The two creators of Fallout split up, with the remaining one saying that all of the non-human characters all died due to a gigantic explosion following Fallout 2, apparently sharing J. Michael Straczynski's overzealous frothing hatred for cute kids and robots. This was apparently a joke, as non-human characters like Marcus returned in Fallout: New Vegas.
Also, Chris Avellone and the Black Isle dropped a bridge on the Wannamigos in the Fallout Bible, having described their sterility, genetic clock and an onslaught of a travelling tribal.
In Fallout 3, Liberty Prime, the Deus ex Machina of the main game, is nuked from orbit during the first quest of the Broken Steel add-on.
According to Fallout 4, Owen and Sarah Lyons died between 3 and 4. The former died of old age (paving the way for Arthur Maxson to take over) and the latter died in battle.
When Eric Chahi created Another World, he had no intention of making a sequel, preferring to let the ambiguous ending (Buddy loading Lester's broken body into a pterodactyl and flying it to safety) stand alone. Interplay wasn't about to have any of that. So when Heart of the Alien was made, it became clear there was no feasible way of sending Lester back to his home world. Thus, Lester dies saving Buddy and the game ends with his cremation.
This trope is played for laughs somewhat in Drakengard's fifth ending, in which Caim and the dragon, having defeated the Ultimate Evil after following it through a rift in the space time continuum, are shot down by Japanese Air Self-Defense Force fighter jets. It's unbelievably anticlimactic to the point where after everything that has preceded it, you have to laugh.
Aldo Trapani, the protagonist of the EA adaptation of The Godfather, gets abruptly sniped dead in the opening level of the second game to allow for new player character Dominic to take his place.
In Starcraft, the Zerg cerebrates were stated to have died out in between Brood Wars and Starcraft II by Chris Metzen due to the death of the Overmind. But that was because most of the cerebrates had merged into that Overmind, including Daggoth.
Which is especially odd considering that the final battle at the end of Brood War wasn't even over Kerrigan (who is on Char with the rest of the Broods). The three strongest armies in the game converge on that platform to kill but one cerebrate: You.
Played for laughs and drama in obscure adventure game Shadow of Destiny, in which the entire goal of the game is to travel back in time and prevent your own murder; some deaths are dramatic, some are just plain funny. In the C ending in which the player does the bare minimum to win, Eike finally prevents his own murder, lies down on the road to contemplate his own existence, and, after a soulful monologue, gets run over by a drunk driver.
This only really applies to Crono, Marle, and Lucca. The reason the rest of the cast wasn't present was shown in the ending of Chrono Trigger. The other characters all had returned to their original time periods and only those three characters were still in the present.
It also applies to Prometheus, aka Robo, whose circuits (which apparently carried his personality) were used to construct the Prometheus Lock that kept the Frozen Flame sealed away from FATE. The most ignominous part is that, once she has recovered her access to it, she could have deleted Prometheus at any time. She was just waiting for Serge & Co (who have ZERO connection to Prometheus and don't even know who or what he is) to arrive at her inner sanctum, so the player could watch as she unceremoniously destroyed him without fuss or fanfare.
It should be mentioned that the Chrono, Marle and Lucca that had Bridges Dropped on them were versions of them from failed timelines ending up in the Darkness Beyond Time and were likely the same ones fought as bosses in Chrono Trigger DS (of course if they are then their death would be at the hands of the main versions of Chrono, Marle and Lucca in the bonus boss fights).
The moral based horror puzzle video game Catherine kills off the main character like this in the action stages if the player is not careful.
Also happens during one of the endings w here Vincent chases after C-Catherine because he loves her, but due to his lack of chaos (Chaos and Law is basically the game's karma meter) he get's promptly ran over by a truck, with his friend doing an epic Jaw Drop in shock.
