Follow TV Tropes


Death Of A Child / Video Games

Go To

Children dying in video games.

  • In 2Dark, children are abducted, abused and also killed in many violent ways.
  • Advance Wars: Days of Ruin features a virus (Endoflorus Terriblis) which kills only children though it mutates into killing anyone later. To drive the point home, photos are shown of a child with flowers sprouting out of his body.
    Lin: He had roots and leaves growing under his skin... In his ears... In his eyes... Little roots creeping behind the eyes... ...What if you could hear them...?
    Dr. Morris: Lin, please! Stop talking about it! Curiously, the virus seems to only infect young people. You're in the right age range, Will, which means you're at risk. If you meet anyone suffering from this, you must stay away! Is that clear?
    Lin: Starvation, raiders, and flowers that kill you. Gotta love this place.
  • Alter Ego:
    • At several points during childhood and infancy, it's possible to inadvertently kill yourself or severely injure yourself by food poisoning, a falling iron, or numerous other means.
    • At one point, a bad choice can result in your character (while a child) being kidnapped, molested, and murdered by a pedophile.
  • American McGee's Grimm has children die all over the place, which is played for Black Comedy.
  • In Armello, the Child Prodigy Barnaby is as susceptible to death as any other player character. Flavor texts for various quests have the heroes trying to rescue a cub from harm, and failure in doing so often involve their demise.
  • At one point in Army of Two: The 40th Day, Salem and Rios encounter a little boy and have to escort him to safety. During a firefight, the boy sees a sniper rifle and asks if he should try to get it or stay in hiding. If you let him go for the gun, he will die. It's also the only way to unlock that particular sniper rifle for you to use yourself, and it's the strongest one in the game.
  • Advertisement:
  • In the beginning of Assassin's Creed II, as part of a Player Punch, Ezio's thirteen-year-old brother is killed alongside his father and teenaged brother. Namely by being hung. In front of the player; even swaying slightly in the breeze.
  • In Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, the Artful Dodger Phoibe, who looks up to the Misthios like a cool big sibling and follows them out of Kephallonia, ends up in the service of Aspasia, Consort of Perikles. During the Plague in Athens and the coinciding political upheaval that ensues, she runs afoul of Kosmos goons and is murdered. The Misthios hears it happen, but arrives in time only to slaughter her murderers in kind and mourn over her lifeless body.
  • Assassin's Creed Origins has this happen to Bayek's son, Khemu, killed by the Order of the Ancients by guiding Bayek’s sword into his chest. He and his wife lead a years long Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the Order which leads to the birth of the Hidden Ones, better known as the Assassins.
  • Advertisement:
  • Child NPCs in the Baldur's Gate series are no less mortal than any other NPCs and can be killed by the player character accordingly, either through direct intentional attacks or careless are-of-effect spells when dealing with a hostile in a town. At least two quests in the first game have deceased children as inventory objects. One can be resurrected near the end of the related quest, but the other cannot. The second game features a sidequest involving the ghost of a murdered halfing child.
  • Bloodborne: In a setting where Anyone Can Die, children are no exception, be it the little girl who gets horribly killed after gifting you a music box, her older sister who kills herself on screen shortly after finding her little sister's bloodstained ribbon, or a baby of an Eldritch Abomination, whom you brutally slaughtered.
  • Early in Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, the player accidentally releases a monster that kills Tom Waits' daughter. It looks at first like the death will only be off-screen and you'll never get to see the body beyond the screaming and tearing sounds, but then you wake up and hear her father crying as you go downstairs...
  • Call of Duty:
    • Nazi Zombies mode of Call of Duty. Richtofen kills Samantha by locking her and her father in a room with a hellhound.
    • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3: Davis Family Vacation, Day 3. A young American girl on vacation in London with her family ends up being killed by a truck bomb explosion. Which may have been a small bit of mercy, as this meant she did not suffer the effects of the nerve toxin released by the bomb that ended up killing many others.
  • Indie horror game Calm Time is all about people who get murdered during a Nasty Party in a countryside house. There is a little boy among the characters, and he can be killed just like everyone else. In fact, he is easier to kill than the other guests.
  • Susan, the protagonist of The Cat Lady, accidentally caused the death of her infant daughter in the game's backstory, by leaving a bunch of flower's in the daughter's bedroom without realizing she was severely allergic to pollen. Susan's depression over this leads to a failed suicide attempt in the first chapter, which sets up the events for the rest of the story.
