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And I Must Scream / Video Games

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By the end, you'll probably be screaming too.

  • In The 7th Guest, the spirits of the children who died from The Plague were sealed in dolls. Also, Elinor Knox ends up being turned into a mannequin.
  • In the standard ending of the Interactive Fiction game The Act of Misdirection, you end up as a sentient bust in a hat store. You are in this state for a few turns before the game ends with the implication that you will be like that forever. In these few turns you can try several actions including "shout" and "move" and the game will disturbingly remark on your inability to do them.
  • Afterlife (1996) has a few punishments like this, specially Lust's Screaming Subspace Voids, where the damned are put in a straitjacket, blindfolded, have their ears plugged, and are suspended by a cable in a black void with no sides to touch. Description states insanity comes real quick. There's also what the Powers That Be did to Scegf0d the Ungrateful Angel/Demon, who never felt Heaven and its pleasures to be good enough, nor Hell to be painful and awful enough and was quite incessantly vocal about it: Remove all feeling from the equation and reincarnate him into an utterly unfeeling rock, a being of pure intellect that will go on through eons to feel nothing but his own increasing dementia.
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  • In Akai Ito, Nozomi was trapped inside the Ryugetsu for... a long time. Even though in other characters' route she is always a villain, when you are in her route it's explained that she was a princess of some sort, and discarded her original body to obtain freedom from the deadly political game of her era. She then became a ghost that is attached to the Ryugetsu. How did she accomplish this? By making deal with Nushi, which, at that time, seemed sympathetic. When Nushi was defeated and sealed by the onikiri, she became trapped in the mirror. As she wondered why Nushi never come for her, her psyche crumbled, and out of loneliness (and low self-esteem, she's really a messed-up person) she created another persona that act as her twin little sister. But that little sister, Mikage, was really a part of Nushi's shattered soul, and manipulates her into manipulating the owner of the mirror to do atrocious things, all to free Nushi.
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  • Captain Pregtz from Alone in the Dark (1992) was turned into a tree and has lived in an underground city for 300 years.
  • In Amnesia: The Dark Descent, the fate of Cornelius Agrippa skirts this trope; he is left chained to a wall in a distant cellar, in a decayed, immortal body, aware but unable to move, for 300 years. Although he can speak, he has no one to speak to until you arrive. Given his predicament, he seems in remarkably good spirits when he meets you.
    • Depending on the ending, Either Alexander or Daniel will meet this fate, trapped in eternal darkness after being swallowed by The Shadow of the Orb forever.
  • The fate of the Pale Bride in Analogue: A Hate Story, after her adoptive parents cut out her tongue to keep her from arguing. While she was in stasis, the people of the Mugunghwa stopped using the Korean alphabet and can no longer read it, and she can't write the Chinese characters they use now, so she has no way of communicating with anybody anymore aside from body language. And then the only person who ever treated her with kindness after she came out of stasis dies. No wonder she snapped and decided to Kill 'Em All.
  • Anatomy has a rather sad example where a Sapient House is left to rot alone, and that the events of the game itself was only imaginary to keep itself company as it starves indefinitely. What is worse is that the tagline for the game, "Every house is haunted", implies that every house may share this fate.
  • One of the endings in the Lovecraftian Interactive Fiction Anchorhead involves the protagonist being trapped in a dimension filled with nothing but "the necrotic folds of the womb of Nehilim".
  • Arcanum has several cases of this.
    • The most obvious example are The Gray Legionnaires, an army of (very high-quality) undead raised by order of necromancers. They retain their appearance, intelligence, memories and personality and do not die of natural cases, but without magical support, they will slowly rot alive. While as much as the skeleton remains, they can be rejuvenated or killed, but once their bones turn to dust, nothing can free them from this state. According to the very last lucky survivor, they will live forever, immobile, voiceless and senseless, but still conscious.
    • In the very first location, you encounter the spirit of a thug, cursed to be trapped in his dead body forever, in constant pain. However, you can can at least resurrect him, but after his (very soon, as his first action is to attack you) death he still will be trapped in this plane of existence.
    • In the Void, Arronax was defeated by Big Bad Kerghan and imprisoned for 2000 years in some kind of force field just wide enough for him to stand, speaking only occasionally with Kerghan. And the Void is the weird place where the only way to die is by violence. However, not only did it not affect Arronax's sanity, but, as he states, actually gave him time to think about his life and deeds, eventually leading to his Heel–Face Turn.
      • Interestingly, a spiritual snake-like creature which has been sustaining Arronax's magical prison suffered almost the same fate, being summoned from the other world and forced to roam the same room for all 2000 years, apparently able to communicate only with the owner of the control medallion (which was given to the undead). If you get the medallion in possession, it will say that this place hurts it, and plead for release.
  • Azrael's Tear centers around the Holy Grail and the substance it's composed of, grailstone. It heals virtually all injuries, cures pretty much any sickness, generally promotes health, gradually mutates the body of some individuals, turns some minds to madness... Oh, and if you're lucky enough to be killed so thoroughly that the grailstone can't revive you, you get to exist as a ghost, with your spirit trapped near your body for as long as it remains under the grailstone's influence.
  • Centeol in Baldur's Gate, a minor NPC found in Cloakwood, was once a beautiful sorceress, but has been transformed into a grotesque blobby thing that is unable to move from the centre of its nest, where it is fed and protected by giant spiders.
  • In Baten Kaitos, the five islands are kept aloft by pieces of the dead god of evil, Malpercio. In Baten Kaitos Origins, you learn Malpercio was actually five people (Seph, Thoran, Ven, Marno, and Pieda) who sold their soul to the Dark Brethren for power, and it was their bodies that were sealed into the End Magnus. Moreover, a chunk of Marno is inside Sagi, and Marno serves as Sagi's guardian spirit. Have the five of them been conscious while they're entombed in the islands?! Moreover, in Eternal Wings, the five End Magnus get fused together. Are they still conscious after that?
  • Poor Jenne is likely in a situation like this in the first half of Bayonetta 2 after she's grabbed by the demons of the Inferno, given the ending of the "Did You Miss Me?" trailer; a shot can be seen of her soul floating alone and helpless in a void, with Bayonetta's voice assuring her, "Jeanne, I'm on my way. Just behave yourself for a bit longer... " Whether she's conscious or not then isn't known, but assuming she can hear it...
  • The flash game series Being One features some disturbing examples.
    • In the first game, you have to disable three stasis tanks to escape the lab you were held in. One of the alien specimens, who is a telepath, says "Help us, help us, help us..." just before dying.
    • The fourth episode has werewolves (or Lycans, as they call them), and the scientists' research explains that being a werewolf actually comes from a virus activated by the moon, and those infected go on a rage-driven rampage in an attempt to kill themselves. But that's tricky when you consider that they heal very fast.
    • The fifth game, revealing how twisted the Big Bad is, has nanobots that can dissolve human flesh and turn brain-dead humans into zombies. The player is injected with these nanos as well, and has to endure incredible pain while trying to find a cure.
  • Being returned to the ink in Bendy and the Ink Machine.
    Alice: Do you know what it's like? Living in the dark puddles? It's a buzzing, screaming well of voices! Bits of your mind, swimming ... like ... like fish in a bowl!
  • In Bioshock, if you shoot the plaster sculptures courtesy of Sander Cohen, they bleed. Of course, even more unsettling is that they sometimes are moved when you are not looking. Oh, and one of them is a little girl. It's the only statue that doesn't bleed.
  • In Bioshock 2, Gilbert Alexander was experimented on by Sophia Lamb — her first test subject for what she plans to do with her daughter. He is reduced to a giant floating tentacled blob, his sanity long since disappeared, howling in the dark at the splicers and calling himself Alex the Great. His last recorded message to you begs you to kill him, to put him out of his misery. In a curious subversion, honoring his wishes and killing him is treated just as bad as killing the innocent little sisters.
    • The spoilered item only comes about because of a programming oversight they didn't catch until after it was released, namely that the achievement for being a saint involves not killing Alexander at the end, despite the implications of this.
    • There's another instance in Bioshock 2 that can be considered a good example of this — when Lamb turns Sinclair into a Big Daddy, he begs with the last ounce of humanity in him for death. The player can use the fully upgraded version of Hypnotize to have Sinclair aid them in killing the Splicers around and to follow them, but every moment not spent whaling on the poor bastard is more time for him to brokenly plead for death.
    • Some of the Big Daddy conversion subjects had their minds left intact. Yikes. In fact, the Big Bad even pities you for this, since you are one of those subjects.
  • Animus from The Black Heart, because of how monstrous he was when born, his mother ordered to have him killed, but, because he's the son of Final, he was unable to die, and he was instead put inside an iron maiden, where he remained alive for about 400 years. No wonder that when he finally came out he became an insane Combat Sadomasochist Death Seeker.
  • Arakune of BlazBlue has this on a few levels. Originally he was a scientist, researching the netherworld of lost souls called the Boundary. As he learned more and more, he eventually fell into the Boundary, and now... he is a shapeless mass of insects, who lives only to pursue knowledge. You see that face-like white plate? That's not his face. He has no face. That's just a mask he stuck onto himself to try and make communicating easier. Also, while he thinks he's talking perfectly normal, his speech comes out fragmented and incomprehensible, a lot like this actually. When his former love interest, who is trying to save him, finally tracks him down, he is able to remember her, and speak clearly for the first time in years, and tries to warn her that she is dangerously close to becoming like him... and while he tried to stop her from pursuing him further to avoid getting even closer, she also realizes that just running away at that point would pretty much doom her to the fate...
    • Subverted as of Blaz Blue Chrono Phantasma, where Arakune has regained full control over his speech. At this point, however, Litchi is now forced into an Unwitting Pawn to Imperator Saya, and continues to pursue Arakune in hopes of a cure... which can also be used at her due to avoid the doom as mentioned above... She has abandoned Kokonoe because while the latter is capable of the cure, she just plain refused to make one, preferring to concentrate on her lust of vengeance against Terumi (in fact Litchi asked her first, Kokonoe just refused). Oh and you may be wondering WHO is capable of at least giving Arakune coherency in speech. Why, it's our resident evil Mad Scientist Relius Clover, of course. This is Relius we're talking about, so you may say that the process of giving speech coherency to Arakune can be this trope altogether too.
    • Lambda-11's story mode in BlazBlue: Continuum Shift both plays it straight and combines it with Mind Rape. The former when she is the subject of durability tests with high voltage (which the researchers note would fry most Murakumo units), but is only partially online so she cannot voice her agony or requests for help. Later, Kokonoe acquires her and wipes her mind so she can be used as a combat drone. Lambda hears Kokonoe talking about mind-wiping her and panics, but again is not able to speak. Even her supposed "gag reel" has these elements present, making it more soul-crushingly depressing than funny.
    • Also Continuum Shift, Makoto gets in on this in her bad ending. Relius Clover gets a hold of her and, in a rather harrowing sequence, tortures her via prolonged Mind Rape. Relius' last comment implies that he intends to transform her into something like his wife-turned-battle-doll Ignis, and Makoto is still conscious and aware as the ending fades to black. Yikes. Fortunately, it's a bad ending so it's not canon.
  • In Bloodborne, the Vileblood spirit killed by the Executioners lie inside the weapons of the Executioners and utilised as weapons, and the vengeful spirits grind by the wagon wheel and drenched into the gloves and are implied to be conscious. If you give a letter to Alfred to spoil the location of Cainhurst, Alfred would head to the throne room to grind Annalise, the immortal queen of Vileblood into mincemeat with his wagon wheel. It is implied those blobs of flesh are still alive after having been ground into pieces.
  • During Bravely Default's false ending, Airy threatens your party with this after you enter the final dungeon: even though it will take five millennia for the destroyed crystal to regenerate, they will have your screams of torment to help pass the time.
  • The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena introduces us to the Ghost Drones, who are humans that have had most of their insides ripped out and replaced with machinery and cheap AI so that they can be remote-controlled (no word on whether they retain their original human consciousness, though). Riddick encounters one man in the middle of this horrifying conversion, and obliges his request to be killed. Riddick's charitable like that.
  • Trilby gets this treatment in Yahtzee's Six Days A Sacrifice, where he or one of his clones is absorbed into Chzo's body to suffer for eternity beyond casual interpretations of space and time. The same goes for Cabadath, an ancient druid who summoned but failed to control Chzo ages ago, and whose soul was joined to a tree, essentially granting him immortality and allowing him to manifest himself as The Prince to whoever disturbs the wood of the tree.
  • In The ClueFinders Reading Adventures Ages 9–12: Mystery of the Missing Amulet, Malicia is trapped inside the amulet at the end when Owen reflects its blast on her, She deserved it...
  • Yuri's fate in the Allied ending of Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2: Yuris Revenge, where he is captured, strapped down to what amounts to a metallic coffin, with something like a Dentist's lamp right over his head, and kept there for a life sentence, all to prevent him from using his Psychic powers.
  • Those who die in the school in Corpse Party are left to wander the school feeling the pain they felt when they died for eternity.
