality. Unfortunately, it only worked once, on you, "The Fateless One". Fortunately, that success separated "The Fateless One" from... well... fate. Being freed from the shackles of fate and predestination allowed "The Fateless One" to turn the tide of the war, be a bane to the Tuatha Deohn, and generally turn into one bad mother (shut yo mouth).

3- Elizabeth - BioShock Infinite (Xbox 360) Achievements "Burial at Sea"
BaS 2

The recently-released (and excellent) second episode of Irrational's "Burial at Sea" DLC kicks off with the revelation that Elizabeth didn't survive the encounter with the Big Daddy at the end of "Episode 1" and has come back in a new form that doesn't allow her to open tears, see multiple realities, or do any of the "Elizabeth-type stuff" that we had come to expect from her through the course of the main game and the first part of the DLC. On the other hand, her new form encourages a stealthy exploration of Rapture and Columbia and the use of new plasmids, weapons, and tactics.

2- Commander Shepard - Mass Effect 2 Achievements
Mass Effect 2

Being rebuilt from a bucket of guts isn't easy, but somehow Miranda Lawson and Cerberus did it. BioWare shook up many gamers by killing off Shepard in the opening minutes of their smash-hit, Mass Effect 2, effectively clearing the table of Shepard's Spectre status, his official ties to the government, and allowing him to operate in the shadows to track down and eliminate the Collectors.

1- "You" - Dark Souls Achievements
Character Creation 16

...and boy is it a good thing that you come back! Without resurrection, Dark Souls wouldn't be Dark Souls. Trial and death, then more death, then more death, then getting closer to living, then more death, then more death, then more death, then MAYBE success (but really more death) is the eternal gameplay loop of From Software's cult hit. The character's ability to come back to life and learn from the mistakes made is part of what makes the experience of Dark Souls unlike any other. While other games on this list use resurrection as either a narrative device or a game mechanic, Dark Souls uses it as both.

The TA Team will be bringing you The TA Top Five every Sunday until we run out of coolness to debate and discuss. If you have an idea for a Top Five you'd like us to do, be sure to let us know in the comments!
Jonathan Barnes
Written by Jonathan Barnes
Jonathan has been a news/views contributor since 2010. When he's not writing reviews, features, and opinion pieces, he spends his days working as an informal science educator and his nights as an international man of mystery.