  • Child of Light: The duke's young daughter Aurora dies from poisoning in the very intro of the game. Thankfully, her soul is transported to Lemuria.
  • In Clive Barker's Jericho, some of the enemies that the Jericho squad have to face are simply known as the Children: hideously mutilated, demonic child spectres, who are the souls of a child army that was massacred during the time of the Crusades.
  • Clock Tower, where the first game features the 14-15 year old Jennifer and her friends of the same age locked in Barrows Mansion. Depending on how you play the game, all four of them can all die. But no matter what, at least one (be it a friend or Jennifer, the player character) has to die.
  • Corpse Party utilizes this trope a lot, from the four main antagonists being the ghosts of elementary school children to the many bodies of tiny individuals lining the cursed halls of Heavenly Host.
  • Played 100% straight in Crusader Kings II. Children can die just like any other character. They are even more vulnerable than adults, as they are more likely to die from diseases than adults, require a regent if they rule (who might be an Evil Chancellor) and have much lower diplomacy and intrigue, which makes them easy targets for murder plots. They can also be executed if taken as prisoner, just like any other character.
  • Dante's Inferno. The player is presented with already dead unbaptized babies that can be absolved, punished, or simply slaughtered. Though a lot of players seem to just absolve them instead.
  • In the comic for The Highwayman in Darkest Dungeon, the titular character is shown raiding a stagecoach and, upon hearing a noise from inside it after killing the riders, fires a bullet into it. When he looks inside, he finds that he murdered a mother and child, leading him to have a Heel–Face Turn and join the Heir's plight out of guilt. What's worse is that one of his unique trinkets is a locket, meaning he either picked it off one of the others he killed, or that he had just killed his own wife and child.
  • The trailer for Dead Island shows us a little girl getting bitten by a zombie, dying, and then turning into a zombie herself before biting her dad, who throws her out a window to kill her again.
  • Dead Rising:
    • The hero offers to help a hysterical mother find her missing baby only to be told that she saw it eaten by zombies.
    • The opening cinematic has a woman and her child trying to escape the zombie horde in a car, but they crash. It fades out with the zombies surrounding the car, with the child trapped inside.
    • In the sequel, protagonist Chuck has to take care of his infected daughter Katey by giving her an expensive drug that suppressed the virus temporarily. If the player fails to give Katey the drug in time, she will die (and leads to the game's worst ending).
  • Deus Ex has a number of (male only) kids around, all of whom are viable targets. One of them is, in fact, a Jerkass most players relish killing. The sequel, Invisible War, is no different: you can go on a rampage in a girls' elementary school.
    Scott: You can gib a child with one stroke of the nanosword!
    Chris: That's because children have fewer hit points. They are inferior and weak.
    Deus Ex developer quote
  • Diablo:
    • Although you can't kill any children in-game, the story for Diablo states that the titular Big Bad possessed a young prince's body. When Diablo is finally defeated in the end of the first game, his body turns back into that of the dead prince. Made even more tragic by Diablo III, which reveals that the Warrior who canonically defeated Diablo was the prince's older brother Aidan. The guilt Aidan felt from killing his little brother made it easier for Diablo to possess him.
    • Wirt's fate in the sequel, he was slain by a horde of Hell Bovine when Tristram was decimated. Not like we would miss him and you can even loot his corpse for all the gold he's swindled along with his wooden pegleg.
    • In Diablo III the child Emperor Hakan II is possessed by Belial, dying as a result. When the possession occurred is unknown making it possible he was already dead by the time you met him.
    • In Reaper of Souls an oddly cheery mother can be found looking for her children in the zombie-infested city. While never outright stated it's heavily implied they're dead and the mother is in denial.
  • In Dm C Devil May Cry, Vergil guns down Lilith and her child on-camera during the hostage exchange sequence, the latter fearing for her life all the way to the fated moment. While the child had been shown taking on a hideous form during the prior boss fight, it had reverted to its form inside Lilith after the beating, and while Mundus killed Dante and Vergil's mother, manhandled and imprisoned their father, and tried to kill them when they were kids, it's kind of hard not to feel for him after seeing that.
  • In Dragon Scroll, the bodycount is pretty high, and there's some rape and child molesting to boot, but it took a child being killed in front of his eyes for Akitada to have a Heroic BSoD.