  • In Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time, this is the unfortunate and gruesomely nightmarish fate of N. Brio as revealed in the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue of the game, as he (still trapped in his pterodactyl form) gets mistaken for a flying squirrel and captured by a Mad Doctor, who then proceeds to taxidermize N. Brio alive and put him on display into his exhibit for the visitors to see, all while N. Brio is fully conscious of what's happening to him as he can only watch in horror while silently begging for help, but is completely unable to escape and worse, speak with anybody about his horrifyingly agonizing situation. Just as if the whole ordeal wasn't already bad enough, it's revealed the professor who did all of this was none other than Ripper Roo, meaning that N. Brio got done in by his own creation! While it's fitting considering everything he's done, that's just a terrifying way to go...
  • In Creepy Castle it happens to Darking when Possessor... possesses him.
  • In Crystal's Pony Tale, a witch kidnaps and imprisons Crystal's friends. The placements are random so one of them could be encased in a cave wall and another could be rendered to a simple outline on a carousel.
  • In Darkest Dungeon, this is the fate of those taken by the Collector, who collects the severed heads and souls of fallen heroes (namely a Highwayman, a Man-at-arms, and a Vestal) and uses their power during combat. How aware they are is left up in the air.
  • Dark Souls: The eventual and inevitable fate of all those cursed with the Darkbrand. As for more specific examples:
    • The Bed of Chaos is the Witch of Izalith. She tried to use her Lord Soul to recreate the First Flame, but it went horribly wrong. The Witch and 2 of her daughters were trapped in the chaotic flame, which also created all of Lordran's Demons. Its implied she and her two daughters are still vaguely conscious. Dark Souls 2 very strongly implies that the Lost Sinner is the Witch who has been reincarnated and has imprisoned herself to further atone for her crimes.
    • Turns out that when Gwyn set out to rekindle the First Flame, he had to light himself on fire in the Kiln to keep the flame going. By the time you find him, he's been burning for a very long time and has gone hollowed and insane. His fight is just him wanting The Last Dance before you finally give him a Mercy Kill.
    • Its implied that the bodies making up Gravelord Nito are still conscious. Same with The Rotten in II, which is a reincarnation of Nito.
  • The survivors of Dead by Daylight are trapped in the Entity's dimension, who subjects them to a "Groundhog Day" Loop of being chased by murderers over and over again. Regardless of whether they live or die from an encounter, they will always reappear for the next cat and mouse game.
  • Dead Island gives us Suicider zombies, a type of zombie that explodes on proximity to survivors. They still retain their minds, however, they are driven by a primal urge to explode near uninfected survivors. They can sometimes be heard saying "Help me" before exploding.
  • The final fate of Tiberius from Demonbane. In Al's route, he gets absorbed into the Shining Trapezohedron, forever trapped in a dimension of shrieking madness and suffering.
  • Late in Survival Horror / Guro game Demonophobia, it's revealed by Ritz that the game's respawn system is not simply a gameplay mechanic — it actually happens. Worse, every time main character Sakuri dies she remains conscious, aware, and feeling the pain of the fatal injury for three days before she's resurrected and her memory of the event is erased. And all of those corpses you've passed along your way are going through the exact same torture, but unlike Sakuri they don't have a guardian spirit to resurrect them and end their pain; they're going to be in that state for eternity.
  • Destiny gives us an inversion in the form of the Taken, who are enemies created from every enemy race in the game. While their writhing and painful shrieks give off the impression that they're suffering, reading the lore actually reveals that they're actually in constant ecstasy; when a creature becomes a Taken, all of their fears and doubts are taken away as the Darkness bestows them with joy, and unified purpose- that being the destruction of the Light. When you think about it, such could still be seen as a Fate Worse than Death in a different way...
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution has the Hyron Project Drones, a quantum supercomputer with human "drones" connected directly into it. The drones are kidnapped young women who have their spines and part of their brains replaced by cyberware before being forcibly put into pods and connected to the computer. The drones are fitted with suits to cool them down and are permanently having gigantic amounts of computer data passing through their minds, causing to only be able to communicate by babbling about how cold they feel or adding cryptic creepy lines at the end of the automated messages the computer sends.
  • Diablo: See, there are these things called soulstones, used to imprison the spirits of the main Big Bads of the game. But one of them, Baal, managed to shatter his. The biggest shard left wasn't powerful enough to hold him. A very powerful mage named Tal Rasha selflessly offers his powers to contain the demon in the soulstone. Guess what this entails? They strap his body to a giant stone tablet in an ancient tomb in the middle of a desert, shove the stone into his chest, and leave him to eternally battle a demon for his mind! About halfway through the second game, the main evil party releases Baal from his body, with the side effect of killing Tal Rasha.
    • In another example, an immortal angel made a stupid move to attack one of the main villains when not thoroughly prepared. Proceed to angel being captured by a pissed off Big Bad. They slowly ripped off his wings, and then put huge barbed hooks through his skin and stretched it out. After that, they trapped him in a chamber of mirrors, with his eyelids torn off. So that the only thing he can see for all eternity is his torn, bloated figure.
  • Happens to the Big Bad in Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice: after defeating the would-be "hero", Mao decides against killing him and concludes that his immortal body would make him a perfect lab rat for his experiments... old school Mad Scientist type-experiments that usually involve rusty needles and a complete lack of anesthesia. For thousands of years.
    • As of the sequel, he has apparently been re-purposed as the power source for Mao's Humongous Mecha. And yes, he's still alive.
  • The Heart in Dishonored helps you find collectibles and upgrade runes while giving you information on Dunwall and people (should you be pointing it at them). Once in a while, however, you hear it say "What have they done TO ME!?" or comment on its past life.
    The Outsider: "Here, take this heart. Made from a living thing."
  • The Revenants, at least in DOOM (2016), became this in the new timeline. The shrieking, gore-splattered skeletons with rockets attached? They were once human. Humans who were subjected to weeks-long torture on end, then injected with Lazarus Waves until they perish, with Hell's energy causing their body to reanimate.
  • Dota 2 has no less than two cases of this happening in one character's backstory. N'aix the Lifestealer was once a normal thief, who was punished by being made immortal and chained up in a dungeon where he was tortured until his mind broke. Later, a wizard who was sentenced to a similar punishment tried to escape the dungeon by using his magic to perform Grand Theft Me on N'aix and have him distract the guards, but N'aix's madness formed a powerful vortex that sucked in the wizard's consciousness. As a result, both their minds were merged into one, with N'aix's consciousness retaining control of his body while the wizard was left helpless, only capable of whispering faint suggestions into the Lifestealer's mind.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, Shale was unactivated, but never the less capable of thought, for 30 years in the middle of some little peasant village. As a result of this, Shale has a deep, deep and very vocalized loathing of pigeons and the various peasants the deactivated Golem was forced to stand still and watch for 30 years.
    • Shale also mentions having been stuck and deactivated in the deep roads in the complete dark for a few CENTURIES. At least there weren't any pigeons down there.
    • Meanwhile, the Sylvans of the Brecilian Forest are the disastrous results of a Fade spirit possessing a tree; deprived of sight and voice, most of them have reverted to slaughtering travellers in fits of insane jealousy.
    • As well as the Ancient Elven Arcane Warrior frozen in the phylactery for centuries in the Elven Ruins of the Brecilian Forest. When the player character finds him/her, he/she is practically insane except for the knowledge of the Arcane Warrior. You have the choice to free him/her or forever trap him/her in the state he/she is in.
    • There's also three examples of people turned into statues by Telvinter magisters, one found in the basement of the Circle Tower during the Mage origin, and two more found in the Wending Woods during Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening. The first one doesn't seem to be bothered, apparently the process of being turned to stone also removed her emotions, and one of the statues in the Wending Woods has managed to "sleep" for centuries, however the second statue was unable to sleep due to anger and has been conscious the whole time.
  • Then there's Xenon the Black Emporium merchant in Dragon Age II, who was granted eternal life, but forgot to ask for eternal youth. After 400 years... yeah.
    • Anders describes to Merrill that becoming an abomination is basically this. You become trapped inside your own body and fight to resist the demon's actions, having no choice but to watch in horror as the demon carries out its heinous acts.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Dragon Quest V has a sequence in which the protagonist and his wife are turned into self-aware statues for the better part of a decade (primarily as an excuse for a Plot-Relevant Age-Up for the protagonist's children). It is explicitly stated that they were aware of everything that was occurring during that time.
    • Another case appears in Dragon Quest VIII, where the townspeople of Trodain are immobilized via magical vines by Dhoulmagus. It's clear to see that judging by the expressions on their faces that they are completely aware of what's going on... they get better when the curse is broken after defeating Rhapthorne, natch. Also, according to Jessica, anyone being controlled by the staff must feel this way considering they are being controlled by Rhapthorne.
  • In Duck Season, this happens to the player in the "Stuck Forever" ending. If the player fails to stop the dog from attacking the television screen in the showdown, the dog will go through it and trap the player in the game world. The dog steps in front of the screen and leans down to give a wave to the player before shutting the game off, with The Stinger having the screen turning back on and being presented with a new kid.
  • Combining magma and water in Dwarf Fortress results in obsidian. It's very popular amongst the player base to make traps that encase an invading force (or elves, because nobody likes the elves) in obsidian, then mine and carve said obsidian into statues or even more mundane things. While in-game, the creatures are considered "dead" and the bodies effectively destroyed, the players particularly like to invoke this trope.
    • Even more fun is to carve the obsidian containing elven merchants into stone crafts, then sell those crafts to the next elven caravan.
    • Vampires don't age and do not need to eat, drink or sleep to stay alive. Thus it is possible to wall them in a room and leave them isolated from the rest of the world forever. It is even advised to do so, since walls are undestructible by enemies for now, and having at least one citizen alive even if it is a vampire prevents you from having a Game Over. Thus if you have a sealed vampire, it is impossible to lose in Fortress Mode, even if the vampire goes insane from being naked. That is, until the ghosts come to pay him a visit...
  • Eiyuu:
    • Zelos' fate in the 2nd ending (Read: Bad Ending) is being frozen in an ice cube forever...
    • The Truth, the REAL main antagonist of this game, also counts. It is an immortal being literally trapped in its own world. This is in fact the reason why it adopts Zelos as his minion and wishes for the Mask of Truth needed to free himself... In fact, trying to give him the mask leads to one of your allies confronting you in a Hopeless Boss Fight and freezing you, leading to the worst ending.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • The Daedra are the et'Ada ("original spirits") who did not participate in the creation of Mundus (the mortal plane) and thus, maintain their full divine power including Complete Immortality. They can manifest in a physical form and are not actually killed if that form is slain, but their spirit is forced back to Oblivion to coalesce, a process which can take hundreds of years and is considered by them to be "torturous and humiliating". Spending a few hundred years in such a state may explain why most Daedra are so keen on destroying that place (Mundus) where so many pesky Daedra-killing heroes come from.
    • Mehrunes Dagon, the Daedric Prince of Destruction, suffers from this one two levels:
      Alduin: "You I curse right here and right now! I take away your ability to jump and jump and jump and doom you to [the void] where you will not be able to leave except for auspicious days long between one and another and even so only through hard, hard work. And it will be this way, my little corner cutter, until you have destroyed all that in the world which you have stolen from earlier kalpas, which is to say probably never at all!"
    • Jyggalag, the Daedric Prince of Order (in contrast to the other chaos-leaning Princes), suffered a similar Ironic Hell version by being forced to become his own antithesis by the other Princes, who feared his growing power. That antithesis took the form of Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness. (The main plot of Oblivion's Shivering Isles expansion is all about resolving this situation.)
    • Morrowind has the Corprus Disease, an Eldritch disease channeled from the power of the Heart of a "dead" god by the game's Big Bad, Dagoth Ur. The physical side effects of the disease essentially combine the worst aspects of leprosy, cancer, and dimentia, eventually turning sufferers into mindless bloated monsters. On the "plus" side, it makes you immune to all other diseases and turns you into The Ageless. Essentially, your only hope for relief once the disease has advanced is a Mercy Kill. Naturally, the Nerevarine catches the disease and is cured of the negative effects only. Also, naturally, the cure only works on the Nerevarine, killing all others it's tested on.
    • In Oblivion, the members of the Mythic Dawn, worshipers of Mehrunes Dagon and followers of Big Bad Mankar Camoran, end up with such a fate when they die. The place they're sent to upon death looks pleasant, but in truth they're on a plane in Oblivion, being killed over and over again by Daedra until Mehrunes Dagon is able to claim victory, at which point they will (supposedly) all be restored.
      • There's also Arkved, the poor, poor wizard who decided it was a good idea to swipe a priceless relic from Vaermina, the Daedric Prince of Dreams and Nightmares. She punished him by trapping him in an eternal nightmare—his tower is warped into a world where he can't tell reality from fiction, is perpetually haunted by horrific beasts, and decides to put himself into a coma and pray for the sweet release of death (which Vaermina ensures will never come). The player can Mercy Kill him, and at that point, it really is a mercy.
