10 Funniest Ways to Die in Sierra Games
In August, Activision picked up Sierra and Sierra in turn made mention of returning to the King’s Quest series and giving it a reboot. While one hopes it’s not the kind of work that results in a game like King’s Quest VIII, the wistful dreams of re-exploring the point-and-click realms of Daventry are alive and well. Of course, with that comes thoughts of how many new ways I’ll be biting the dust on the way to the finish line. Truly, Sierra adventure games gave us so many ways to die they could probably host a TV show for four seasons before getting canceled. Whoops. Anywho, in games that were notorious for giving you countless ways to bump yourself off, this list is a handful of gems that stand out from the rest. We're not talking particularly horrifying or grisly deaths here. We're talking Darwin Award winning deaths. These are the kind of jaw-dropping moments that can only come from taking a game ending three foot screaming fall, or pissing off the wrong death god on purpose. These are the 10 Funniest Deaths in Sierra Games.
There are a ton of fall deaths in King’s Quest V, but the fall shown here takes the cake. When most people fall from ten to fifteen feet in a straight up and down posture, the general case is that they’ll probably also land on their feet and sustain a minor injury. King Graham is not most people. In what is truly an acrobatic feat, Graham is able to turn his whole body downward to ensure he eats it when he hits the ground. Professional divers in the Olympics would kill for this kind of body control, but Graham just uses it for suicide. Show off.
A lot of people have talents they’re not particularly proud of, but the black cloud spirit roaming around Etheria in King’s Quest VII is not at all shy about showing you his “special trick.” Faster than you can say “banana,” this guy swoops in and swallows you head to toe. He’s proud of it too. He turns around, looks to you, and throws his hands up, just falling short of shouting out, “TA-DA!” Hey buddy, there are websites for what you do, but it’s nothing you’re going to want to tell your parents about or put on your professional resumé.
Sierra games have been known for referencing movies, books, and other games, giving nods to material that came before or blending it into their humor. Occasionally though, the references used reach out to quite a literary tier. Never minding the fact that the classic doubles “Shoot him! No, shoot him!” trope is used, your average reader probably won’t know that Gregor Samsa is a character who undergoes a transformation into an insect in the book The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. Don’t worry if you don’t get the obscure reference. Before you have time to think about it, the game’s villain conveniently shows up to fry you.
The set-up to this death scene is actually quite epic. The Lord of the Dead is a massively imposing figure and the gravel dark tone with which his lines are delivered is pretty chill-inducing. The narrator does a great job of adding flavor to this dark and dreary scene. This would probably belong more properly to a list about the coolest deaths in Sierra games. That is, it would, up until the point where Alexander’s soul flies out of his body, with his skin apparently, leaving his skeleton to crumble, but not before his skull turns around with a comical jaw drop before falling as well. You know that scene in ‘Star Wars’ where Darth Vader tells Luke that he’s his father, right before slipping on a banana peel and falling to his death in that massive pit? No? Gosh, maybe that’s because that would have ruined everything. Way to keep the tone Sierra.
This item on our list could just as well be a cautionary tale about taking the easy way out and not coming prepared. In a game about finding love in a parallel version of Las Vegas, it might be inevitable that you stumble across a lady of the night. While choosing to do the nasty with her is an option, doing it without protection proves to be disastrous. While not technically a death, most people will probably agree with the text telling you that there are things worse than dying.
You ever get into a nasty situation with a taxi cab driver because you messed up and didn’t have enough money for the fare plus tip? First off, pay your cabbies. They do a much needed service. Second off, thank your lucky stars they’re not Charon. It’s not enough to simply say no when Alexander doesn’t pony up the coins for the fare across the river, Charon zaps Alex’s ass for even thinking of trying to step on his boat without paying first. Maybe next time you feel a complaint coming on about how much cabs cost, you’ll think to yourself, “Well, at least he’s not allowed to shoot me dead on the curb for waving him down.”
With everything from the abruptness of it to the stance of the bear, it’s a challenge to look at this death scene and take it serious at all. The bear literally decks King Graham like an ursine “Iron” Mike Tyson, and with that, he punches his way onto this list.
I can’t remember Freddy Pharkas being a title I enjoyed very much. Good thing Sierra gave me an option to do something about it! Just go into your inventory, grab your guns, put the cursor on Freddy’s dome and click, “Thank you for playing Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist. You shot your eye out with that thing, kid!” The game crashes and you get booted back to DOS in what could possibly be considered one of the darkest uses of a reference Sierra ever made. Oh well, at least it’s festive.
It’s a dire situation, you’re on the run from the murderous sequel police, and all life in the future is on the line if you don’t escape. The time machine you could use to get away is right there! Salvation is within reach! But wait… Right next to the time machine is… Ms. Space Chicken. And you DO have a couple quarters in your pocket! Don’t worry, the guys trying to kill you will be kind enough to watch you rock a high score before they blow you away. Let’s be honest, there are at least a few of us who would die right here in a similar situation.
There’s a very good reason this death is at the top of the list. It’s absolutely the most absurd. Even a brief look at the scenery to the left shows the drop couldn’t be more than a few feet. Sure, it’s extremely possible that Graham’s fall was fatal, if he was your brittle boned great grandpa or there was a pool of acid sitting behind that rock or he did his patented pavement swan dive. It’s so bad even the developers have to have realized it because they cut the recording of Graham’s falling scream short. Put all these things together and it’s easy to see why King Graham dives headfirst into the number one spot on this list.