  • In Drakengard:
    • One level has you fight your way out of a Child Soldier camp. Leonard's guilt is due to the fact that he was supposed to be guarding such a camp but wasn't on guard when it was destroyed... because he was off masturbating during the attack.
    • Arioch is an elf who went mad after seeing her village slaughtered. And as the price for her pact was her womb, she now eats children, though she'll eat adults too.
  • In Duck Season, the dog is not above attempting to kill the Kid Hero should the protagonist hold off his assault in their standoff within the titular game, going into the real world holding a knife. If the player fails to shoot him enough times, he will kill the kid, and his bloody corpse will be lying on the floor in the "Dead" ending. It's also implied that this is the fate of many more children.
  • Dwarf Fortress: Children can die in any number of ways, and military mothers will carry their infants into combat, where they are very likely to get impaled and upset said parent. On the other hand, if you can offset the mood loss, children make excellent body armor. Moreover, sometimes the mother uses the child as a blunt weapon.
  • Enderal is a total conversion mod of Skyrim with its own setting and complete story. Child NPCs in it are unkillable (as they are in Skyrim) but a significant and mandatory subquest involves a child with a rather tragic backstory who ultimately dies at the end.
  • Ellia of Eternal Darkness is the youngest character in the game at 16 (and she was three years younger in earlier drafts of the story), and she's murdered by Pious Augustus for refusing to tell him where the Heart of Mantorok was hidden. She's kept "alive" by its power within her for 800 years to pass it on to Edwin Lindsey later in the timeline, her dried husk of a corpse finally fading away at that point.
  • Fallout:
    • It is possible for the player to kill very young children, though doing so earns you the "Childkiller" title and greatly decreases your reputation. The European release of the game was Bowdlerised specifically to prevent this (to the extent that certain quests cannot be completed, and the player can have their items stolen without realizing it). This is commented on in Fallout 2.
    • The first two games use this trope with such fierce glee that probably some of the most vivid and horrifying descriptions of critical hit damage in the games come from shooting a child in the eye, or blowing off a leg, or firing a minigun at a groin, and so on.
  • In every single game in the Fatal Frame franchise:
    • In the first game, the 2nd Night partially centers around several young children that were murdered by a ghost. Each child ghost is a mini-boss, and defeating them gains the player a photograph of their final moments.
    • The second game features several child ghosts, all of which can be fought. Besides a group of children that died while playing tag, there's two child Bosses in the game. The first, Chitose, is a woobie Ill Girl who died while trying to hide in a closet. Then there's the Kiryuu Twins, one of which was the youngest Virgin Sacrifice known in the series. Her surviving sister ended up getting her soul eaten by a demon that possessed a doll modeled after her dead twin. The final battle with the Woman in the Box includes a baby crying, revealing that mother and child died together in that very room.
    • In the third game, there are a total of five dead little girls to contend with. One died of the Curse, while the other four were Handmaidens during the disaster. The eldest sacrificed the other three as part of a ritual, then killed herself. The player can find the scenes of their gruesome deaths playing out, and even find a bloodstained floor where the first Handmaiden was crucified by the others. Then there's the hidden well, where the cries of a baby can be heard. It's implied this is where the matriarchal Kuze Family disposed of male infants.
    • The fourth game features several dead children, all once patients at a hospital.
    • The fifth game brings back another set of Children Playing Tag, as well as a mysterious 7-year old Shrine Maiden that was a Virgin Sacrifice. One of the areas that can be explored is a shrine dedicated to dead children.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy II. In the beginning of the game, in the various towns you can travel to, here are many child NPCs you can talk to! After the Imperial Dreadnaught goes on its first run...there are significantly fewer child sprites left, and some shell-shocked adults NPCs grieving their sons and daughters. And then the Cyclone starts its world tour...
    • In Final Fantasy VI, Kefka wipes out the kingdom of Doma via poison. One of the main character's family is in Doma, and as he rushes in to warn about the poison, he discovers his wife dead, and as he opens the door, the corpse of his son falls out of the bed. And that was the moment where Kefka lost his charm.
    • In Final Fantasy X, there is a cutscene in Kilika where children are playing with a blitzball near a mother with her baby. Then Sin comes and attacks the villiage. The last thing that you see is the blitzball in the wreckage. Later, when Yuna does the Sending, you can see a very small casket among the dozens in the water, and you see the mother breaking down back on shore.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • The series has no shortage of Child Soldiers in your army. With Final Death in full motion, they can die no less than anyone pass their senior.