Cid in Final Fantasy VI dies from eating bad fish. Which you, the player character, fed him. What makes this especially infuriating is that there is a way to ensure he doesn't die, but you're unlikely to figure it out without a guide the first time around. Granted, letting him die actually leads to a much more touching and emotional scene, but it's still a pretty random way to go out.note Only catch the fast-moving fish; leave the slow ones alone entirely.
In Metal Gear Solid 4, After coming Back from the Dead, Liquid Snake is not defeated and killed in a fistfight with Solid Snake but actually by having his arm surgically removed from Ocelot's body and getting replaced with a mechanical prosthetic before the game even started. Ocelot simply uses a combination of nanomachines and hypnotherapy to make himself think he was Liquid all along.
In Mortal Kombat 9, this happens to nearly everyone who dies. Granted, Word of God isn't even denying that they'll all be back but that doesn't make it any less annoying.
Super Robot Wars Original Generation Gaiden appeared to have bridge-dropped Lamia while after just addressing how glad she was that she had friends...she was unceremoniously shot down and all signs show that she's Killed Off for Real. Then, several chapters later, it's revealed that the bridge didn't really completely splatter her, and Duminuss lifted that bridge up, ensuring her survival.
Brad Vickers, S.T.A.R.S. Alpha Team's pilot in the original Resident Evil, appears as an easy-to-miss enemy zombie in Resident Evil 2 who only exists to grant the player the key to the wardrobe locker when defeated. Resident Evil 3, being a Non-Linear Sequel to RE2, had to come up with a more satisfying explanation for Brad's demise. It turns out he was killed by the Nemesis, Umbrella bio-weapon trained to kill the survivors of the mansion incident.
In the very first dungeon, you'll soon find out that Minsc's witch Dynaheir and Jaheira's husband Khalid (both recruit-able NPCs in the first game) were killed off-screen by the new Big Bad.
If Yoshimo was in your party Spellhold, he'd sell you out to the Big Bad - but he's unable to refuse due to a geas spell. The frustrating part was if you knew this was coming, and left him back at the inn (say, if you were trying to do it again with a different class and/or party), then to prevent you from being able to pick him up again later, he'd be stabbed in the back the second you walked in the door. Wallop.
In the Sahuagin City side quest, if you choose to help Prince Villynaty against King Ixilthetocal after reaching the prince, King Ixilthetocal has two of the people who suggested that you go talk to the prince executed for reasons unrelated to your decision.
If you take Keldorn with you to the Windspear Hills, he'll recognize that his squire Ajantis, the NPC paladin from the first game, is among the paladins you are forced to kill due to Firkraag's manipulations.
In Win Back, nearly all of Jean-Luc's teammates unceremoniously have bridges dropped on them over the course of the game. Jake's death was the biggest Player Punch , since he survives until near the end of the game, to get you attached to him, then Bang Bang he's dead.
Bridges are dropped all over in the last route of Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel. Caster, Assassin, Lancer, Berserker, Archer, Gilgamesh and Saber.
There's plenty of bridge dropping (and Long Bus Trips, in Sakura's case) in the other two routes, though- most notably Caster in Fate and Ilya/Berserker in UBW, who each get one scene to say "Hi, I'm a villain!" and then die in that scene or the next time we see them. HF does it slightly more due to it pulling in some completely new characters, but the real reason why HF's bridge dropping stands out more is that all of its characters had bridges dropped on them *after* the scenes that made fans care about them, whereas nobody cared about Caster yet when Gil insta-killed her ten minutes after her introduction in Fate.
Call of Duty 4: All the SAS members except Soap and Captain Price are unceremoniously executed at the end of the game. In Modern Warfare 2, all of TF-141, again barring Soap and Price, are killed off by General Shepherd. In fact, if you're a player character in a Modern Warfare title who isn't Soap or Price, you'd better call home and say your goodbyes while you can, because there's a rickety ridge overhead with your name on it.
Soldier of Fortune II: Madeline Taylor. By nothing more than a facelessMook that you tear to shreds as easily as all the others before him, to boot. Hawk suffers a similar fate in the first game, albeit at the hands of the Big Bad.