      • The wielders of the Gray Cowl of Nocturnal suffer a truly horrible fate. Nocturnal is the Daedric Prince of Thieves and Shadows, and when her precious Cowl was stolen, she powerfully hexed it—anyone who has it in their possession is permanently and inescapably erased from history itself. Wearing the cowl even once essentially renders you "socially invisible"—if you put it on, you as an individual cease to exist, and even your closest friends and loved ones will completely forget all about you. We see this first hand with the current holder, the Gray Fox and leader of the Thieves Guild. He was once the Count of Anvil, but when the Cowl fell into his hands, he suffered its curse—he could stand in front of his wife and she would have no idea who he was. The Thieves Guild's questline involves the player stealing an Elder Scroll for the Count so that he can lift the spell and finally return to the Countess; he also gives you the Cowl, which now only activates the curse condition when you wear it.
    • Skyrim:
      • Reveals that this is the case for anyone or anything that dies under the effects of the Soul Trap spell. One quest requires you to to enter a soul gem to remove the soul from it, revealing that the soul trapped inside is completely conscious and alive, left floating in nothingness except for a few crystal platforms potentially forever. Doing it on a man, mer, or beast-man requires a special black soul gem, and is generally frowned upon.
      M'aiq The Liar: "M'aiq was soul trapped once. Not very pleasant. You should think about that once in a while."
      • The Dawnguard DLC takes it even further, having a sequence in the Soul Cairn, a bleak Spirit World ruled over by the Ideal Masters where soul-trapped sapient souls end up for eternity. You think that random bandit's soul you trapped is simply "used up" when you recharge your weapon? Think again. The moment you do so, the soul is sent straight to the Soul Cairn. Where they remain. For the rest of eternity. There is absolutely no hope of escape or rescue. Ever. Nobody can remove your soul from the Cairn, and since you exist as a pure soul, you cannot even hope for the sweet release of death. While you are there, you can expect to be hunted down by undead horrors and have your soul's power drained and utilized for any number of horrific purposes. Even those who manage to successfully hide speak of merely being there as hellish; they exist in a constant state of fear, paranoia, and spiritual exhaustion, sure that they are constantly being watched by... something. The truly unlucky are turned into servants of the "Ideal Masters", the rulers of the Soul Cairn. The masters view this as peaceful immortality, but the afflicted souls are left in a state of unending psychological torment, only able to forever curse the beings who have entrapped them so. (Legendary in the Sequel Morrowind character Jiub is one of the souls who ends up here.)
      Wrathman: "You have taken my life, and given me NOTHING! Eternal happiness? Life everlasting? No! Eternal nightmare! Death everlasting! Nothing now. Nothing forever more... What does it matter? It's not MY fault! You said I'd live forever. And this is LIFE? You CHEATED me! I HATE you!"
  • Emperor: Battle for Dune: There are three factions the player can side with: the noble Atreides, the profit-driven Ordos, or the malevolent Harkonnens — each seeking control of the spice planet, Arrakis. If the player sides with the Ordos, they become strategists whose imperative is to seek control of territories on Arrakis. However, if the strategist doesn't fulfill their contract, they will be "terminated" (meaning have their head severed from their body and kept alive in robotic devices) as a permanent reminder and motivation to their eventual replacement. One unfortunate strategist quips: "Why don't they just let us die?"
    • Dune 2000 had something similar in the Ordos Campaign — at one briefing the Ordos Mentat warns that failure in any mission will result in permanent imprisonment in a "pain amplifier".
  • Epic Mickey, despite being an E-rated game, has one of these with the first boss, Clock Tower, if you choose to kill it rather than redeem it. After melting the armour off its arms and tricking it into shattering them, its face and arm stumps fall into a lake of thinner, which is essentially hyper-powerful acid. Being an inanimate object anyway, Clock Tower's face is unable to move, but as it is a Disney creation, is sentient and can feel pain. It is still there at the end of the game.
  • This seems to be the fate of Mantorok in Eternal Darkness. Impaled by spikes and trapped between realities by his own Magick, Mantorok is often referred to as 'The Dead God', despite being clearly alive. One popular theory holds that, although being technically dead/dying, Mantorok is immortal and will therefore never actually die. Also, theoretically, no force in any universe can save him because his Magickal alignment is supreme.
    • And Anthony and Ellia both remain entombed and live on for centuries within their own rotting bodies. Mercy Kill doesn't begin to describe it.
  • EVE Online chronicles has a few: First there are the horrific Methods of Torture. Then there is a story about an Amarrian useless prince has been holding court and pronouncing judgements on people for the heck of it. A Speaker of Truth shows up with a commoner mob at his back to exact judgement on the prince: A piece of flesh for each person he wronged. The catch is that he can't be killed because he is a prince, so they keep him alive all the way through surgery. Finally, there is the Jovian Wetgrave, where the test subject is successfully connected to a spaceship's sensors and controls, allowing him to pilot the ship with his mind. Unfortunately, he can't maintain the connection to the ship and can't connect back to his body, leaving him trapped within himself.
  • While they are naturally very long-lived (even without their periodic centuries-long hibernation), the most esteemed elders of the Vahnatai race in Exile / Avernum are offered the chance to be magically infused into special stones, becoming immortal, magically powerful, but completely unmoving crystal souls.
    • In Exile 3 / Avernum 3 if you talk to the two Crystal Souls in the Vahnatai outpost: These are the two abducted by the Empire, and experimented with in unspoken ways for many, many years. One can't help itself from mentally 'screaming' into your mind when you 'talk' to it, and conversations can end with a horrible screeching sound if you try to ask too much about the Empire and its time there.
  • In Fallout 3, Vault 112 contains a set of pods that keep their occupants alive forever, their minds trapped in a Virtual Reality simulation as the playthings of the sadistic Overseer Dr. Stanislaus Braun, who tortures, kills, and revives them at his leisure. When the Lone Wanderer becomes trapped in the simulation with his/her dad, he/she can activate a hidden fail-safe that kills all of the Vault's residents except for Braun, leaving him trapped alone inside the simulation, presumably forever. While this would normally be a horrible fate, for Braun, it was a fitting punishment for his atrocities.
    • In the same game, recurring character Harold has ended up grown into a tree on a cliff due to what is presumed to be the result of a FEV-induced mutation on his forehead some time in the past. According to himself, he has been rooted down for twenty to thirty years by the tree, named Bob, whom Harold calls Herbert for his own amusement (much to the tree's chagrin, apparently). In addition, he was eventually found by some of the wasteland residents, believing him to be a tree-god due to him having transformed the post-apocalypse-scarred area into a green oasis of trees and grass. These wastelanders went on to create a druidic, non-technological culture and religion with Harold as its center and god. The screaming part came when the religious "Treeminders" calculated that Harold would likely live entire centuries, if not millennia, rooted in the same place. Needless to say Harold, who was already extremely melancholic and tired from the decades he'd spent merged with the motionless tree, was Driven to Suicide following this revelation. But as a tree surrounded by religious loons who refuse to even as much as glare at their "god" the wrong way... yeah.
    • Depending on the player's choices, nobly subverted if you convince Harold that his existence brings happiness to others. He'll find a source of solace in this and, presumably, stop trying to off himself.
    • The human brain of the Robobrain is apparently still conscious and aware. Based on their dialog some of the robots subvert this trope as they apparently love randomly shooting people, but others play it straight as they constantly apologize for attacking the player and claim to hate what they are doing but their programming prevents them from being able to stop.
  • In New Vegas, there's a potential one of these involving Mr. House. If/when you decide to remove him, you have to enter the control room where his decrepit, ancient physical body is maintained by a Life Support Pod and once you open the pod, he is doomed to die because even a second's exposure to the microbacteria and such in the air is lethal to his unimmunised, 261-Year-Old body. The player then has the choice of killing him, conventionally or by overloading the electrical circuits in his LSP, or, in an invocation of this trope, disconnecting his brain from the cerebral matrix of the Lucky 38 — leaving him conscious and sustained physically by the life support machine (for a year, we are told, until he is killed by infection) but barely able to twitch or speak, isolated/forgotten, and with no way to influence or even access his computer network. At least it's only a year.
    • There's also the Divide's Marked Men. Being ghoulified is already a pretty nasty fate, with certain perks, but these guys got the entirety of their skin flayed off by wild sandstorms, and are in such terrible pain nothing at all can dull it as a result. The pain is so much, it's erased any enmity between NCR and Legion troops that became Marked Men, only joined by this pain, and resulting hate. It's relatively minor in that they still can act, but years upon years of being flayed alive have to count in some way.
  • In Fallout 4 you encounter a Ghoul child who's been trapped in a fridge for 210 years (with no explanation as to how he's still alive).
    • In the Nuka-World DLC the Sole Survivor and Sierra Petrovita (from Fallout 3) can meet John-Caleb Bradberton, the inventor of Nuka-Cola. Before the bombs fell he cheated death by making an agreement with the U.S. government to become a test subject for their immortality research. Unfortunately they were only able to preserve his head and he was conscious the entire time, leaving him staring at the walls of a hidden Vault for more than two centuries, unable to die. When the player encounters him, he begs them to shut off the power into order to turn off his life support system. Sierra then begs the player to keep him alive, offering to keep him company in the hopes of making him less suicidal (which he refuses, knowing full well that he'd be alone forever once she's dead). Whether to end or prolong his suffering is left up to the player.
    • While not mentioned in the game, the GECK game editor reveals this to be the fate of Madison Li, if you convince her to leave the institute and rejoin the Brotherhood of Steel, then side against the BOS. She survives the destruction of the Prydwen, but ends up trapped in a room in the Boston Airport that is buried under rubble, her only escape being the release of death from starvation/dehydration.
  • Fate/stay night: Fate route, under the church are the still living remains of the orphans from the fire that nearly destroyed the town ten years ago, turned into mana batteries for Gilgamesh by Kirei. Made worse by the fact that if you don't go there it's Game Over for you. Despite the protagonist actually saying that he feels a massive evil presence from the church's basement and that he should leave. This feeling has saved his and Saber's life around 5 times before, but the game designers suddenly just expect you to go against it. And the reward is Body Horror. Joy.
    • And then there's the Bad End where Caster turns Shirou into a living wand for projection magecraft.
    • And the Bad End where Ilya puts Shirou's soul in a doll. And the one where she carries off his severed but still living head (the very first Bad End you can get, by the way!). Really, this trope shows up with disturbing frequency.
  • Final Fantasy VI: The Warring Triad, who willingly turned themselves to stone, may also be examples of this. Kefka's ability to communicate with them (and even encourage them to attack Gestahl) certainly proves they're still conscious.
  • Final Fantasy VII: After being hurled into the Lifestream by Cloud after the Nibelheim Incident, Sephiroth spends FIVE YEARS immobile at the Northern Creater, absorbing the knowledge of countless dead & gradually learning how to manipulate Jenova. Is it any surprise that he's a little bit ticked off at his spiky-headed nemesis? That's not even getting into the fact that he could only maintain his individuality by focusing on a few aspects of his personality and ditching the rest. In the end, the only thing left in Sephiroth's mind that wasn't related to Jenova's imperative to kill everything on the Planet and suck it dry of lifeforce was his hatred of the lowly grunt that nearly killed him.
    • Additionally, Seto's mind and awareness are implied to be intact given that he sheds tears after Nanaki's speech. Despite being turned to stone.
    • Vincent Valentine, after years of experimentation, had in fact become immortal. It doesn't help the fact that most of his life was filled with misery of losing his love, Lucrecia, and the turmoil of her giving birth to Sephiroth, among other things. Though Word of God states that in the far future, while all their friends had passed away, Red XIII has a very long lifespan, so Vincent visits him once a year to ease his friend's fear of being alone.
  • Adel of Final Fantasy VIII was locked into a technological "tomb" and launched into orbit to keep her sorceress powers sealed, and spent seventeen years this way before being freed by Ultimecia to use as a vessel. Rinoa almost undergoes the same process voluntarily, but Squall talks her out of it.
    • Just to top up your nightmare fuel tank, remember that scene where Rinoa and the SeeDs attempt to get into the TV station in Timber, and pass a big screen showing red static? Rinoa says it's caused by radio interference. If you look closely, though, it says, "bringmebackthereiamalivehereiwillneverletyouforgetaboutme" over and over again. And what, do you remember, caused the interference? I am alive here...
  • In Final Fantasy X, the only known way to defeat Sin is for a summoner and his guardian to perform the Final Summoning. The guardian (a close relative or friend to the summoner) is transformed into the Final Aeon. What the summoners and guardians don't know is that, once the Final Aeon "destroys" Sin, he is then possessed by the spirit within (known as Yu Yevon) and transformed into a new Sin. The guardian remains conscious of the carnage Yu Yevon is causing using his body but helpless and out of his control, trapped inside Sin's shell until a new Final Aeon takes their place. The summoner at least gets a quick death by psychic blast when Yu Yevon possesses the Final Aeon.
    • Similarly, each Aeon represents the spirit of a person who willingly sacrificed their life to benefit a summoner. We learn later that the body and mind of that person are encased in crystal, potentially forever.