    • Children in Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War and Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 are used as Human Sacrifice by the Loptous Sect in a series of Child Hunts. Whatever fate these children face is unknown, but according to Julius, the vassal of their dark god, they would cull the weak ones and groom the rest as citizens of their new Loptous Empire. In Chapter 10 of Genealogy and few chapters in Thracia, children civilian would appear in the map in which the enemy will either attempt to kill or capture them given the chance. Considering that saving one would grant some rewards, it's in your best interests to save them.
    • One chapter in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones features a child civilian who, along with her parents, is in danger of being eaten by giant spiders. Yes, you can fail at rescuing them and see the entire family die at the hands of the spiders.
    • Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn: Fiona and her troops later attempt to rescue several civilians, two of whom are children. If the knight carrying the child dies, the kid will be exposed to enemy units who are almost guaranteed to make a beeline for it.
    • Fire Emblem Fates has Elise, the Player Character's younger sister from the Nohr Kingdom, while her age is rather ambiguous, she is no older than 13, and yet she has a death scene in Birthright where it is impossible to avoid.
  • Originally an Easter egg, the backstory of the Five Nights at Freddy's series involves five children being murdered by an ex-employee of Freddy Fazbear's Pizza, and the third game confirms that their spirits (and later their murderer) are possessing the animatronics.
    • At the end of Five Nights at Freddy's 4, it's implied that the child protagonist died as a result of his injuries. Which would be having a sharp-toothed animatronic crushing his head between its jaws during a prank gone wrong.
  • In God of War, a major plot point consists of Kratos' guilt at having murdered his wife and young daughter in a blind frenzy.
  • In the Flash game: Gretel and Hansel, most of the achievements are based on finding all the different ways to die in the game. And they are heartrendingly painfull to watch.
  • Grim Fandango is a game that takes place in the afterlife. And yes, they're extremely rare, but you do meet a few children. How they died is never revealed.
  • It's mentioned in Harvest Moon: Back to Nature that Gotz's wife and child both died.
  • Heavy Rain has a serial killer who targets children by putting them in a Drowning Pit and letting the rain do the rest of the work. If the player screwed up during the game, it's possible for Ethan's son Shaun to die as well.
    • During the game's prologue, Ethan's and Grace's son Jason will die regardless of your choices.
  • Hitman: Blood Money opens with a Ferris wheel collapsing. Over two dozen people were killed, and it's stated that a majority of the victims were children.
  • In Hometown Story, Dexter's backstory includes the Failure-to-Save Murder of a little girl. Harvey, one the kids that the Player Character befriends, later dies in an accident. Incidentally, this is a Shopkeeper Simulation Game.
  • In Injustice: Gods Among Us, Superman kills Billy Batson/Shazam when the latter tries to talk him out of destroying Metropolis.
  • Jagged Alliance 2 allows you to kill children just like anyone else. It comes with a massive penalty to Loyalty, like killing any other innocent civilian (or being wrongly blamed for killing one, which also can happen). The worst is when children run between you and your enemies during a firefight - they're veritable bullet magnets.
  • In Jurassic Park: The Game, failing some Quick Time Events can result in Jess Harding being eaten by dinosaurs. It immediately results in "you're dead, try again", so there's no actual child death in the actual storyline.
  • Right from the start of The Last of Us:
    • At the end of the opening, Joel's daughter gets shot and tumbles down a muddy slope. Made even worse by how desperately she still tries to cling to life, painfully whimpering in his arms for several seconds before she's gone.
    • In the sewer level you will find an abandoned hideout of a large comunity which includes children. Joel says that they probably got away, but a few rooms later you will find their bodies covered in blankets with a note stating that one of the residents mercy killed them to save them from turning into zombies.
    • Sam gets bitten by an infected near the end of the summer chapter. When he turns and attacks Ellie, his brother Henry shoots him.
    • In the dam chapter Joel can find a small grave with a teddy on top of it.
    • In the Valentines Day DLC Ellie and Riley both get bitten by infected. Ellie is immune, but Riley isn't.
  • League of Legends: One of the playable champions is Annie, the Dark Child, and you can score a kill on her like on any other enemy.
  • Liberal Crime Squad, where the Conservatives will happily force children to work and execute them for any crimes - and the player has the option to free said children to participate in armed terrorism. It is possible to build an army out of liberated child workers. The only thing children are exempt from is sex - children under a certain age can't prostitute or seduce NPCs.
