In Ace Combat 5, during one of the last missions of the Wardog Squadron, you and your fighter wing are flying security over a peace rally in your capital city when an enemy vanguard of fightercraft leads several wings of bombers into the area. You mop them up as the civilians evacuate the stadium, but your wingman Chopper's aircraft is critically damaged. To prevent the injury of innocents, he stays in the stricken fighter until the stadium is cleared, aiming to eject after setting a crash course for the now-empty field. Only.... his electrical systems fail, and he goes down in flames, unable to eject. Cue a final wing of enemy aircraft flying into the area, their radio chatter proclaiming that the Wardog squadron isn't invincible after all. It's a powerful, dramatic moment of Unstoppable Rage for the characters (and probably the player, too).
Enemy Pilot: What the?! They're flying even better than before?!
Made even more dramatic by the fact that there is no dramatic music immediately after this, and no radio chatter from your own squadron. Their missiles say more than words ever could...
And it's especially powerful because of just how damn noble Chopper is in the moments leading up to his death. He has the chance to ditch his fighter and let it crash, but that would mean letting it fall onto one of the thousands of houses below. The other wingmen suggest dropping it into the stadium, but he wants to wait for more people to evacuate. By the time he's able to safely dispose of his craft, he finds out that it wouldn't make a difference either way, because he can't eject. Rather than whine about it, he accepts his fate, aims his aircraft directly at the center of the field, and crashes. The whole time, everybody is pleading with him not to do it. Even Thunderhead, the AWACS Commander who has insisted on referring to him as "Captain Davenport" in every mission leading up to this, starts calling him "Chopper." In fact, he screams it. This prompts Chopper's last words:
Chopper: Heh. I'm gonna miss that voice....
In Wing Commander, if one of the other pilots died on a mission you would be treated to a short funeral cutscene where your player delivered a eulogy and their coffin was sent into space. What made it worse was that none of their deaths were scripted to occur, so the player knows that they could have prevented it.
Also, in Wing Commander 3, an old wingman commits possibly the most shocking Face-Heel Turn in video game history.
Wing Commander 4 had Vagabond die out of nowhere in a cutscene. Though it was foreshadowed if you are familiar with Wing Commander's history of forecasting characters' deaths via poker games.
In all Harvest Moon games taking place in Forget-Me-Not Valleynote A Wonderful Life, Another Wonderful Life, Wonderful Life Special Edition, Harvest Moon DS and DS Cute Nina dies once your child is born and they go to the 3 year timeskip.
An earlier one occurs in Harvest Moon 64, where Ellen, Elli's grandmother, will pass on right in front of you. This event is random, but avoidable ifyou know what to look for:If Ellen is sitting at the side of her house, not in front, DO NOT TALK TO HER.
In FreeSpace, your capital ship and captain for the first half of the game are blown to bits while all you can do is watch from your fighter. For the last half of the game, the menu screen is different (reflecting being on a new ship) as are the briefing voiceovers (reflecting your new, not-dead captain).