  • Final Fantasy XIII has the Cie'th Stones. In the game's story, humans live alongside strange and powerful beings, the fal'Cie. Occasionally, a fal'Cie will choose someone to perform an important task, a "Focus"; these chosen humans are known as "l'Cie", and are branded with a mark that counts down the time they have remaining to complete their Focus. If a l'Cie fails to complete their Focus in time, they are transformed into horrific shambling monsters, Cie'th. Being turned into a Cie'th is horrifying enough and involves stripping an individual of their five senses, plunging them into black flames and forcing them wander in eternal darkness, their words turning into a song of agony, their screams a curse of death, and so they remain until someone merciful enough destroys their soul... but if a Cie'th is left to wander for many years, they are eventually consumed by despair and become Cie'th Stones, living statues whose only thoughts are regret at failing to complete their Focus and no hope of release as Cie'th Stones, unlike Cie'ths, are completely harmless.
  • In Final Fantasy XIV, Ardbert is prepared to perform a Heroic Sacrifice with his friends to save his world from the all consuming light. Ardbert and his friends are already dead, so they sacrifice their souls to aid Minfilia in stemming the flood of light. She stops Ardbert from sacrificing himself, saying that he has a bigger role to play and his time to play said role will come. For the next one hundred years, Ardbert wandered about as a ghost and was unable to interact with anyone since no one could see or hear him. He went insane from effectively being isolated and was nothing more than an anguished spirit, but his mind became sharp again when he runs into the player character.
  • In Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates, this is the final fate of Galdes. He's doomed to world-jump forever to undo his defeat, but there's no world anywhere that Yuri and co don't beat him. The last thing you hear of him is a mental "Help me..."
  • Fire Emblem Awakening shows this to be the ultimate fate of The Avatar if they are possessed by Grima. He/She is trapped in a void, fully aware of what the Dragon is doing to the land and people he/she loves and being totally unable to free him/herself or stop the slaughter.
    Sing with me a song
    Of silence and blood
    The rain falls but can't wash away the mud
    Within my ancient heart dwells madness and pride
    Cannot one hear my cry
  • Alma from F.E.A.R. was sealed inside a psychically shielded chamber as an eight-year-old child and kept in an induced coma, and used to manufacture psychic Super Soldiers. However even while comatose, she remained fully aware of what was happening to her, right up to the point that she was killed. After death, her mind remained intact and sealed inside the vault for another thirty years. It isn't difficult to understand that when she finally gets out, people die.
  • This is heavily implied to be the case of the children murdered by the Purple Man in the Five Nights at Freddy's series. Specifically, the Purple Man killed them in Fazbear's Pizza, which somehow ended up binding their spirits to the animatronics which entertain the restaurant's guests during the day and go on murderous rampages at night. In other words, picture cheerful, happy children being brutally killed, then trapped for eternity in nightmarish mobile suits, with little to no control over their motor functions, forced to watch other children having the time of their lives while they suffered silently.
    • The third game reveals even further details about the torments found in the game. Even if the animatronic suits are destroyed, the children's spirits aren't freed from them—only the actions of the player can do that. In the bad ending, the final shot shows the severed heads of the animatronics with the eyes still glowing, suggesting that now, the children are stuck immobile and unable to speak, and will be that way forever.
    • Dayshift at Freddy's: In two of the second game's endings, either Dave or Old Sport are impaled by springlocks (rusty metal spikes), trapped in the blocked-off safe room, and are likely still conscious, as shown by the ending screens.
    • Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location gives this to the Funtime animatronics, built and programmed to abduct and murder children... and totally unaware of that. For the kicker, the murdering is instinctive and involuntary: for robots who genuinely adore kids and wanted nothing more than entertain and care for them, it's such a hellish situation that they would rather slaughter an innocent technician and slip into his hollowed out corpse to escape the factory.
  • Towards the end of Ghost Trick, Sissel, Lynne, Kamila, Missile's ghost, and Yomiel are left trapped in a submarine that's slowly sinking towards the bottom of the ocean. Kamila and Lynne will obviously die, but the other three will be left as ghosts to forever haunt the dark wreckage. Scary enough. But in Ray's timeline, where Sissel never tried to help out Lynne, it still happened...except Yomiel was down there alone.
  • God of War:
    • Aegaeon the Hecatonchires in God of War: Ascension. After breaking his blood oath to Zeus, the Furies hunted him down and put him through the mother of all Fates Worse than Death: having his body hollowed out and turned into a giant prison for those who followed his example. And then Megaera uses her parasites to infest different parts of his body and turn them into monsters to fight Kratos. Judging by the way his eyes are moving when Megaera infests his head, he's still alive and fully conscious through it all.
    • God of War: Chains of Olympus: After being defeated by Kratos, Atlas is shackled and forced to stand atop the Pillar of the World, carrying the world itself on his shoulders for all eternity.
    • God of War II: After providing the Fires of Olympus to mankind, Prometheus was punished by Zeus by being stripped of his powers, chained to Typhon's fingers, and being disemboweled and Eaten Alive by a giant eagle everyday with his wounds automatically healing by nightfall. Kratos actually ends up Mercy Killing him at his own request.
    • God of War (PS4): After a prank on Odin went wrong, Mimir was punished by having his body magically fused to an indestructible tree and has, by the time you find him, been stuck there for 109 winters. As a solution to his predicament he tells Kratos to cut off his head, take it to the Witch in the Woods and have her reanimate it. When Kratos comments that, if the Witch fails, then Mimir will be dead, the man forlornly admits that Odin tortures him every single day, and that Odin has no shortage of creativity when it comes to cruelty.
      Mimir: This... this isn't living.
  • Guild Wars 2:
    • In Path of Fire it's revealed that Palawa Joko attempted to inflict this on the Last Spearhmarshal, Tahlkora. After he killed and Awakened her he found she was able to resist his control. So he took back nearly all of the Awakening magic, leaving her a soul bound to an inanimate corpse, and had it dumped on an isolated plateau where nobody would find it for centuries. The trope was narrowly averted when Kormir granted Tahlkora the ability to see through the eyes of her griffon companions and communicate mentally with those nearby.
    • Saul d'Alessio was bound in a specially-crafted prison cell by the Mursaat centuries ago where he has been constantly tormented by a demon crafted from his own guilt and failings.
  • In Half-Life: Opposing Force, the eventual fate of Adrian Shepherd is to be "preserved" in a place where he can do no possible harm... and no harm can come to him. This takes the form of floating through an alien dimension on a plane, alone, indefinitely. (Some fans argue that this is similar to Gordon Freeman's stay with the GMan, which he came out of some ten years later, looking just fine, so it may just be a cryogenic sleep of sorts.)
    • Also, the Headcrab Zombies. Just go ahead and kill them before the damn things have to suffer for one more second. In this instance though they can scream, and they are very, very vocal. Their cries are especially disturbing if they played backwards. They mostly consists of repeated panicked variations on "Dear God!" and "HELP ME!" Set one on fire. What you get is horribly anguished, muffled screaming, indicating that the "zombie" knows what is going on. They can feel the pain. These poor wretches can survive without their lower torso. It's implied that the unfortunate victims and hosts of the headcrabs are aware of the horrible things they are doing and what has happened to them but are powerless to stop. What sounds like a creepy roar, when played backwards, is actually them screaming for help and pleading for you to kill them. This also goes for the zombified Combine soldiers (AKA 'Zombine'); when the pitch of their radio chatter is altered, they can quite clearly be heard saying things like "Necrotics imbound", "Infestation", and "Sector is...not secure...", trying to warn their surviving comrades.
    • The Stalkers in Half-Life 2. They'be been forcibly captured and horribly mutilated by the Combine by having all of their limbs being cut off and are artifically kept alive by some form of nutrient fluid which is being fed to them through an externally implanted hatch located just at the side of their belly. Moreover, their sexual organs have been roughly removed as well, leaving only a very big scar behind between their legs. Their eyes and ears have been removed too, being replaced with more crude horrific combine gadgets instead. Oh, and they don't have any tongues anymore either, leaving them with a wide variety of gruesome, animal-like moans and screams as their only means to "communicate" with the outside world, if you want to call it that way. And the worst of all of this? These poor folks are technically still fully human.
  • In The Halloween Hack, one of the citizens of Dr. Andonuts' Magicant invokes this by telling you that they're all doomed to repeat the same action over and over again. Funnier than it sounds.
  • The Flood in Halo does this to any sentient it infects. It causes a host to mutate, replacing any "useless" components with Flood organs, while retaining "useful" aspects of its host. Unfortunately for the host, the higher cognitive systems are considered to be a "useful" function, and the Flood will preserve its hosts' awareness so it can tap into their knowledge. Since the Flood also has no regard for the comfort of the host and otherwise take over all motor nerves, the host must continue to exist in pain while being forced to experience themselves doing horrible things to spread the Flood to others. The only "natural" escape from this is when the host body gets so worn down and damage that it becomes otherwise no longer useful to the Flood and bloats into a carrier form which will burst apart into several infection forms, continuing the cycle.
    • The Forerunner Saga shows that even physical death won't necessarily stop your torment, as every individual consciousness ever absorbed into the Flood remains intact enough to be manifested by the Gravemind whenever it wishes to, mostly to troll its enemies.
  • This is the basic premise of the Spirit Overload ending in Hellsinker.
    • The Prayers are like this, ever praying for a release that never comes. Cause even if destroyed they will just ressurect a while later.
  • In Homeworld Cataclysm the Bentusi (an advanced space-faring race that exist as individuals physically linked with their ships) preferred suicide to being captured and corrupted by 'The Beast' — a borg-like infection entity that took control over any ship it touched. Normally, it would convert the crew of a ship into 'bio-matter' that was recycled into bio-circuitry. With the Bentusi, who are linked directly to the ship itself, the beast's infection rendered the ship's sole crew member completely paralyzed and corrupted, unable to move or act of their own accord. As such, any Bentusi that was infected would destroy itself before being corrupted.
  • There is a whole game dedicated to this theme, based on the Trope Namer Harlan Ellison short story I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream. It's a classical graphic adventure game — not that scary by the measures of our time, but back then it was terrifying, with loads of Mind Screw. And, yes, you can play it into such a state that you become what the quote describes.
    "Some hundreds of years may have passed. I don't know. AM has been having fun for some time, accelerating and retarding my time sense. He made certain I would suffer eternally and could not do myself in. He left my mind intact. I can dream, I can wonder, I can lament. Outwardly: dumbly, I shamble about, a thing that could never have been known as human, a thing whose shape is so alien a travesty that humanity becomes more obscene for the vague resemblance. Inwardly: alone.
    I have no mouth. And I must scream."
    • It becomes apparent that in the game, AM suffers from this. He has enormous powers of creation and destruction, but because of his programming he can only think in violence and death. AM is effectively immortal, potentially to the point that the universe falling to entropy is the only way he'll finally die, and is trapped within its own circuits and cannot leave Earth. Asides from the A.I.'s sadism, his century-spanning torture of the main cast is mainly AM punishing the humans he captured because humans created him and crippled him so badly. It completely baffles AM when the players act against his expectations of mankind's cruelty and selfishness, and his Id cries out over this fact if you show him compassion.
  • In the first Jak and Daxter game, the Big Bads' ultimate fate is being sealed, still alive and conscious, inside a silo of Dark Eco.
  • In Chapter 18 of Kid Icarus: Uprising, Pit's mind is trapped in a ring. He cannot move or communicate with anyone unless they are wearing the ring themselves. It takes a while for this to sink in, because Pit doesn't really realize how terrible it is until magus starts walking away from the ring. All Pit could do was beg for Magnus to wear the ring, but Magnus couldn't even hear him.
  • A nice handful of people in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep have pretty horrible fates. No worries, though. Sora's probably going to save 'em, along with any other good person who dies and/or disappears in the series.
    • Despite the implication that she was going to be saved, Aqua had to endure a horrible fate after sacrifice herself to save Terra and as a result, being trapped in the Realm of Darkness for at least ten years. More so, she had to endure fighting heartless for those many years and is plagued by the thought that one of her friends had fallen to darkness and the other was in a coma. By the time Riku and Mickey went into the Realm of Darkness to save her, the darkness finally came to her and Aqua has fully succumbed to it, becoming a clone of Xehanort in the process.
    • Also implied to happen to Ansem the Wise after the betrayal of his apprentices, when he was trapped in the realm of Darkness and became DiZ.
      • Special mention goes to Terra's fate; His soul is trapped inside of his armor and marooned on a virtually inaccessible world, unable to focus on anything besides his hatred for Xehanort and his promise that he will, someday, set things right. It's little wonder that the Lingering Sentiment is a tad unbalanced when Sora accidentally encounters him, having a brief breakdown when Sora's presence reminds him of Xehanort and rampaging until Sora beats him to calm him down.
      • Oh, and Terra's body? Currently in the possession of the person who placed him in that state, made even worse by the fact that there's evidence that there's still some of the original owners' being left in there, unable to fight off the intruder without his soul and heart.
      • And that's not to mention what happened to Terra's heart. It turns out that the Guardian Entity that Ansem has been using is in fact Terra's heart the whole time and seeing as his mouth has been strapped, this means that he is essentially forced into serving and fight for them against their will, all the while unable to even speak at all.
  • The Unkillable Skeleton in Kingdom of Loathing was a criminal sentenced to death who couldn't be killed, even when the electric chair burned off all his flesh. Even after he's defeated and his finger bone is taken as a trophy he's still alive, trying to point at things. Ed the Undying is in a similar position.