  • In the classic Commodore 64 game Mad Nurse, the entire premise is trying to prevent wandering babies from blundering into poison, electrical sockets, high-flush-power toilets and even elevator shafts. If you do nothing, almost every baby in the ward is guaranteed a gruesome death.
  • In intro for Mass Effect 3 during the Reaper invasion of Earth, Shepard sees a child in a vent and tries to get the child to come with them. The child refuses and disappears. Eventually the child is seen getting on board an evacuation vessel. Said vessel is blown to smithereens by a Reaper.
  • Max Payne: Max's newborn daughter is murdered at the start of the game, though the body is mostly concealed in the PC version, and completely concealed in the PS2 port. Still, there's no mistaking the rag-covered lump in the bloody cradle for anything else.
  • In Mega Man Zero 3, Zero finally kills Cria and Pria, the Mother Elf's two children. While they were trying to stop the hero from stopping Dr. Weil, they are really bad at discerning good guy from bad guy.
  • In Minecraft, villager children can be killed, and can even be turned into zombies.
  • Mortal Kombat 9:
    • Story Mode: A flashback reveals that Scorpion's wife and infant son were killed by Sub-Zero (AKA Quan Chi disguised as Sub-Zero)
    • Smoke's ending in the same game also reveals that he is half-enenra (a demon of smoke and vapor) as a result of being a Human Sacrifice when he was a baby! Said demon then relentlessly killed his murderers before bringing Smoke back to life with no memory of it.
  • At the climax of Mother 3, twelve-year-old Claus doesn't just die, he commits suicide.
  • The Mystery Case Files franchise is has used this trope four times:
    • In Return to Ravenhearst, the young twins Gwendolyn and Charlotte were revealed to have died by falling off a cliff into the ocean while trying to escape the nightmarish underground complex that held them captive.
    • 13th Skull introduces Magnolia Lawson, who looks no older than 8 years old. She drowns in the Louisianian swamps along with her parents at the end of the game.
    • In ''Shadow Lake', Billy, who isn't older than 12 years old, is pushed off a bell tower by the resident school bully and falls to his demise.
    • In Broken Hour, it is hinted that Meredith's children brutally died, leaving her depressed and broken.
  • In Nexus Clash, The world is an incredibly violent kill-or-be-killed battlefield and some of the randomly generated player-character appearances are small children, which get killed just as often as everyone else. This gets noticed less than one might expect, since the violence is all text-based and thus not actually shown.
  • NieR: Automata: Technically, many androids in the game can be anywhere from three to two-hundred years old, and while they all have the same basic survival protocols many of them haven't fully experienced life. They're all liable to die quickly. Near the end, A bunch of machine kids are hiding in an abandoned factory when a massive air force arrives to wipe them out. Since Pascal taught them fear so they wouldn't jump into the lava pits like the previous owners did, they all got terrified about the (true) rumors that some insane machines turn into cannibals by crushing their faceplates and chopping up the androids with the serrated edges, and decided they would rather impale their brains to death. Pascal freaks out from this mass death of children and begs A2 to kill or mind-wipe him.
  • Obscure arcade Super Smash Bros. inspiration The Outfoxies with creepy siblings Danny and Demi, playable characters who die just as violently as the rest of the cast. Some argue this is part of the reason the game wasn't found in more locales.
  • In Ori and the Blind Forest, a flashback reveals the reason for Kuro's Roaring Rampage of Revenge: while attempting to summon Ori, the Spirit Tree's light killed all her hatchlings, save for one unhatched egg. In the sequel, said owlet, named Ku by her adoptive family consisting of Naru, Gumo, and Ori, is dealt a fatal blow by the Big Bad, Shriek, while attempting to escape the Silent Woods with Ori, though she gets better at the end of the game.
  • Outlast II shows how much darker it's trying to be than its predecessor, where in the demo you can find many decaying bodies of children lined up in a cross pattern.
  • Peret em Heru: For the Prisoners: It's entirely possible for 9-year old Rin Tsukihara to be slammed through a wall and pinned against another by a statue before bleeding out. She's the first member of the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits to be on the chopping block, by the way.
