10 Video Game Protagonists Who Never Kill People

A video games’ intricate combat mechanics can add depth and entertainment to gameplay. Consequently, they often tell high-conflict stories where the primary means of resolution involves a sword, gun, or fists. In many video games, even the most heroic protagonists rack up death counts well in excess of any real person.



RELATED: 10 Best PlayStation 5 Games Of 2021, Ranked According To Metacritic

Not all main characters in video games solve problems by resorting to violence as their first choice. Some don’t raise a weapon at all. Other protagonists finish their games without killing anyone. Whether they simply never engage in combat, or take pains to ensure it’s nonlethal, nobody ever dies by their hands.

10 Phoenix Wright Upholds The Law

The courtroom antics of the Ace Attorney series are as intricate and detailed as the combat of any other game series, but take place with an almost total lack of violence. Phoenix Wright is first and foremost a man of the law. Even when he uses unconventional tactics to win his trials, he firmly stays within the rules.

RELATED: Every Case In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, Ranked

There’s never a consideration of Wright killing anybody in Ace Attorney. He’s been framed for murder on two separate occasions, but both of those times Ace was fully exonerated. This also extends to his clients, who are almost always innocent of murder despite the evidence against them.

9 Cody And May Are Never In Violent Situations

The protagonists of It Takes Two aren’t soldiers, superheroes, criminals, or other common types of video game protagonists. They’re simply an everyday married couple on the verge of divorce, who find themselves trapped in the bodies of dolls their daughter makes.

It Takes Two focuses on the couple working together to overcome their situation and ease some of the problems in their marriage. The game’s puzzle gameplay sees the two navigating their house as dolls, tending a garden together, and embracing May’s passion for music and singing. Never once does the topic of violence come up, and the couple never kills anything.

8 Peter Parker Is As Kill-Averse As Ever

Peter Parker is, across nearly every continuity, one of the most benevolent superheroes in the world. Despite having immense strength and martial skills to rival anybody he comes across, he considers his first priority to be saving lives over hurting others. When he has to fight, Peter strives to never kill his opponents.

All of this carries across to the Spiderman game for PS4. The game is plenty violent, chock-full of intense encounters against criminal gangs and lengthy boss fights, but Peter never kills anybody. Even when he suffers at the hands of his foes, Spider-Man always leaves them alive.

7 Outer Wilds’ Player Character Is An Explorer, Not A Fighter

It’s common for science fiction games — even those themed around exploration and discovery — to include their fair share of violence. The universe can be a dangerous and hostile place, and even the most benevolent and life-affirming explorers may need to do battle in games like No Man’s Sky.

Not so in Outer Wilds, however. This game revolves around problem-solving and mystery, with the player using the tools at their disposal to investigate a time loop they’re trapped in. Although the unnamed protagonist can die, this is always due to misadventure. There’s never a chance of them killing anybody.

6 Max Caulfield Never Kills Anybody Herself

Max Caulfield, the protagonist of Life is Strange, would be an ordinary teenage girl if not for her ability to rewind time. She’s not a violent person and is surrounded by people far more dangerous than her. Much of the gameplay involves Max using her wits and powers to outthink or avoid threats. She never kills anybody with her own hands.

RELATED: Life Is Strange: 10 Choices With Devastating Consequences

However, people can die as a result of the consequences of Max’s actions. Max can have Chloe shoot both Frank Bowers and his dog, and later on she can use her powers to help David Madsen survive his fight with Mark Jefferson — leading Jefferson to die. Coupled with her potentially letting a storm devastate Arcadia Bay, some players may not see Max’s hands as entirely clean.

5 Lauren Isn’t Up Against Anything She Can Kill

Horror games often have protagonists who don’t kill anybody for no other reason than them being hopelessly outmatched by the surrounding terrors. Lauren, the protagonist of Slender: The Arrival, is a great example. Pitted against the infamous Slender-Man and a number of his servants, all Lauren can do is run.

The closest Slender: The Arrival comes to outright combat is Lauren using her torch to stun a warped and malicious Kate, but this comes nowhere close to killing her. Ultimately, Lauren never kills anybody because she has no ability to, one of the many reasons she’s doomed to lose against Slender-Man.

4 Harry Mason Never Fights In One Continuity

In the original silent Hill game, protagonist Harry Mason takes sensible precautions upon finding himself in a misty town with a connection to a hellish other world, and arms himself. He’s entirely capable of fighting and killing the monsters and cultists present in the town of Silent Hill to find and protect his daughter, and does so often.

In Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, a reimagining of the original game, this aspect is gone. Combat is removed from the game, other than using flares to disrupt enemies. When Harry is confronted with a monster, he either runs or hides. He never fights.

3 Henry Isn’t A Violent Man

Firewatch is often referred to as a “walking simulator,” a game where the main mechanics are exploring the playable area and learning more about the story. It’s entirely lacking in fight mechanics, chasing mechanics, or anything else which can simulate conflict. Instead, the tension and resolution simply come from the game’s story.

As such, Henry, its protagonist, never kills anyone. A kind, man, he simply explores the area and tries to piece together the mystery. Even when implicated in a crime, stalked, and outright assaulted, Henry never shows any desire to kill his assailant.

2 The Robed Figures Are Pacifistic

The game Journey is beloved for its uniqueness when compared to other video games, both in its story and its gameplay. The game simply has the player traversing through a number of landscapes, attempting to reach the top of a mountain they can see in the distance. The game’s only controls, besides moving, are jumping and emitting a musical chime to interact with the world.

RELATED: 10 Classic PS3 Games That Are Still Worth Playing In 2021

Even when hostile creatures are encountered, the player is encouraged to move past or around them, and has no way of fighting back. The complete lack of combat and the way it ties into the game’s puzzle mechanics is one of many things players and critics alike celebrate.

1 Professor Layton Has Many Skills, But No Taste For Blood

One of the most competent and capable protagonists in video games is the titular main character of the Professor Layton series. He is proficient in a great many areas, including combat — being a notable fencer. However, even with his martial skills, Professor Layton never kills anybody over the course of the entire series.

Professor Layton prefers to use reason, logic, and diplomacy to overcome his problems. On the rare occasions he does find himself forced to fight, he disarms and subdues his foes, never once going for a killing blow.

NEXT: 10 Video Games With Peaceful Modes

Leave a Comment