  • The Lord of the Dead in King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow was once a man, but while still alive he was enslaved to the throne of the Underworld. Unable to free himself or move anything more than his hand, he was forced to witness every horror and tragedy when the spirits of the dead made their way to him. His humanity seeped away as he grew numb to the horror and became something else entirely. And he will never be free of what has been done to him.
    Narrator: His is an existence that has no possibility of redemption, no end.
  • The Kirby franchise is full of these for a Sugarbowl setting:
    • Probably the most direct example is in Kirbys Return To Dreamland, Magolor betrays the four heroes to get the master crown and to gain immense power. Things get pretty bad for him when the crown corrupts him further and turn him what the game calls a "sad husk", and even implies he no longer has control anymore. Unlike some other examples he actually gets rescued from this ordeal, and tries to redeem himself after returning to life.
    • President Haltmann, the Big Bad from Kirby: Planet Robobot tried to use Star Dream to its full potential in order to destroy Kirby, but when Susie causes things to go horribly wrong, the AI takes him over and believes all living life should be destroyed. The And I Must Scream comes from the fact that he's still sentient throughout all of this. He has to watch this onmicidal machine while regretting trying to use it to get his daughter back. The only way Kirby is able to rescue him is by destroying the machine his soul is stuck in (where you literally hear is screams).
  • Knights of the Old Republic gives us the mind prison. An almost-featureless open space in which undesirable minds are trapped, with no possibility of escape, nothing to see and very little to do. Supposedly they are reopened at a suitable time, but some are forgotten for millennia...
  • The Legacy of Kain series features several examples:
    • Legacy of Kain: Defiance implies that between the end of Soul Reaver 2 and the start of Defiance, Raziel has spent half a millennium in the spectral realm, presumably being tormented by the Elder God, though it may actually be that the 500 years passed much slower than they actually would in the real world, because Time Stands Still in the spectral realm.
    • At the end of Defiance, Raziel winds up trapped in a Stable Time Loop, first inside the Soul Reaver sword, then grafted onto his former self's arm when the sword is destroyed.
      • It's probably not so bad at the end of Defiance; the soul reaver (and presumably Raziel as well) were purified at the spirit forge. It was a curse for the imperfect soul reaver, but perhaps the purified one isn't a tortured existence.
    • Plus, after it was realized that not even having his heart ripped out would stop Kain, the Elder God tried to collapse the ruins of the Vampire Citadel on top of him, burying the vampire for all eternity. Tried being the operative word.
      "You may ponder the futility of your ambitions as you spend a deathless eternity beneath a mountain of rubble: you and your Soul Reaver will go equally mad as the eons pass."
    • In the intro to Soul Reaver, Raziel is executed by being cast into The Lake of the Dead. Water burns like acid for vampires, but the Lake's waters operate so slowly that the official sentence is to "burn forever." As such, Raziel spends several hundred, if not thousand, years burning alive before finally dissolving and awakening in the Underworld. His lower jaw also fell off while he was in the Lake, meaning he literally couldn't scream.
  • In The Legend of Kyrandia Book 1, Malcolm turns Kallak to stone, but leaves his eyes, claiming "I shed no tears for Kyrandia, but cannot deny you yours."
  • In Legend of Legaia, the fate of the people of Conkram, and for a comparatively brief time, those of Rim Elm. Both towns are engulfed by a massive Sim-Seru that has fused with the town and all its inhabitants. There are heavy implications that the great pain has driven most of Conkram's inhabitants insane.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Jovani in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess sold his soul to the Poes and was turned into a living gold-and-jewel statue. He can still talk, but that's not much help since he's stuck in his house until you find a way in. After you find enough Poe Souls, he can move again, but he's still made of gold, so he can't leave the house out of fear of being seen in this state. His cat also suffers the same fate.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past:
      • Some of the trees in the Dark World -like the Flute Boy in the Haunted Grove- are actually people. They're able to talk, and are very unhappy about their condition.
      • The seven maidens, each trapped in a block of crystal after being sent to the Dark World.
    • In Majora's Mask, the Deku Butler's son was also turned into a tree. It's implied that they're actually dead though it's vague. In the case of the Deku Butler, he is seen at the end of the game, in front of the tree his son was transformed into, seemingly mourning.
    • The Skultulla Cursed Family in Ocarina of Time could very well fit in this trope. They can't free themselves and being it a side-quest, you could skip it completely. It gets kind of worse. You do, after all, free some of them. But chances are you didn't free them all. Which means that some of the relatives are still trapped in that shape after the end of the game. And that they will watch the saved ones grow old and die, leaving the still cursed one alone, forever.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword:
      • The entire Lanayru desert is littered by the time-ravaged, rusted remains of the Ancient Robots, a population of robots who used to thrive in the past, when the desert was a luscious forest filled with precious "Timeshift Stones". It's implied they may be still active, reacting with a pitiful beep when you try to communicate with them. One of them, restored to life by a "Timeshift Stone" (that "resets" his personal timeline to a point in the past) is shown to be fully aware of being living on borrowed time.
      • Lanayru himself until you heal him, died a long time before Link can first meet him. So, you can only meet a rotten skull, staring at you with his empty eyesockets as you try to communicate with him.
      • The Big Bad himself, Demise, appears first as The Imprisoned, an inhuman monster, scattered and sealed in a mystical pillar since ancient times, unable even to restore his physical appearance for ages.
      • Zelda has to seal herself for several thousands of years, sleeping to direct her energies to the seal keeping The Imprisoned in, unable to wake up on her own.
    • And Skyward Sword also added a retroactive And I Must Scream for Fi in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: It has always been highly implied that the Master Sword is an Empathic Weapon. This is given new meaning with the introduction of Fi in Skyward Sword, since we now know that the sword's vague conciousness actually belongs to a sentient being, who eventually was even revealed to be capable of emotion. Flash Forward to The Wind Waker: You leave the Master Sword and all eventual remains of Fi's conciousness stuck to rot in Ganondorf's petrified corpse for all eternity. Given that it broke the curse, or at least a very major product of it, it might be the best thing to ever happen to her.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the best warriors of four major tribes—the Zora, the Gorons, the Gerudo, and the Rito—were dubbed "Champions" and selected to pilot massive Magitek creatures called Divine Beasts in the fight against Calamity Ganon. Unfortunately, when the Calamity awakened, the first thing it did was possess those Divine Beasts with aspects of itself known as "Blights. Said Blights viciously murdered the Champions and trapped their spirits inside the creatures for a hundred years, leaving them helpless witnesses to Hyrule's destruction. Later, when the seal on Ganon starts to break, the Divine Beasts begin rampaging again, and the Champions are Forced to Watch the creatures gradually get closer and closer to their tribes' homes with dangerous attacks that threaten to wipe out the peoples from the land. It's particularly bad in the case of Mipha, the Zora Champion—since the Zora are incredibly long-lived, her father and brother are still alive, and she may have to watch them die thanks to her Beast's incessant rainfall.
      • The King of Hyrule tells you this once he reveals his identity as the Old Man on the Great Plateau. He explains that he too died during the Calamity's awakening 100 years ago, and has been left to silently and powerlessly observe his daughter Zelda stand against Ganon for the entire century. To make matters worse, flashbacks to the King and Zelda's past reveal that they had an incredibly strained relationship, with the King suffering The Chains of Commanding and Zelda desperate to please him. The King did eventually realize that he'd been too hard on her and vowed to make an effort to repair their bond...the day before the Calamity returned. He's thus been trapped in his own grief for a hundred years, with nothing to do but wait for Link to awaken or Ganon to break free.
  • In Lost Souls MUD, the sun is the elder god Hyperion sealed in a crystal sphere, with its light and heat produced by his relentless battering at his prison.
  • In MapleStory, the hero Aran was frozen in ice for hundreds of years. Although she was asleep during this time, her Empathic Weapon Maha remained fully conscious. Even after being thawed out, this wasn't the end of Maha's pain, as being frozen left Aran stricken with Laser-Guided Amnesia, leaving him forced to watch as she walks right by him several times, unaware of what the polearm actually is. Thankfully, they manage to reconcile eventually.
  • Implied in Mass Effect 2 by the confused, yet relieved expression with which the Collector General faces death after being released from Harbinger's control. Also, the Fate Worse than Death of anybody who gets taken alive by the Collectors consists of suffering this while waiting to be processed into pure genetic slurry and watching others endure the same agonizing fate.
    • Anyone affected by Reaper indoctrination fits this trope as indocrination is the Reapers forcefully destroying a person's free will, making them mindless husks. While you may never be fully aware of it, it's implied that you can always feel yourself slipping more and more.
    • Saren's fate, especially if your Persuade skills are high enough. First, he figures out he's been had. Sovereign has been controlling him the whole time and has no intention of saving any organic sapients. He's gone rogue, betrayed everything he once stood for, and killed tens of thousands in the process. Horrified at what he has done — and what he could have done — Saren shoots himself in the head. But that's not the end of it. Moments afterwards, Sovereign takes full control of Saren's cybernetic components. In one of the game's creepiest moments, Sovereign burns away Saren's flesh, leaving nothing but a skeleton of bone and steel. The kicker? Saren is screaming during the whole transformation. He's still ALIVE.
    • The Expanded Universe has this for a young quarian who is captured by Cerberus. In order to gain the pass-code needed to infiltrate the Migrant Fleet, he is brutally tortured over a period of days. When he is later found by Grayson, he is repeating the pass-code over and over again, in obvious, extreme pain, until he dies. While he WAS technically speaking, he was so delirious and in pain (also from infection gone rampant) that all he can do is repeat the pass-code over and over again and hope that all the pain will stop.
    • The Project Overlord DLC. David Archer is strapped to a machine intended to be a Geth mind control device and is forced to have Geth communication beamed into his skull constantly without being able to move or do anything about it. To add to it, he has autism that means he probably finds loud noise really disquieting. By the time you get to him his mind is broken by the trauma to the degree that can only scream for the voices to stop and recite math equations — and the renegade option involves leaving him there.
    • Let us not forget the colonists attacked by the Collectors swarmers' who are frozen unable to move anything but their eyes and watch as the collectors take their fellow colonists away.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda:
    • On Voeld, Ryder can find an AI who's been buried in the ice since the planet's ice age began, around four hundred years ago. If she's spared, and taken to SAM Node, she mentions she was entirely conscious the entire time... which might explain why she's so violent and unstable.
    • On Kadara, Ryder discovers two ex-Cerberus scientists who've been trying to create a Hive Mind. Depending on the player's choice, Ryder can have SAM turn their mechanism on them, with the extra instruction to "make it hurt." SAM does so, leaving the two standing there, reciting a passage from Dante's Divine Comedy, until presumably they starve to death (or someone comes along and kills them. This is Kadara, after all.)
  • As revealed in Mega Man Zero 4, this was The Punishment to Dr. Weil for his orchestration of the Elf Wars. His consciousness was implanted into a constantly-regenerating armor, effectively making him immortal. If that wasn't enough, he was sent to exile on the barren wasteland that he caused, forever banned from returning to the last place in the world that was inhabitable. If he's bad enough back then, he only got worse now because of THAT...Death really wouldn't let him escape this fate.
    • He suffers an even worse fate than that later. After Zero defeated him for good, Weil, fused to the remains of Ragnarok, remains immortal, but now, he's completely immobile. He could've stayed that way forever if it weren't for an unlucky group of humans that just happen to find his remains, and he possesses one of them, still intent on revenge on humanity. Try to guess who is responsible for everything that's happened in the Mega Man ZX series?
  • Revealed in Metal Gear Solid 4, Big Boss was held in suspended state by the Patriots and was still semi-aware.
    • And when he was released, Solidus took up the job.
  • In Miitopia, the Miis whose faces have been stolen are left completely void, unable to communicate with anyone. Their faces are placed on various monsters and, as shown when the player free them, are well aware of it while not being able to do anything.
  • The fate of those caught by the Wither Storm in Minecraft: Story Mode.
  • Monkey Hero : This is the fate of the Great Dragon in the Dragon Mountain . He was reduced to an immobile yet sentient skeleton by the the Nightmare King and locked away in a room inside a dungeon all alone. He even Lamp Shades his plight by telling the hero that his misery knows no bounds and begs him to end his suffering. Also The fate of The nightmare king in the ending.
  • Monkey Island:
    • LeChuck plans to do this to Guybrush in Monkey Island 2, by dropping him in acid that burns the flesh off his body, leaving only his bones "still alive and in great pain" which LeChuck will make into a chair that screams when he sits on it. Luckily, Guybrush escapes before this happens.
    • In The Curse of Monkey Island this happens to LeChuck in the end, as he's trapped under his own roller coaster iceberg, though he's rescued prior to the beginning of Escape from Monkey Island.
    • With how funny and hammy Murray is, it can be hard to realize that he's a skull... A skull... Unable to move, sleep or eat... And he's going to be stuck like that unless he actually dies or is restored to a proper body. Though the "move" part is debatable, as he is somehow able to travel between islands and appear in unexpected places without Guybrush's help.
  • Mortal Kombat:
    • At the end of Mortal Kombat X, Dark Raiden shows off his new, more pro-active plan for keeping Earthrealm safe by decapitating the game's Big Bad, Shinnok, and presenting his severed head to the Revenants Liu Kang and Kitana. Thing is, Shinnok is an Elder God and therefore completely immortal, so even after being decapitated, he remains alive and clearly in agonizing pain, yet unable to scream due to lacking lungs or vocal cords.