  • Persona 4 sees Nanako dying at the climax of the game after prolonged time in the TV World. Subverted however, if when confronting the culprit Namatame, you prevent the rest of the team from throwing him in the TV, as afterwards she comes back to life. Fail to do so, or go along with them however? Say goodbye to hearing her go "Welcome home big bro!", and hello to being no better than the culprit.
  • Pinstripe: It's revealed that Bo, who is only three years old, died in a car crash alongside her father Ted.
  • Within the first minutes of Police Quest: Open Season. In the exposition crime scene at the start of the game, open the dumpster at the back to find the corpse of an 8-year-old riddled with bullets.
  • Occurs throughout The Secret World in subtle and blatant variants:
    • Various combat zones have suffered massive disasters that took a massive chunk out of the civilian populace, and in quite a few of them, it's implied that several victims were children - hence why they don't show up very often. For example, lore explicitly states that the League of Monster Slayers once had a full compliment of members; with the arrival of the Fog, all but one of them have been killed and reanimated as zombies.
    • Issue #7 delivers a heavy dose of this: immediately after the Dark Woods Horror is killed, the monster reverts to its true form... and is revealed to be a small child. It's later revealed that this child was an escapee from an Orochi lab known as "The Nursery" - because it makes exclusive use of child test subjects.
    • Later in the same issue, players attempt to rescue two children that supposedly escaped the Nursery; as the kids have been implanted with Tracking Chips, this is actually pretty easy... right up until you find the chips floating in a huge pool of blood. It's not established what happened to the kids, but given the sheer amount of blood, it's almost certain that they didn't survive.
    • In the second-last mission of the issue, the newly-unveiled Big Bad's Evil Speech Of Evil is interrupted when one of the Nursery's test subjects lurches into the room. Humming a lullaby, the Big Bad reaches out to stroke the little girl's cheek - and then breaks her neck.
    • A visit to the Fear Nothing Foundation's downtown offices reveals that several young adolescents were enrolled at the facility for counselling. Over time, "counselling" degenerated into brainwashing - and those who weren't receptive were packed off to the Third Floor for experimentation. At least one of the kids didn't survive the treatment, and her ghost still haunts the building. As for the others, the FNF membership have committed mass suicide to celebrate the Tokyo Bombing - and that includes the younger members, some of whom were trying to hold hands as they died.
    • The FNF "Clubhouse" by the docks is also replete with this: according to the rules behind the bar, receiving underage visitors is a common occurrence... and by the time you arrive at the clubhouse, everyone's dead. For good measure, there's even a couple of side-missions in which you can track down various letters and text messages left for the parents of the deceased.
    • Affably Evil though he may be, The Black Signal (AKA John) is fully prepared to kill Emma Smith as soon as she starts meddling with his plans, and if you can't stop his Scorpion Mecha from cutting through the blast doors protecting her, you'll be treated to Emma's Sound-Only Death and a game over.
    • Meanwhile, in The Park, players not only encounter the tales of the various children who were killed at Atlantic Island Park, but the game ends with Lorraine being forced to stab her son to death with an ice-pick.
  • Silent Hill:
    • The plot of Silent Hill: Homecoming involves the founders of Shepard's Glen sacrificing one of their own offspring (though age range isn't specified), and the one child your character sees several times throughout the game itself turns out to have been Dead All Along.
    • Silent Hill: Downpour makes it its mission to inform you that horrible, horrible things both can and will happen to children, and how devastating it is for those left behind. In fact, with one possible exeption, every kid either shown or referred to in-game ends up dead before the end, with the molestation and murder of protagonist Murphy Pendleton's son Charlie and the actions this lead him to commit serving as the games central theme.
    • All of the Silent Hill games seem to have a little bit of this; a lot of them refer to Alessa Gillespie being burned alive by the Order, and in Silent Hill 3 you can occasionally hear babies cry in the background, though it's unclear whether this is real. It was originally planned for the player to hear crying babies when standing in certain locations during Silent Hill 2, but the sounds were removed because it was "too much".
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Maria Robotnik's death is the driving force behind Shadow. Her death was even going to be shown onscreen in Shadow the Hedgehog but was changed at the last minute to get an E10+ rating, instead of a T rating. Even ignoring her being shot, she was dying of a fictional terminal illness called "Neuro-Immune Deficiency Syndrome", which is similar to AIDS.
    • Sonic Adventure has Tikal, who is trapped in the Master Emerald and dies from unknown causes at the tender young age of 14.
