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Top 5 games characters having a worse day than you

Are you having a bad day? A terrible day even? Has the dog thrown up on the carpet, your girlfriend run away with your handsome, rich brother and your Xbox RROD’d all at once? Well look on the bright side, all five of these characters had much worse days than you, and they all made it through. It’s time to man up, give yourself a shake and game on…right after you read this list.

*Warning: Spoilers abound!*

5. Max Payne in Max Payne 2

It’s no mistake that Max Payne 2’s full title is “Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne”. In this instalment of the series Max Payne is working once again at the NYPD when things start to go wrong. Two years after having his family killed and going on a murderous rampage, Max is about to have another very bad day.

Two years after the events of the first game, Max Payne has quit his job at the DEA and returned to his former job as an NYPD detective. Having finally gotten over the tragic events of the first game he is finally getting his shit together. While investigating a series of murders by a group of contract killers called the Cleaners, Max encounters Mona Sax, who he thought had died during the events of the first game. As she’s been framed for a murder she didn’t commit, Mona is arrested. Max soon finds himself embroiled in another gritty comic-book adventure.

Having probably taken the last two years to come to terms with what happened to him, it must be tough for Max to live through the same tragedies in Max Payne 2. He finds love with Mona Sax, kills his boss, becomes a criminal, gets shot and eventually loses his love again (probably). At the end of the day he’s lost everything and all he has to show for it are the bodies of the three thousand enemies (roughly) that he shot through the course of the game. Just think about that next time you think your life is ruined because you forgot to buy milk.

4. Jackie Estacado in The Darkness

What’s the worst part of Jackie Estacado’s day? Is it that he takes part in a heist that goes wrong? That he’s been effectively fired from his job? That he’s targeted for assassination by “Uncle” Paulie, the mob boss? That he is taken over by a malevolent spirit that consumes human hearts and is devouring his soul?

Yes, it’s all of the above and more. Jackie is also forced to watch his girlfriend murdered while he is restrained by The Darkness. He also then commits suicide only to realise that even this will not allow his suffering to end as he awakens in an alternate hell dimension where he must fight zombie-Nazis. Worst of all, this all takes place on his birthday.

Do you remember your worst birthday? All that happened on mine is that I got Eternal Champions on Megadrive instead of Street Fighter 2!

3. James Sunderland in Silent Hill 2

If you ever end up in Silent Hill you know you’ve done something wrong and you know things are about to get bad. The faceless nurses, demon-babies, pyramid-headed-monsters kind of bad.

For James Sunderland it’s not so much the bestiary of mutant creatures that are out to kill him. Rather, it’s the preachy, guilt inducing manner in which they do so. Having a giant pyramid-headed sword-monster stalk you is bad enough, but when it’s a metaphor for your repressed sexuality it’s even worse. Being stabbed is awful, but being stabbed by a representation of your phallic subconscious must be awful and painfully ironic at the same time.

Not only does James Sunderland’s day involve fighting for his life, it also includes sexy versions of his dead wife cock-teasing him before being murdered repeatedly before his eyes. All of this is brought on by his guilt and desire to punish himself for ending his wife’s suffering and killing her. So not only is this a terrible day for him, but he is also doing it all to himself. Despite this, because it’s a battle against his subconscious he can’t just stop punishing himself. Like having a painful scab that you can’t resist picking at, James keeps hurting himself. There’s nothings worse than having the worst day of your life…and knowing that it’s all your own fault.

2. Kane and/or Lynch in Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days

Most of Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days involves running from place to place trying to find a way out of Shanghai. While no part of the game ever seems like a particularly good day for the two main characters, they are depicted as individuals who probably never have “good days”. Surly, un-heroic and thoroughly unlikeable, spending time in their company is not a lot of fun for the average, non-sociopathic gamer.

Despite the number of bad situations and vicious gunfights they get into as they try and ingratiate themselves with local crime bosses and save their necks, there’s one scene that sticks out as being particularly bad for them. Stripped naked and tortured brutally, both characters are left cut and bleeding as they eventually make their escape from their tormenters. As Lynch makes his way out of a dumpster (where he was assumed dead), he saves Kane and the two make their way through Shanghai killing police and mobsters. The whole time there’s something unnerving about the experience. Maybe it’s the casual violence or the tension-filled soundtrack…or maybe it’s the fact that you spend the next half hour of the game looking at two naked men covered in glistening, detailed, bloody gashes as they run around looking for clothes. There’s a real fetish-like attention to detail throughout this scene where both protagonists suffering and desperation is fleshed out in far too much detail.

I don’t know exactly what a “Dog Day” is, but I know its not a good day.

1. Billy or Jimmy Lee in Double Dragon

Back in 1987 it wasn’t a big deal to start a game with a short-skirted, large breasted woman being punched in the stomach. Leaping forth heroically from behind a garage door (why didn’t they take the red car?), two twin brothers travel forth to save the damsel (Marian) from giant, muscled, post-apocalyptic enemies. Will the two brothers succeed and will the close bond between them allow them to overcome their enemies and save the day? No. No it won’t.

Everything seems to be going smoothly until the closing moments of the game. As brothers Billy (Bimmy) and Jimmy Lee seem to have won the day and saved the girl, they are tasked with the ultimate betrayal. Kill your brother to decide who gets the girl. Yup, two TWIN BROTHERS who have defeated a virtual army of enemies are asked to kill each other, all for the affections of the ultimate embodiment of “hoes before bro’s”: Marian.

What if you don’t want to fight your brother? Then you will be trapped in an existential limbo as you wait out your final days, both nervously eyeing each other all the while being taunted by the bound prize hanging from the wall as she gently mocks you both. What. A. Bitch.

So there you go, a whole bunch of dudes having an even worse day than you. Hopefully that cheers you up, or at least took your mind of whatever disaster has befallen you in the last hour. On the off chance that you’re day is even worse than these guys, all I can do is sympathise. Good luck fighting those nazi-zombies!

Published inTop 5