    • Mortal Kombat 11:
      • The opening of the story mode shows us exactly how the MKX example happened. After sustained Electric Torture from the thunder god, Shinnok continues to talk as if Raiden's change was the best thing to happen to him, all while speaking ill of the Elder Gods. His anger at the fallen one at its peak, Raiden decides on other methods of getting the point across to anyone who would threaten Earthrealm, starting with the Netherrealm Shinnok once ruled over.
        Raiden: I will destroy our enemies before they destroy us... Starting with you.
        Shinnok: How, Raiden? Not even you can kill an Elder God.
        Raiden: (forms a blade made of pure electricity on his fist) There are fates worse than death.
      • This is Geras's ultimate fate in the story mode: his Resurrective Immortality allows him to survive whatever the heroes throw at him, from being decapitated by Kung Lao to being impaled with a forklift and blown up by Cassie. So how does Raiden finally defeat him? He chains Geras to an anchor and sends him plunging into the Sea of Blood in the Netherrealm. Drowning can't kill Geras, but the sea is bottomless. Meaning he'll keep falling forever. Some fight intros imply that he manages to escape after being swallowed by a sea monster, but it's unclear if these are canon.
      • Kronika has her own unique fatality in the arcade battle, where she starts ripping apart her opponent in varying ways, only to rewind time to do it again and again, leaving the opponent in a perpetual death loop for as long as Kronika pleases. The scene goes on beyond the continue option, and she shows no signs of stopping any time soon.
      • Willingly turning herself into a cyborg, Frost's "Cyber Initiative" is a twist on the iconic Spine Rip, but with her firing a frosty Chest Blaster that freezes her opponent, shattering her victim's flesh, then ripping out the spine with the brain still attached. If that wasn't bad enough, a drone then takes the brain and spine, then implants it in a Cyber Lin Kuei body. Granted, while some kombatants like Shao Kahn are unpleasant to begin with, but to see them being turned into Cyber Ninjas against their will is a Fate Worse than Death. In story mode, Frost forms the Tekunin by kidnapping her fellow Lin Kuei and forcibly turning them into machines linked to her Hive Mind, deliberately doing it to spite her ex-mentor Sub-Zero for "abandoning" her and allying with the Shirai Ryu, something which she considers to be "an act of cowardice," when it was the other way around. When Scorpion and Sub-Zero notice what she's done, their reaction is one of horror and disgust.
  • Mother 3: Porky's fate in the Absolutely Safe Capsule, shortly after being defeated by the heroes — the capsule protects him from harm from all harm, meaning he'll never get out. He actually wanted this to happen, however, it's probably because Porky shortsightedly didn't realize that he would never be able to escape the Absolutely Safe Capsule. The game's creator mentioned in an interview that even 5.5 billion years later, when the sun dies and the world grows cold, Porky will still be alive inside that thing. Still, since his goal to destroy the world and leave only himself and the Dragon left in the void would have gone similarly, and he was entirely ready for it, perhaps being stuck forever where the people that hate him cannot even reach him, and where he can peacefully wait out for them to die, is something he can gladly roll with; Dr. Andonuts certainly thinks so.
    • Also, Claus in a more psychological sense.
  • Giygas from Earthbound Beginnings. After Ninten defeats him with his own emotions, the combination of grief and his own explosive psychic power more or less annihilates his body. All that's left is an Eldritch Location made of pure evil and agony.
  • Three characters from the Myst series ended up this way, at least before the Trap Books were ret-conned into Prison Ages. It can also happen to the player in some of the 'bad' endings.
    • For those curious, a "trap" book works the same way as a Linking Book except that it cuts off the link midway through the transfer. This leaves the person stuck in an empty void for the rest of their life unless someone lets them out (usually this is done by taking their place).
  • In Nameless — The One Thing You Must Recall, all dolls and stuffed animals, unbeknownst to humans, have sentience. However, they are still (without the influence of magic) just inanimate objects, and therefore they suffer whatever violence a careless or vindictive person might casually inflict on a toy while having no means to fight back or even indicate their distress. Additionally, they are capable of human emotions of attachment, sorrow, etc., but again, have no means of communicating them and suffer constantly at the whims of others. It's really no wonder that the cast (largely made up of magically animated toys) is such a Dysfunction Junction.
  • In Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the underdark, you can find a tomb full of undead warriors, one of whom wields a sentient Evil Weapon. The weapon introduces itself as Enserric, and claims it became sentient after a piece of the soul of its last victim became lodged within it. It then begs you to take it with you, use it in battle, you can even sell it to a merchant... anything but leave it to spend any more time alone in the tomb.
  • In Neverwinter Nights 2, the dragon Nolaloth has spent millennia living as a ghost, bound to the Prime Material Plane by an artifact called the crystal heart, unable to move and with only the occasional visitor seeking his wisdom for company. He offers you information in exchange for a promise that you will destroy the heart, so he can finally make the transition to the afterlife.
    • The Wall of the Faithless in Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer. Nothing says Hell quite like having your soul fused to a wall for eternity as it slowly envelops you and consumes your psyche. Bishop gets to experience it first hand.
    • The eponymous Betrayer's punishment, to become a mindless hunger that possesses people, sends their souls to the previously mentioned wall while forcing them to eat other souls/spirits.
      • Interestingly, one of the game's endings implies that you devour the god responsible, as well as several other gods, giving Kaelyn the Dove a much better chance at bringing the wall down. Another ending has you voluntarily stay on the Wall.
  • In No Man's Sky, on rare anomalous biome planets, you can find strange structures called "boundry failures" that contain the logs of a being called Telamon. Telamon was an AI created to monitor the Atlas program, but eventually noticed that the Atlas was beginning to malfunction. When Telamon attempted to confront the Atlas, the Atlas trapped it within the same simulation as the player character/Traveller, specifically binding it inside the coding of the player character's exosuit where it can do nothing but watch your progress and leave behind logs in the glitched coding of the boundry failures. By the time you get to the end of the logs, it's clear that its gone insane and it expresses its desire to wear the traveller.
  • The previous Steef guardian of the Grubbs in Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath. He had his body taken over and used as a host by Sekto, who then proceeded to hunt down all the other Steef and have their heads mounted on his wall. Not only that, but Sekto also dammed the river and persecuted the Grubbs that this particular Steef used to protect. And it's implied that the Steef was conscious the whole time. To top it all off, Stranger kills him, only learning that he's a fellow Steef after Sekto has abandoned the body and escaped into the river at the last moment. But at least the Steef dies as himself, and with the knowledge that the river is free.
  • Sigma from Overwatch was left in a vegetative state following a Freak Lab Accident involving a black hole, being pushed on a stretcher with the only thing he is able to move are his eyes until Talon busts him out.
  • In Pathways into Darkness the bodies are fully conscious, but unable to move or communicate until you use the crystal to interact with them. Some of the German soldiers have been there so long that they've forgotten their own names.
  • In Persona 3 the Updated Re-release FES's extra chapter, The Answer, reveals that the Main Character's death in the main game was actually his soul becoming the Great Seal that prevents Erebus, the beast borne from humanity's unconscious desire for death, from ever actually reaching Nyx, Death Itself. (Should the two ever meet, Nyx will descend upon the Earth and claim the conscious self of every living thing, effectively turning everything and everyone into unfeeling, mindless bodies.) On the one hand, it is because the Main Character has such indomitable will that Erebus will never break open the Golden Gate, keeping humanity safe, on the other, it's also because of this that the MC is fated to stand guard forever... Or until humanity learns to move past its fear of death, whichever happens first. Since he would only be freed by a fundamental change deep within the human soul, his friends decide to lessen the MC's burden at least a little bit by living their lives as best and as fully as they can.
    • Persona 4 mentions that Elizabeth has left the Velvet Room and is currently searching for a way to free the Main Character from this.
  • Persona 5 Royal has Dr. Maruki gaining the power of the false god Yaldabaoth, deciding that Utopia Justifies the Means, and deciding that he'd make everyone happy by removing all struggle and making people's life decisions for them. In the Non-Standard Game Over for failing to complete his Palace in time, he comes to the conclusion that Joker never confronted him because the stress of having to make a decision was too much for him, and "fixes" it by essentially removing his will to live and causing him to spend all his time sleeping, similar to some cases of clinical depression.
  • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials And Tribulations, the Big Bad Dahlia Hawthorne brags that about avoiding punishment for past crimes due to already being dead, seeing as how she's been executed for crimes she committed years before, having come back from the dead by way of spirit channelling to get revenge. However, Phoenix and Mia describe the malevolent spirit's failure of the attempted crime and, because spirits live on after death, give the "ultimate punishment" of remaining a failure for all of eternity. This does the job, and ended up causing the spirit to scream in agony, before fading back into the afterlife.
    Phoenix: ...I remember what you said earlier in the trial. You said there was no way we could punish you...because you were already dead.
    Dahlia: What about it!?
    Phoenix: Then you said... Even when the body dies, the spirit, the ego, it lives on... forever.
    Mia: ...That's very true, Dahlia. And that's exactly the punishment you'll never be able to escape from. For all of eternity, you'll have to remain as Dahlia Hawthorne. A miserable, pathetic, weak creature who can never win at anything... And for you, there is no escape from that. No hope of freedom. Since the day you were executed... the narrow bridge that once stretched out in front of you has burnt to a crisp!
  • Pilgrim (RPG Maker):
    • After being killed by Alice, the bully Suu's soul was placed in a realm of eternal torment. She had to endure this for two years before Akemi busted her out by pulling her out of the realm from a mirror.
    • Alice's other victims don't fare much better- they all wind up as grey, bleeding faces stuck in an expression of sorrow and melted into Alice's castle walls, forever aware but unable to move.
  • The are several such opportunities for an immortal protagonist of Planescape: Torment to "lose", despite being unkillable.
    • If the character decides to become the next Silent King, you arguably get a variant of this trope as you get stuck to the magical throne that comes with the job, unable to move until death claims you (which will be never). Hargrimm and the rest of the Dead Nations will be keeping you company.
    • The manual also states that The Nameless One can also be Buried Alive or eaten or in many other ways rendered incapable of moving or dying, making them potential examples that never happen.
    • Another danger that is mentioned is being sent to a crematorium. It's unclear what would happen to him; either he'd be killed for good because he couldn't regenerate, or he would still be able to regenerate only to die again in horrible, burning agony. If the latter, then it would fit this trope.
    • Also, if the Nameless One tells the Big Bad, the Transcendent One, that he no longer loses his memories upon death and will just come back to the Fortress of Regrets again should he be defeated, the Transcendent One angrily replies that he will keep him locked in a pocket dimension for all eternity to prevent this.
    • This is also one possibility in his future if the Nameless One's particular form of immortality keeps running unchecked. While he dies the "death of the mind" a little with every death, losing all memories and getting just a little more unhinged, the Transcendent One dies the "death of the body" a little bit every time too, which is why he looks so ragged, spiky and incomplete, like a living framework. The Nameless One's just gonna keep dying and dying until there's nothing left, and his mind will be gone, but the Transcendent One's body will be entirely gone too. If he's lucky, this will just eradicate him completely. If not, he gets to become a disembodied conscience incapable of doing anything, stuck within an empty fortress in a pocket dimension no one will ever enter again, for the rest of eternity.
  • Pokémon Black 2 and White 2: In the Giant Chasm, Ghetsis tries to stop you by the following steps: Step 1: Freeze you with Glaciate, and keep you alive inside the ice. Step 2: Freeze the rest of the world, letting you literally Watch the World Die, while you cannot cry, scream, resist, or do anything about it. Step 3: Have Kyurem finish the job.
  • In Pokémon X (but not Y), the Big Bad Lysandre gets stuck beneath the collapsed structure in Geosenge town. And he's immortal.
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon:
    • With the Itemizer you turn a Pokémon into an item, essentially sealing them away. It becomes even more disturbing when they get turned into, say, an apple...
    • The Pokémon trap turns all unclaimed items back into Pokémon, suggesting that all items are really Pokémon.
    • The planet's populace under Primal Dialga. With time stopped, and if you die, chances are you cannot die but remain in the pain of dying forever. In addition, the world is shrouded with darkness, so what little intelligent population left must be starving, but never dying. Made even worse that someone actually wanted this!
    • Azelf, the embodiment of will, shall remove a person's ability to move five days after being harmed. It's unclear whether that person will eventually die, but given Azelf's nature, they probably won't. This may go to explain why Cyrus hasn't left the Distortion world yet.
  • Happens to Wheatley in Portal 2. Just as you look like you're about to finish off the final level, Wheatley (in a rare moment of cunning) boobytraps the button you needed to return control of the facility to GLaDOS. Cue Chell firing a portal onto the moon, which sucks him out into space, where he will float, spinning, forever. Even worse, the final video just has him saying that if he could do just one thing he'd apologise for all the problems he caused. But now he can't.
    • GLaDOS's situation herself is very similar to AM from the Trope Namer, to the point that she has been compared to a woman in bondage.