  • The exact moment that Walker snaps in Spec Ops: The Line is when he finds the horribly mutilated corpse of a mother and her child in a camp that he inadvertently bombed with white phosphorus mortars.
  • In the Star Wars: The Phantom Menace game. You can kill children who conveniently run in front of you, even after already killing a few of them.
  • Stasis: in-game log entries make clear that children were amongst the unwilling "test subjects" for the medical experiments occurring on the ship, and John comes across the corpses of children relatively early on in-game. Later, John is locked in a room with a two-way mirror looking into where his unsuspecting young daughter is holed up when a savage creature is unleashed upon her. She does not survive.
  • In Survivor: Fire, losing can result in one or both of the kids dying in the fire.
  • Sweet Home: Even after all the blood and zombies, you know it's not for kids after hearing a baby being burned alive.
    • Also applies to the movie, too, but thanks to Narm it isn't nearly as strong as in the game.
  • Tales of Berseria has bodies strewn around the Doomed Hometown in the intro - and one of them is a mother, with her swaddled baby on the ground with her. Laphicet's death in the same event forms the core of Velvet's motivation. And as the story goes on, Velvet's callous disregard for collateral damage is shown to make life very difficult for a lot of innocent bystanders - including children who are starving now the house's breadwinners or source of income is a smoking crater.
  • In the beginning of Tales of Phantasia, Cless and Chester set out to go hunting, only to discover upon returning that their village has been completely destroyed, seemingly with no survivors. Among several dead bodies scattered throughout the town are that of a young boy who looked up to Cless and wanted to become a warrior like him, a young girl who had a Precocious Crush on Cless, and Chester's younger sister, Amy. When examining the body of the girl, Cless will even wonder out loud who could be so cruel as to slaughter innocent children.
  • Tales of the Abyss:
    • After the city of Akzeriuth's complete decimation, the first thing of the aftermath that the heroes see is a small child crying out in pain and screaming to his parents, dying as he sinks into the hot mud of the Qliphoth. Kinda chilling and really hits home at how horrible the devastation is.
    • Zig-zagged with the death of Fon Master Ion. He's almost old enough not to count... except that he's a replica, so while being physically fourteen might disqualify him, he's mentally 2 years old.
  • Tales of Zestiria has a few:
    • Several children are shown to be killed throughout the events of the game. A lategame flashback also reveals Mikleo was killed as a sacrifice when he was a human infant, before being reborn as a seraph.
    • One child, Margaret, is a tragically cruel example from doing the Lastonbell Lord of the Land sidequest, as you're the one who kills her.
  • Episode one of Telltale's Game of Thrones ends with Ramsay Snow brutally stabbing the young Lord Ethan Forrester in the throat and cheerfully leaving the room as Ethan's family watch him slowly bleed out.
  • In the Zombie game They Hunger, sadly. In the hospital, a baby is heard crying, until it abruptly stops. The player cannot get to the nursery immediately, and when he does... There is a rib left in the bed for newborn. And later in the mountains, the player has to kill resurrected tiny, tiny skeletons that have the hunger...
  • Touhou Project: Junko's motivation is revenge for her dead son, killed when one of the Earth's extra suns was shot down by the moon princess Chang'e's husband and fell on him (the husband is now dead, but Junko continues her vendetta against Chang'e and all Lunarians). While there's little detail on the events, fanwork has a disturbing tendency to depict Junko as completely unable to get over her grief or denying her son's death entirely.
  • In all Ultimas after the first three games, you can initiate combat with and kill the children you meet. In Ultima VIII, there's no Karma Meter, so there's not even any consequences for killing them.
  • In Ultima VII: The Black Gate:
    • You can find a small bundled-up baby held captive by harpies outside the first town. As the baby is considered an object, it's impossible to harm, and you don't have to feed it or change diapers, can keep it in the bottom of your pack or drop it wherever you stash your spare loot, and it doesn't make a sound. Your party member Iolo will helpfully mention that his mother is lady Tory and you should bring him to her, but doesn't mention WHERE she lives - you have to actually get a transport to get there, it's out of the way of the plot and you'll probably stumble across her by mistake. In other words, you'll be hanging onto that baby for a long time.
    • When you find the mother she is extremely relieved, but rather than actually taking her child herself she asks you to put the kid in his crib, in the next room. She doesn't get any further dialogue on the topic, and the game actually doesn't have a function for putting the kid IN the crib (a mod corrects this), although you can balance the tyke on the edge with no problem. Or you can put the kid on the bed, never go back, and just pretend that the mother eventually stopped walking around whining about her lost kid and dealt with it.
