Ten Days of Halloween: Six Nasty Game Diseases

Diseases suck. Maybe it’s because it’s one of those things that is halfway up to chance. You might catch it, you might get better, you might get a cough, or die. Great. There really isn’t much you can do to stop a disease, short of an anti-dote, and even that’s not a guarantee that the problems been solved. Much like the rest of real life however, there isn’t much that can’t be made more ominous in a video game, and disease is no exception. So if you’ve ever wondered about some truly horrific ways to go, here are six of them.

The T-Virus
Definitely one of the worst ways to go. The T-Virus mutates your body, killing it slowly and heating your brain until higher brain functions are gone. You basically become a living corpse: immune to most harm (you’re mostly dead) and with the overriding desire to eat…flesh that is. The part that's really crappy about the T-Virus is that since it works partially by heating the brain into oblivion, you slowly lose your mind as the more basic drives of your body take over. One of the creepiest parts of Resident Evil for me was finding the diary entries left behind by the infected, talking about how they kept getting angry or hungry for the strangest things, culminating when you find a bloodstained page with a few faint scrawled lines about he ate his friend. Yep. Don't want this one.

Star Ocean’s Petrification Disease
Its disease with an incubation time of one day, a 100% infection rate that’s transferred through touch, and it turns you to stone. Yeah, you touch a bird or a cow infected with this (even if it’s still alive) and BAM, you’ve got it. No chances. In less then 24 hours, your body is going to shut down as every bit of you is petrified. How does this work? No idea, all I know is that it would suck to be made into a statue.

The Guided Heart Attack
Metal Gear Solid gives us this one, a disease that is just plain creepy because of the ambiguity involved. It’s a guided disease, like a missile, except that it’s very precise. All you need is the DNA code of your targets and a single individual who will come into contact with them. You infect that individual, and the moment he comes into the same airspace as the target, this virus infects him, determines the genetic code, and sets out to cause a cardiac arrest. Bam, heart failure in 15 minutes. The creepy part about this is that you might even be a carrier and you’d never know it. You might not even notice the target, you and they would just share a restaurant, never even see each other and 15 minutes later you’ll have become the unwitting tool of an assassination. Not potentially as devastating as other items on this list, but the idea that a random stranger might be the one to send you to your grave simply by standing in the same airspace is pretty creepy.

The Infection A.K.A. Green Flu
You really don’t want to catch this. It’s super virulent, spreads through pretty much every vector, and you’re pretty much doomed if you catch it, because only a tiny, tiny percentage of people are immune. How dangerous is it? In only two weeks, the entire United States falls to shambles in front of this relentless disease. Philadelphia fell by day two. Left 4 Dead’s nasty infection is pretty wild, because not only does it infect pretty much anyone, it can also mutate those infected, created grotesque and monstrous infected that range from mountains of muscle to bile filled boomers that projectile vomit ooze (which in turn attracts infected by it’s smell). Infected individuals are ravenous, attacking anything not infected and occasionally each other. They aren't exactly the most dangerous individuals (their brains have cooked, so they're not sending bullets your way or even using tools), but because of the virulent level of the strain there tend to be thousands of them in minutes. You don’t want to catch this, and you don’t want to be the only survivor either.

Tiberium Spores
Unusual for this list, this disease may not kill you or even make you worse off. There’s actually a decent percentage chance that Command and Conquer’s Tiberium exposure will simply mutate you into a superior lifeform, basically human but with Tiberium crystals growing out of your flesh. Not only are you stronger and faster, but you’ll heal from even near mortal injuries simply by being exposed to Tiberium radiation. Oh, but the rest of humanity hates you, and you’re pretty much an outcast with nothing but what you can scavenge in the wastelands of the world, assuming you aren't shot on sight by normal humans to begin with. Welcome to the life of a Tiberium mutant.

The Blight
The sixth and final on the list, Warcraft III’s Undead blight is a crappy way to go. It’s hard to catch, but once you catch it, you’re doomed. You only have two choices. Die now and be dead, or let the disease mature, kill you and raise you as an unwilling servant of the Lich King. So…it’s 100% fatal, with the added problem that if you don’t die before it matures, you’ll wind up dead and not in control of yourself. Need I say more?

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