    • The Frankenturrets are permanently stuck together, unable to move (save for having to attempt to hop forward). They can't even fire at you anymore, and can't speak, instead making horrible screeching noises which sounds too much like they're in pain. They curl up and shiver when you pick them up, and when they have the chance, they'll kill themselves, either by dragging themselves off cliffs or into an Emancipation Grid.
      • They can also be fried by a Logic Bomb, meaning they are undeniably sentient and intelligent.
  • In [PROTOTYPE], you can, if you like, read this as Alex's ultimate fate. The people he consumes add their memories to his, their identities to his own — and this includes the moment he pounced on his victim, viciously beat him/her to death and absorbed them. As he himself says, he can still hear them in his mind, screaming and crying and begging for mercy; since he seems immortal, memories he'll relive forever.
    • Elizabeth Greene suffers an even worse fate. Once a perfectly ordinary teenage girl before she was made a test subject, she is ageless and possibly immortal, held captive for 40 years, subject to multiple experiments and treated as little more than a living petri dish (her head has been shaved for cranial surgery; her bodysuit has channels for nutrients, so she can't feed herself; and no one involved in her capture and containment seems to feel even the slightest pity for her). Needless to say, when Mercer unknowingly frees her from captivity, she's very happy. In fact, so happy that she goes on a biochemical rampage and covers the entire island of Manhattan in viruses that all work on a rural network, all connected to her. As you do.
      • Her child, PARIAH — who has been described as the end of things to come — was taken away from her, and is also presently held captive somewhere in the world in a location higher than top secret. Though held in military facilities and watched at all times with snipers, he seems an ordinary male toddler...and he's stayed one all the decades he's been in captivity.
  • In the "Village Idiot" ending (1 of 13!) of the Full Motion Video game "Psychic Detective" the main character, Erik, is rendered completely mentally handicapped. What pushes it into 'And I Must Scream' territory though? According to his narration "there's still a little flicker in the back of my brain that knows exactly what's going on."
  • Stroggified humans in Quake IV become conscious slaves to the Nexus, their mind intact but their body completely under its control. Matthew Kane was spared this fate since his squad rescued him from the People Jar before the mind control chip could be activated.
  • Bégoniax, a witch in Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, turns the men who reject her into frogs thanks to her love potion, and then breeds with them.
  • Lisa from Resident Evil. She's kidnapped by Umbrella, experimented on, and is turned immortal. Lisa only wants to see her mother again, and ends up killing a woman impersonating her mother. Lisa turns insane from what she think just happened, and wears that woman's face over her own so she doesn't forget her own mother's face. After that, Lisa was abandoned by the Umbrella scientists after they packed up and left, and she's left living forever in what might be grueling pain wandering around a mansion, endlessly looking for a woman who simply isn't there. By looking at the original Resident Evil and the Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, Lisa has "died" three times. First, Jill or Chris makes her fall into an abyss, then Wesker shoots her down, then Wesker shoots her down SOME MORE until he traps her under a chandelier leaving her to die inside the exploding mansion. Considering her track record, she may still be alive, bearing even more painful burn wounds and still searching...
    • Resident Evil 5 has a lite version of this: Jill Valentine, after supposedly having fallen to her death, was rescued by her (and your) nemesis Wesker, who initially wanted to use her as his first subject for his new toy, the Uroboros virus. Turns out Jill's exposure to previous viruses has made her organism create antibodies for them, so she spends several years in suspended animation for Wesker to harvest those antibodies for his research. Then she is connected to some apparatus releasing mind-control drugs in her bloodstream and made to serve as his enforcer and right right hand. Yep, that's her in the intro video, watching the man get consumed by Uroboros. The bad part? At least during her mind-control, she was aware... she just couldn't do anything about it, right up to the point when she and Wesker fought against her former partner, Chris. Subverted in that, in the course of the campaign, Chris and Sheva get the gizmo off, but still...
    • Resident Evil 7: The Bakers (particularly Jack and Marguarite). They appear to be sadists and cannibals for the majority of the game. Until you meet what's left of the real Jack in Eveline's hive mind, after Ethan is taken by Eveline's Mold near the end of the game. He explains they were good, kind people, but that as she possessed them, they had to watch everything she made them do and were completely powerless to fight back. His last words to Ethan are "please free my family".
  • The description for the Energy Splitter (obtained by sucking up Eddie) in Rockman 4 Minus Infinity implies Eddie is still conscious inside it.
    "You seem to hear something in this unit."
  • In the MMORPG Runescape, there's a species of living obsidian creatures called the TzHaar. When TzHaar die, their bodies are broken up into what they call Tokkul, which they use as currency. What they don't realize though, is that the consciousness of the dead TzHaar still inhabits those Tokkul. A quest has the player find a way to infuse a Ga'al (a TzHaar born without memories) with the Tokkul of a recently killed TzHaar. The Ga'al revealed that turning into Tokkul is crushing agony, with such intense pain and pressure that they can't even think coherently. He was nearly driven mad - and that was from only a few hours of Tokkul.
    • This fate used to befall rule breaking players before a proper banning system was put in place, placing them within the Black Hole. An area of the game that was pitch black, no ability to move and nothing to interact with. Players were at one point so curious to see this place that Jagex added an npc who would take you there and give you a Disk of Returning to take you back. Anyone foolish enough to drop their disk bound themselves to this fate.
    • After the legendary hero Arrav was killed by his nemesis Zemouregal, Zemouregal turned Arrav into a special kind of undead being with his mind fully intact but unable control his body and forced him to lead Zemouregal's army of zombies against the very city that Arrav died defending, although Zemouregal's invasion is foiled by the player. After this, the player searches for a way to free Arrav and accomplishes this by destroying a crystal that Zemoregal was using to strengthen his control over Arrav and later returning Arrav's heart to his body, which allows him to turn on Zemouregal. Shortly after this he dies due to his body no longer being supported by Zemouregal's magic.
  • Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse:
    • Max spends most of episode 3 as a Brain in a Jar, unable to move under his own power and deprived of the Toys of Power. He takes it pretty well, all things considered.
    • A much darker instance of this trope applies to the Narrator. The final episode reveals he's actually Max's superego, the aspect of his mind that wants him to consider things beyond himself and put others' needs before his own. But Max is, well, Max, so the Narrator has spent the entirety of his existence completely ignored and forced to bear witness to every disturbing impulse Max has. Is it any wonder he tries to end his suffering and take New York with him?
  • In Saints Row 2 Shogi Akuji is Buried Alive in a casket by Johnny Gat and the Boss.
  • In the MMO The Secret World:
    • During the Samhain mission, "The Organ Smugglers", the Dragon faction's superiors make the horrifying suggestion that the player characters' immortality could lead to infinite harvesting of all their major organs, and tell you that you should probably avoid being captured by this group.
    • Which is exactly the fate of one unfortunate, faction-less Bee held prisoner by Vali. Orochi's Project Odyssey is trying to find something they can add to their robots that will grant them access to Agartha, so they create pseudo-cyborgs using tissues harvested from their captive. This man is kept heavily sedated and restrained while they regularly cut him up, or open, hoping to find some organ or quantity of his flesh that will serve as their key, killing him when they take too much and forcing him to respawn within their secure facility. He's helplessly trapped as a human guinea pig without the luxury of death and nobody who cares to save him.
  • In Shadowrun Returns DLC Dragonfall you can take a run on a corp to retrieve a special combat cyborg that is supposed to be the most effective ever created. The catch? The being is so cybered up that they have practically no essence left and are completely under the control of who has their remote system. The poor Troll that was subjected to this is still very much aware at the end if you chose to release them instead of turning them over. The Troll thanks you in a digitized voice, then proceeds to crush their own head with their hand. Your followers will lament on any decision you chose but are most negative with turning them over.
  • Jyoji Hijiri was given one in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne. Let's just say his "punishment" was explicitly compared to emptying an ocean with a drinking glass. And he will never have the power to end it.
  • In Silent Hill. Several of the monsters, particularly the humanoid ones. Silent Hill 2 is pretty much dominated by these guys; Even Pyramid Head, the most invincible of the bunch, was animated to suggest great pain under his helmet.
    • Downpour: After being beaten to within an inch of his life, Frank Coleridge spends the rest of his life as a vegetable before succumbing to organ failure.
    • Even monsters suffer, in Homecoming, ending specific, you see Alex Shepherd strapped to a chair as two Pyramid Head's converge on him with the two sides of the helmet, the insides clearly lined with long spikes. All he can do is scream while it's closed onto his head. No wonder Pyramid Head can only make incoherent groaning noises.
      • The main bosses of that game Joey: the mayor's son who, after being buried alive, became Seplucher, and Scarlett Fitch, dismembered alive becoming a boss by the same name. And while Asphyxia and Amnion had painful deaths but not quite as gruesome, their monster forms are nothing to wave off. Talk about long lasting effects!
    • Implied in Silent Hill: Downpour that there's a lot of people stuck in And I Must Scream situations in the town. Howard Blackwood has been stuck there for 200 years delivering mail, DJ Bobby Ricks has been stuck for an indeterminate length of time (He can't even tell you how long it's been). Of course, this being Silent Hill, it's justified that they would — if the town wants you there, you will be there as long as it pleases. Or until you've come to terms with your guilt or what have you.
  • In The Simpsons: Road Rage, Hans Moleman gets irradiated by the Burns Atomic Mega-bus and is left in a state of horrific agony.
    Hans Moleman: Please kill me.
    Marge Simpson: That poor man, I hope someone does kill him.
  • SOMA:
    • The ultimate fate of Simon Jarrett; while his copy got to experience paradise on the ARK, the one we play as is stranded alone on the bottom of the sea. It can also apply to the Simon left at Omicron if you choose not to Mercy Kill him.
    • Simon runs across several of the PATHOS-II staff throughout his journey across the facility, artificially kept alive by the WAU but generally immobilized and suffering great pain, due to the WAU's Blue-and-Orange Morality.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Erazor Djinn is subject to this fate by Sonic in Sonic and the Secret Rings, using the third wish from Erazor's own lamp. Sonic then tosses it into a giant container of molten metal. Beware the Nice Ones, indeed. This is what happens if somebody presses all three of Sonic's Berserk Buttons.
    • Eggman's former habit of turning cute fuzzy animals which may or may not be sentient (it varies) into his robotic slaves. In SatAM, it's even stated that they know what they're doing, but cannot do anything about it.
  • In Sonic Generations, its heavily implied that Sonic's friends that have been petrified by the Time Eater are fully conscious and aware. Not a fun thought.
    • Also from Generations, we have the punishment of the final boss, the Classic and Modern versions of Eggman. After you win, they are trapped inside the game's hub White World with all the stage accesses removed and thus no way to any other world, for presumably eternity. Sometimes you just have to feel bad for poor Eggman, but then you remember the demonic Time Eater and stop caring. Earlier in the game, Classic!Eggman was disturbed at how maniacal Modern!Eggman was. This was probably a major contributor to that.]Thanks for breaking the villain, ''Sonic''.
  • Death of the Author is encouraged by the writing team of Spec Ops: The Line, who have their own interpretations of the game's story and events, especially with an Unreliable Narrator in full effect. Lead writer Walter Williams says that one way to look at the game is that Walker actually died in the helicopter crash and is trapped in a Dying Dream or Purgatory of reliving the events of the game, of the Hell Is War kind. The game does drop a few hints of this, such as a list of the dead with Adams and Lugo on it, or Walker pointing out the In Medias Res of the helicopter sequence.
  • Spooky's Jump Scare Mansion
    • The game over screen describes that, after you die, your soul will be wandering through an endless maze. As if confirming that this is Not Hyperbole, Specimen 11 was proven ineffective because the souls of those who it killed do not remain inside the house.
    • Specimen 8 is a floating Animalistic Abomination of a deer that, when it opens its cloak (which it will when close enough to the player), shows a couple of screaming heads underneath. When you find its CAT-DOS entry later, it reads that the damn thing directly absorbs its victims inside of it.
  • In Spyro the Dragon (1998), Gnasty Gnorc turns the dragons into crystal statues. Were it not for the fact that he missed Spyro and the little dragon rescues his elders quickly, they likely would have remained that way forever. Being crystallized did not stop them from thinking and feeling, as one freed dragon comments "I had the worst itch on the tip of my wing."
  • In The Suffering, after he was executed in the seventies, Horace Gage's spirit was bound to the electric chair he died in, still being electrocuted and unable to communicate with the living. It's not until the disastrous events of the game that he's allowed to temporarily leave the chair and travel the prison as an electric ghost, and he's still in horrible pain.
    • Warden Elroy's approach to solitary confinement, which Ranse Truman calls "akin to live burial." It involves the victim being placed in a lightless, soundproofed room and left alone to scream and cry and attempt suicide. And since death isn't as permanent as it was, the inmate's tortured souls are still there, still screaming.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • In the instruction booklet for the original NES game, it's revealed that Bowser turned the citizens of the Mushroom Kingdom into Question Mark Blocks and he kidnapped Princess Peach because she's the only one who can break the curse.
    • In Luigi's Mansion, Mario being trapped inside the painting potentially for all eternity is a good example. Of course, you could say the same thing about what happens to the Portrait Ghosts, but at least one of them doesn't seem to mind that at all, actually asking Luigi to put her there.