    • Spark, the son of the murdered blacksmith from the beginning of the game, is a recruitable party member (and will in fact force his way into the party lineup even if you refuse to take him along, although you can kick him out afterwards). He'll carry your stuff, he'll fight for you, and he can die gruesomely in a pool of his own blood. Of course, this is Ultima.
  • In Ultima VII Part II: Serpent Isle, you're attacked by a woman who carries a DEAD child. If you click on it, the avatar or a companion will lament the tragedy. (Curiously, the dead baby is just as effective as a live one at soiling diapers, which are super-effective fear inducers, so you can get some use out of it if you don't mind being a psycho.)
  • In Ultima IX, this trope and the karma penalty are lampshaded and delivered as a Player Punch, twice. One is a hostile spellcaster and the other is doomed whether you show the mercy to kill her or not.
  • Part of the tutorial for Venom in Ultimate Spider-Man involves replenishing his health by feeding on a boy as a Take That, Scrappy! to the much-hated balloon side missions of the Spider-Man 2 game.
  • Undertale:
  • In the first episode of The Walking Dead, Duck survives whether you try to save him or not, but...
    • In episode 3 in the most depressing way possible, with Duck getting bitten and slowly dying. Kenny and Katjaa eventually makes the painful decision of making sure that he won't return as a walker and end his suffering. The result? Katjaa ends up shooting herself, not being able to live with the thought of her son dead or as a walker. Depending on the player's choice, either Kenny or Lee ends up shooting him (and yes, you have to manually aim and fire the gun if Lee does it) or they both leave him in the woods if Lee remains silent when Kenny tries to shoot Duck.
    • In Episode 4, the group comes across a boy who starved to death and became undead, and yes, it will be someone's job to put him down. In the same Episode they learn of Crawford, a walled-off fortress of survivors that weeded out the elderly, disabled, sick, wounded...and children under the age of fourteen.
    • On two occasions with Clementine, one when escaping from the drugstore at the end of episode 1 and the other when she is locked up with a walker in the train station at the end of episode 3. Both of these times Lee just stops fighting and becomes paralysed with despair. Both are treated as Game Overs.
    • Absolutely by Clementine (now the protagonist) in Season 2. The world she lives in doesn't care that she's only eleven years old, and failing a crucial QTE means a gruesome demise, just like Lee in Season 1. Regardless, it is played straight as Clementine and Alvin Jr. will survive to the end of the game.
    • While a majority of the characters in The Final Season are teenagers, there are a few young characters as well. In episode 4, Take Us Back, it's possible for Tennessee to be shot in the neck by Alvin Jr note . Later on at the end of the episode, you will meet an undead Tenn and have the option to kill him again.
  • Aiden from Watch_Dogs is targeted by a hit squad and has a car accident as a result. His six-year-old niece is killed in the accident, leading Aiden to become a vigilante.
  • The Wedding has Metus always die, before you can get to the portal. And in the Bad ending, protagonist Anima dies, too.
  • What Remains of Edith Finch is about a family whose members tend to die in various ways (usually in accidents), possibly due to a curse. Several of these members are children, the youngest being 1-year-old Gregory, who drowns in a bathtub when he accidentally opens the tap by throwing toys at it while his mother looks away.
  • Who's Your Daddy? invokes this trope, as it is about a baby trying to kill itself, while the dad tries to prevent that from happening. The baby wins if it dies.
  • Yes, Your Grace: Up to three out of four of Eryk's children can die in some routes, and the oldest of them can't be older than fourteen when it happens. Lorsulia's death is mandatory, while Cedani can die to the hounds that get in during the first week of the siege and the baby can be stillborn.
  • Yo-Kai Watch:
    • It's not gone into detail but several Yo-kai appear to have died as children. For example, Toiletta most likely died during a bomb raid in World War II just like the urban legend she's based on.
    • Series Mascot Jibanyan is essentially the ghost of a kitten. He was hit by a car trying to save his teenaged owner.
  • The beginning of Zone of the Enders has several of the kids Leo knows tied to a light pole. As BAHRAM begins their invasion of the Jupiter space station, one of the station's mechs is hit and topples right on the kids. They even have a close up of a pool of blood seeping out from under the wreckage.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: