The Top Ten Diseases In Video Game History

By James Hawkins in Lists!
Thursday, August 18, 2011 at 11:00 am
Many video games create trauma, tension, and danger in their gameplay by employing various diseases in their stories. Some have become iconic over time, building a reputation as being particularly mean or disfiguring. Others have triggered iconic events in the games which they reside. Others still represent entire genres that dominate large portions of the current video game market.

So we're going to pay homage to these various afflictions in a list. Surprisingly, they are prevalent in many legendary franchises, and can be seen limiting a main character, a loved one, an enemy, or peripheral characters along the edges of a main storyline. 

But they all profoundly impact the overall outcome of a game, and present considerable challenge to us as players, as well. We hope you enjoy our account of the greatest video game diseases in history.
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10. Hyper-evolutionary Virus
StarCraft Series
Target: Organic tissue
Diagnosis: The H.E.V. is transmitted from the Zerg to the living tissue of other species, causing the infected to morph into an evolved Zerg entity. Sarah Kerrigan is a prime example of a successful infestation.
Cure: None, only nano-tech serum treatment to help slow and reverse the effects.

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9. FoxDie Retroactive Virus
Metal Gear Series
Target: Subject-specific DNA strands
Diagnosis: FoxDie is injected through the skin tissue, and by way of specific enzymatic activity, binds with the DNA strands of a particular subject, producing small tumors on the blood cells, which force cardiac arrest once they reach the heart.
Cure: Only theoretical. Antidote must mutate victim's DNA strands which render them unrecognizable to FoxDie.

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8. Forced Evolutionary Virus
Fallout Series
Target: Human and animal species
Diagnosis: F.E.V. causes massive muscular-skeletal growth, a yellowing of the skin, accompanied by intense rage and dim wit. Residual radiation from nuclear fallout accelerates evolutionary process, causing immeasurable harm on the body, while bolstering human growth.
Cure: None.

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7. The Plague
Mass Effect 2
Target: Turians
Diagnosis: The Plague kills Turians upon contact, liquefying their lungs, making breathing totally impossible. Initial transmission of The Plague is airborne, and sufferers must be quarantined.
Cure: Mordin's antidote and quarantine.

6. Grey Death
Deus Ex
Target: Nanoaugmentation-receptive humans
Diagnosis: Nanites bind to organic cells. The human body rejects the nanites, and in doing so, rejects the human cells, causing extreme discomfort and sickness. Non-consensual nanoaugmentation can also force recipients to act out of control.
Cure: Ambrosia

5. Necromorphism
Dead Space Series
Target: Dead tissue
Diagnosis: Infection spreads quickly, causing corpse to reanimate, sprout sharp limbs, projectiles, and emit poisons. Subject becomes very hostile, seeking only to perpetuate its own existence, multiplying and spreading its virus across any recently-deceased organic matter.
Cure: None

4. Pox of LeChuck
The Tales of Monkey Island
Target: Pirates
Diagnosis: When activated, this plague causes skin to turn green, and verbal inhibitions to cease. Infected irrationally crave coleslaw. In rare instances, can cause total independence of the limbic system, giving hands minds of their own.
Cure: The re-absorption of Voodoo powers.

3. Dysentery
Oregon Trail Series
Target: Weary pioneers
Diagnosis: Diarrhea, severe sweats, abdominal pain, and bloody feces. Dysentery can be transmitted in a number of ways, but typically through rotten meat and exposure to the bacteria in the elements
Cure: Rest, more food.

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2. Tiberium Poisoning
Command & Conquer
Target: Humans
Diagnosis: Over-exposure to Tiberium in a mine can cause hardened, crystallized skin, difficulty breathing, and ultimately death or mutation. The disease itself isn't fully understood, but contact with Tiberium, or the inhalation of its fumes, can lead to full-scale poisoning.
Cure: Topical treatments and inhalators can slow system decay

1. Zombification
The Entire Zombie Genre
Target: Humans
Diagnosis: Depending on the strain, Zombification can either cause infected to be a slow, lumbering, mindless drone, or a fast and lithe mindless drone. An instant insatiable hunger for brains will occur after Zombification has properly gestated and activated the corpse of a recently dead human being.
Cure: Not typical, though occasionally prescription pharmaceuticals can do the trick.  

Follow James on Twitter @JamesHawk1ns

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