Star Ocean: The Second Story had one where Ronyx, a character in the last Star Ocean game who had survived many confrontations in the first game is killed off suddenly in the second by a laser beam meant as a demonstration of power by the Big Bads.
Silent Hill 3 killed off the main character from the very first Silent Hill game, Harry, by having his beloved daughter, your character, Heather, arrive at their house to find him dead. For those who played the first Silent Hill and may have had some sympathetic attachment to Harry, this was an extremely abrupt off-screen affair. A bit of time is spent mourning him, but not much. It's odd when you think that the things Harry knew could probably have prevented most of the game, if he'd been alive to tell Heather. Also combines with Stuffed In The Fridge, since it's done to fill Heather with hatred and give her a motive for revenge.
Some may consider Johnson's death near the end of Halo 3 this. At least he gets to help kill the guy that offed him.
Halo: Reach: We knew all of Noble Team was going to die going in. But Kat's was probably the most emotionally effective because it was the sudden, out of nowhere kind of death that could have happened to anyone.
Pre-Halo: First Strike retcon, Johnson's death in Halo: Combat Evolved counts as well. The fact that it was so easy to retcon him back into the series shows just how little his original death was even touched on.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion retroactively did this to a fair number of major characters and factions from Morrowind. Off the top of my head: The Nerevarine, aka, the PC of Morrowind, vanished during an expedition to Akavir, Caius Cosades apparently fell off the face of Tamriel, Vivec was either kidnapped by Daedra or escaped to Aetherius, and House Redoran was almost completely wiped by Mehrunes Dagon's invasion.
A letter in Oblivion states that Caius Cosades was stationed in Kragenmoor on the Morrowind mainland during the Oblivion crisis. What happened to him after that is up to speculation.
It's been revealed that Red Mountain erupted sometime after the events of Oblivion. Oh, and remember how Vivec was kidnapped? It turns out that his presence was the only thing keeping the Ministry of Truth in the air, and it crashed into Vvardenfall. Literally the entire island was destroyed. Yeah, things aren't going very well throughout the empire right now, but Morrowind definitely has it worse then anyone else.
A quest in Runescape brought us a variation on this: "Drop a Pillar on him". How? A quest called Salt in the Wound was released to end the Sea Slug quest series, and in it, you "fight" the big bad Mother Mallum, who's been built up as one of the biggest threats in the world of Runescape. How does she die? You topple over a pillar and crush her. Players were not pleased.
In Tekken 3, it was stated that Jun, Baek, and indeed most of the cast of the original games had been killed and absorbed by Ogre. Later games Retconed this by revealing that Baek and a few others (such as Lee, whose fighting set had been copied by Ogre, implying his death) had survived.
Bill in Left 4 Dead 2's DLC chapter "The Passing". What makes this a particular odd choice is that the death in question was announced by Valve well ahead of time and given plenty of limelight... and then the actual event was limited to a single line on-screen: "A good man died today."
Bill is an unusual case; Valve had trouble getting him back to record dialog for later DLC chapters because he was busy with his day job (radio DJ). A later campaign, "The Sacrifice", shows the original L4D characters' last adventure, with one of them having to do a Heroic Sacrifice to protect the other three. In the game any character can make the sacrifice, but canonically Bill is the one who does it. And to Valve's credit, unlike many others on this list he at least went out like a hero and a badass, facing three Tanks by himself in order to let the others get to safety.
Made even cooler by the fact that when you saw his body in 'The Passing', it's lying right where the comic shows him sitting for the last stand. Which, given the zombie propensity for vanishing into thin air, probably means he managed to off all three tanks before bleeding to death.
The death of Corporal Hart at the end of Time Splitters 2. After the splitters break into the control room, she's killed in one shot by one of the lightning bolts the splitters fire, an attack that, in gameplay, does no more damage than a mildly powerful bullet.
In Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, after going through utter hell, seeing all her friends brutally murdered, and learning that she was nothing more than an Unwitting Pawn all along, April is randomely attacked, impaled and left to drown in a swamp in literally the last few seconds of the game.
Many fans assume she is alive, remembering that, in the first game, she learned to breathe underwater.
Now that Dreamfall Chapters is out of Development Hell thanks to a Kickstarter campaign raising $1.5 million to fund the game, we may get an answer to that question. According to the creators, Zoe is still in a coma, but will learn to use her dream powers to travel between worlds even while her body is in the hospital. Kian is still alive but awaits execution. April's ultimate fate is not revealed, although her voice actress is set to return. Like Dreamfall, Chapters will have 3 playable characters, and the third character has not yet been revealed (although it's mentioned that it's a female and someone new).
It's possible to do of this to two of the playable characters in Heavy Rain. Among other ways, FBI Agent Norman Jayden can have his brains blown out by a two-bit thug, and Madison can be tortured to death by a random Mad Doctor.
In one of the GDI endings in Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn (if you destroy the Temple of Nod without the Ion Cannon), Kane walks down a corridor and is suddenly crushed by falling debris. Subverted because he is alive and well in the next game.
In Sonic Lost World, the main villains are the Deadly Six, six entirely new characters each with their own unique personality, and among the darker Sonic villains, while bringing a sense of humor at the same time. How do they go out? Three of them, Zazz, Zomom, and Master Zik, are fought in a row at Zone 1 of Lava Mountain, and only take two hits before they are (presumably) destroyed as if they were common enemies. Zeena puts up more of a fight but goes a similar way, while Zor falls into the lava when Sonic hits a switch. Zavok on the other hand has more of a climactic battle with his giant form and fall down a shaft into lava (which is fitting since he's the main villain, although he is Hijacked by Ganon after his doom). Unlike Metal Sonic in the previous game, their deaths happen during gameplay rather than in cutscenes.
However, their deaths are up to debate given that Eggman mentions recruiting them again in the ending.
Hilariously done in the opening credits for the Nintendo 64 shooter Star Wars Episode 1: Battle For Naboo. We see Jar-Jar Binks walking around, only for the Nintendo 64 logo to suddenly drop on him. It's the only time we ever see him in the game.
As of Soul Calibur V, most of the original cast who don't appear are simply Put on a Bus. However, it is explicitly stated that poor Sophitia died at some point between V and IV. The artbook suggests that she had the fragment of Soul Edge near her heart surgically removed, forever freeing Pyrrha from it's influence at the cost of her own life.
World of Warcraft: In Warlords of Draenor, Admiral Taylor, a recurring Alliance character since Cataclysm, is Killed Offscreen along with his entire garrison in some random questline in Spires of Arak by some no-name villain who is easily dispatched by the Player Character. The sheer randomness of the death and the lack of any narrative purpose it serves really makes it feel like he was just killed because his Horde counterpart General Nazgrim died in the Siege of Orgrimmar (his death, though still disliked by some, was at least suitably epic) though Word of God has denied this. Even worse, Taylor's ghost can then be recruited as a follower, making it seem even more pointless.
It's later mentioned in the True Mastermind Edition of Time Crisis 5 that Christy Ryan, the Damsel in Distress from the second game who had just become Keith's girlfriend, was Killed Offscreen three months before the events of the game when Robert went rogue on the VSSE.
Aya Brea, the fondly remembered protagonist of Parasite Eve and its sequel, is bumped off in The 3rd Birthday by a SWAT team that shot up her wedding for a reason that is never explained. As a result, Eve is forced to shoot her to correct the timeline.
Dwarf Fortress has a literal example in the "Dwarven Atom Smasher". Using a draw bridge can/could crush anything beneath it into nothingness but later version can only crush trash and not something important like holier-than-thou Elven traders, uppity Goblins, bloodthirsty elephants, and giant sponges coming to push the shit out of everyone in it's way.