2. Ezio Auditore (Assassin’s Creed)
After his father and brothers are killed, Ezio Auditore is torn from the comforts of nobility at a tender age. Seeking revenge, he enlists in the Assassin Order but is reluctant to enter into a life contract, wanting only the assurance that his mother and sister will be kept safe from harm. Eventually, Ezio embarks on a dangerous journey where he’s ordered by others to end many lives and chase after legendary figures. But at the climax of his story, it’s revealed that Ezio was merely a puppet who was being used to relay information to Desmond Miles — a living descendent of the Assassin Order.
Ezio spent his entire life searching for answers to the mysteries that plagued his existence. Sadly, in the end, the only thing he gets are riddles and secrecy and he ends up dying without ever learning anything other than the fact that he needed to get information to Desmond in the hopes that he can one day figure it all out.
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1. John Marston (Red Dead Redemption)
John Marston is one of the best examples of a tragic video game character. He was an orphan that was taken in and schooled in the ways of the west by a gunslinger named Dutch van der Linde. After growing up and leading a life of crime, Marston has a change of heart a feels the need to atone for his past sins.
Despite his impatient demeanor and troubled history, Marston seems generally good natured throughout the game, an aspect that’s emphasized not only by the bond he shares with his family, but also through the incredibly tolerant and polite approach he has toward dealing with all the crazy people he’s forced to interact with.
Nevertheless, as expected in this sort of story, Marstson’s past eventually catches up with him and, in the end, his connections to evil men on both sides of the law get the best of him. In a poignant moment of clarity, as he comes to the crushing realization that he won’t be making it out alive, he sends his wife and son away for their safety and calmly walks out into a firing squad. John Marston is a tragic hero in his acceptance of his inevitable fate. But in the face of death he also shoes true grit and goes down in a blaze of glory taking as many corrupt lawmen as possible with him.
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