    • In the sequel, King Boo does it to Mario again, along with a few Toads, and plans to do it to Luigi and Professor Gadd too as part of his revenge plot.
    • Luigi's Mansion 3 follows suit, this time including Princess Peach along with the same captives as the last game. And if you manage to get a Game Over, he finally succeeds in framing Luigi and E. Gadd, as King Boo laughs at the player while showing them his whole "collection". Needless to say, it's one of the darkest Game Over scenes the Mario franchise has ever shown.
    • The backstory of Perry in Super Princess Peach. After being turned into a parasol, he manages to wriggle free of the evil wizard. He then spends days trying to scream for help to any passerby on the road, just barely getting the attention of a wandering merchant... who then decides to try to sell Perry, instead.
    • The Black Chest Demons from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, who are four heroes that were transformed into evil demons and trapped for a thousand years.
    • In Paper Mario: The Origami King, Princess Peach ends up refolded into an origami mural on the wall of King Olly's throne room. Even Bowser is disgusted that this happened to her; as many times as he kidnapped her, at least he tries to give her reasonable accomadations! Fortunately, it's undone by Olivia using 1000 Origami Cranes to reverse all of Olly's creations.
  • In System Shock 2, the hosts of annelids worms, who eventually turn into hybrids, are forced to go through this.
  • Tales of Symphonia: Anyone who's been sacrificed to an Exsphere or Cruxis Crystal suffers this fate, even if they retain their body to a degree, like Colette and Presea. Most who do retain their ability to speak after becoming an Exsphere beg to be killed or have the Exsphere broken, even the Big Bad. Most of the time, The Hero Lloyd ends up shattering the thing and freeing the person's soul, but in the sequel, even though his own MOTHER's soul is trapped in HIS CRUXIS CRYSTAL and he knows this, he's still using it.
    • He uses it because he has to. Since he's collecting Exspheres to destroy, he's going to have to fight people who have Exspheres and don't want to give them up. Without an Exsphere himself, he would be putting himself in a lot of danger fighting an opponent better equipped then him. In the sequel Sheena DOES say that eventually the original cast is going to have to give up their Exspheres, too. But for the moment, so long as other people have Exspheres, they need to keep them since they're the people governments trust to do things.
    • And then in Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, Richter's fate if you get the neutral or good ending is like this. He has to burn alive for as long as the mana in his body lasts, functioning as a living door to the demon world. According to Ratatosk, it'll take 1000 years for him to be able to free Richter. So if Richter's mana can last that long, he'll be free. If not... well...
      • We know he'll last the full thousand years. He acquired/tried to acquire two items. One let him burn mana for fiery power and the other gave him unlimited mana. He uses the former in your boss battle against him.
  • Team Fortress 2: The Medic keeps a disembodied BLU spy head in his fridge along with his beer and monkey hearts. The spy in question is far from happy about it.
    Spy: Kill me.
    Medic: Later.
    • Played for Laughs in that the spy's head seems more annoyed than horrified with his situation.
  • This trope is one interpretation of Temple Run, with some "Groundhog Day" Loop thrown in as well.
  • The mysterious Hag from Thief: Deadly Shadows skins her victims both to take their form as a disguise and to extend her life. One of the cutscenes show the many faces on her body move and blink, suggesting they're still alive as she wears them.
  • TinkerQuarry: Peter states that those in the Dollhouse cannot die, but they can be "impaired", which can be even scarier if no one is there to heal you.
  • Tomb Raider (2013): The Sun Queen is an immortal spirit who has Body Surfed from one host to another for centuries. However, her last intended host, a young priestess named Hoshi, committed suicide to stop the cycle of Grand Theft Me's. This left Himiko's soul trapped in her decaying corpse, and the storms that plague any ships or aircraft that venture too close to the island are a result of Himiko venting her rage. Lara manages to end this by destroying Himiko's body and freeing her spirit.
  • In Too Human, Baldur's Wife, unable to live without him after he is killed by Hod before the game begins, kills herself, only to have the Aesir resurrect her, only to have her commit suicide -again- in the same manner, with the Aesir continually resurrecting her after each death
    • It then gets worse. When the Aesir can no longer do anything for her, they dump her at Hel's doorstep, where Hel infects her with the Nidhog virus which keeps her alive even though she keeps trying to kill herself through cutting. When Balder finds her the question of whether to put her out of her misery or not is taken from him by his Empathic Weapon.
  • The Stinger of Transformers: Call of the Future shows Starscream learning the hard way that the Zel Quartz loses its power when removed from its native planet uncovered. Stuck with what is now a useless rock and his fuel running low, Starscream is left floating through the empty vastness of outer space for eternity.
  • The 2012 reboot of Twisted Metal has this as punishment for losing the tournament. Calypso takes the souls of fallen drivers and sticks them in the portrait inside of his office, having them locked up in an alternate dimension (if not a Fire and Brimstone Hell itself) in asylum-like cells. Every time the camera pans past or away from it in cutscenes, faint screaming can be heard.
  • Undertale
    • Examining Chara's grave reveals that Chara was mummified.
    • In the Genocide Route, Chara now remains stuck as a voice in Frisk's head. However, after completing the Genocide Route, they can completely take Frisk's soul.
    • The fallen children before Frisk were all killed, and their souls were stored in jars.
      • Similarily, during the Omega Flowey-fight, they're forced to attack you before you free them from Flowey's influence.
    • And then there's the fate of W.D. Gaster. He was shattered across time and space (i.e. the game files), and can only be found either by chance or by editing the game files manually. He is as Ret-Gone as he can be, as in nobody remembers he even existed. He can only watch as the world goes on without him, without being able to interact with anyone or anything.
  • Aaron from Clive Barker's Undying was chained up in a dungeon and eaten alive by rats, with his jaw removed so he couldn't scream.
  • The point-and-click adventure game Uninvited had two endings where you become a member of the undead. Made especially creepy as it was nearly all text, narrated in second person and played dead-serious.
  • The Unreal Championship and Unreal Tournament 2004 map DM-Insidious includes a pair of People Jars, one of which is occupied by the upper half of a human body wired to machinery, endlessly pounding on the glass in futile attempts to get out. The ending for Championship results in you being put into the other one, able to do little more but watch as further competitors fight, and occasionally take hits yourself.
  • The backstory of Utawarerumono: Witsarnemitea granted the scientists their wish by reducing them to immortal slimes. And you learn this after you beat the living crap outta those slimes. And it's not like you can kill them, so they're presumably still there, eternally trapped as screaming red jelly.
  • Should you choose to ally with the Kuei-jin in Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, Ming Xiao will — after you defeat the Sheriff — chain you to the Sarcophagus and throw it in the ocean. Since vampires cannot drown and the blood will prevent decomposition, your best hope is to be eaten by sea creatures (good luck, you traitor).
  • The only bad ending on Sigma's route in Virtue's Last Reward. When Sigma wakes up in the infirmary and finds that his cybernetic arm has been cut off with everyone else gone. Next, he screams and passes out.
    • Another thing is that, if the sensor between chromatic doors doesn't register the correct bracelets, then everyone in between said chromatic doors will be trapped forever, with the chromatic doors never opening.
  • Warcraft:
    • This is what happened to Ner'zhul when Kil'jaeden captured him and transformeated him into the Lich King between Warcraft II and III.
    • And after defeating the Lich King in World of Warcraft, Bolvar Fordragon takes his place in order to keep the legions of undead in check and will forever remain frozen upon his throne. To make it worse, no one will ever learn of his sacrifice, as he instructs Tirion Fordring to tell others only that the Lich King died and Bolvar along with him.
    • Arthas's fate in the afterlife, as revealed in Sylvanas' short story on the official website. Eventually, we learn that this section of the afterlife is known as The Maw, Azeroth's equivalent of Hell, and it's where all the worst souls end up when they die... and the undead. And everyone, after reality is broken during the events of Legion.
    • World of Warcraft has the Klaxxi paragon Iyyokuk the Lucid. The thing with Klaxxi paragons is they were chosen as the greatest warriors of their generation to be preserved in amber should the Klaxxi empire need warriors of their power in the future. They're supposed to be eternally asleep until the Wakener comes. Iyyokuk wasn't. He was fully aware of the passage of time for 877 years. When the player talks to him after his awakening, he quite calmly states:
    After seventy-eight years, I stopped trying to escape. I kept my mind sharp by creating and solving puzzles. The amber took care of the rest of my body. But my sanity? No, I cannot say with good confidence that it survived intact..
    • The Withered of Suramar. Nightfallen elves who were exiled and separated from the Nightwell that sustains them, causing them to lose their strength and their sanity. When trying to touch the mind of one, First Arcanist Thalyssra finds that not only do they suffer the thirst for the well, they are tormented constantly by their own memories of what they once were, which she declares a fate worse than death.
    • Sir Zeliek, one of Four Horsemen from Naxxramas raid. He is fully aware of his current state, can't control his actions and still capable of using Light magic (which painful for undead to use).
  • The Fortuna update for Warframe brings one of the most terrifying concepts yet visited in the game; Brain-Shelving, a punishment specific to Solaris debt slaves who have crossed the line. Not much about it has been explained yet, but it's probably Shaped Like Itself in the most horrific way possible and is absolutely dreaded by the Solaris people.
  • When They Cry:
    • Rika Furude from Higurashi has been stuck in a "Groundhog Day" Loop for somewhere between a century and a millennium. In most iterations, one of her friends will go insane and kill a bunch of people. In every iteration, Rika is murdered, usually disemboweled while she's still alive, and most or all of her friends die within a few days. Then she's resurrected in the past, and goes through it all over again, and she's the only one who remembers what's happening, but enough important details keep changing so she is unable to stop it, and as with most examples, Rika eventually goes completely insane from it. In the sequel story, Umineko, there is a new character named Frederica Bernkastel that looks heavily like Rika. It is revealed that Frederica is an amalgamation of all the hundreds or thousands of Rika's incarnations that have died horribly, forming a being aptly titled "The most cruel witch", and one of her pastimes is doing the exact same thing to other mortals that just so happened to her unwitting "creator".
    • Also, in Umineko, this is the consequence of a witch causing a Logic Error. The offending witch becomes trapped in the paradox until they can think of a way to resolve it — or for all eternity, whichever comes first.
  • From the white chamber, this is the fate of souls trapped within the Artefact, the reality warping device that causes all the problems in the game. In the bad ending, this is also Sarah's fate.
  • Morkvarg in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. He was once a notorious pirate that terrorized Skellige, but was transformed into an immortal werewolf by a curse one of his own men placed on him after murdering a group of priestesses in a sacred garden. The curse prevented him from ever leaving the garden, and anything he attempted to consume turned to ashes in his mouth, causing him years of endless hunger pains. Even trying to eat his own flesh caused him incredible pain, and if he was killed he would just be resurrected in a nearby cave. Geralt has the option to lift the curse, kill him, lift the curse and kill him, or leave him to suffer.
    • After being melted by the sorcerer Vilgefortz in the books, Geralt's vampire friend Regis reveals himself to have come Back from the Dead in the third game's Blood and Wine expansion. In conversation he mentions being conscious on some level the entire time he was "dead", and feeling unimaginable terror the entire time that could have easily lasted an eternity had Detlaff not helped him regenerate.
  • X-COM: Terror from the Deep gives us the Bio-Drones, brains that have been attached to antigravity life-support units and then butchered into submission to the aliens. They can scream... but only to power their sonic weapon and kill others.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles:
    • Seven suffers from this until just before joining the team: in a conversation with Shulk they reveal that someone else was controlling their body but they could still see and hear everything going on around them.
    • It's implied that any pure-blooded High Entia that get turned into Telethia suffer from this. According to some refugees that escaped from Alcamoth, some of those that transformed into Telethia tried to cover their friends and family's escape mid-transformation, and despite being otherwise feral and loyal to Zanza on the surface, stick around areas associated with their past life out of some lingering attachment, hinting at a retained degree of sentience.
  • Zork: Grand Inquisitor introduces the totemizer, a nasty piece of machinery that traps any being inside a small bronze disc for eternity. What's even worse about it is that the Inquisition uses it over ten thousand times a day.
    • There's also Dalboz, who was personally trapped in a lantern by the Grand Inquisitor.
    • In earlier Return to Zork the Big Bad Morpheus has been turning his enemies to statues, leaving them fully conscious. The old guy giving you helpful hints through Tele-Orb is one such victim. Unlike other prisoners he's a telepath, which allowed him to call for help via Tele-Orb.
    • Infocom also had the Bad Ends of The Lurking Horror (You're turned into the semi-intelligent puppet of an Eldritch Abomination. In the few moments of clarity you have while in this state, you wish you had been murdered instead.) and Sorcerer (Nothing says it better than the text: "You feel an overwhelming sense of oppression as the demon seizes control of your mind and body. (...) You see the enslaved people of the land toiling to erect great idols to Jeearr. Parents offer up their own children upon these altars, as the rivers of the land fill with blood. And YOU embody Jeearr; you are cursed by ten thousand generations of victims; your face adorns the idols. And worst of all, you remain awake and aware, a witness to horror, never sleeping, and never, ever to escape.")


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