Top 10 Finishers to Smackdown Your Opponent

karate kid

While many believe 1992's 'Mortal Kombat' originated the Fatality, that's not entirely true. Text game characters have been mercilessly killing each other in bloody, gruesome ways long before "Finish Him!" was an iconic phrase. While Congress was scrambling to slap warning stickers on every new videogame, text games luckily slipped under the radar. Can you imagine for a second if text games had to be submitted to the ESRB for approval? I'm pretty sure some of these text game finishers would warrant a Mature or even AO+ rating. That's what makes them so badass, though, and I've listed some of the classiest text game finishing moves for your enjoyment (sick pups)!

1: Freezepound

The forest-loving Metamorphs of Achaea can bond with various animal spirits, two being the Icewyrm and Gorilla. While inhabited by the Icewyrm, a metamorph can freeze their text game opponent, rendering them frozen solid. If they quickly transform into a Gorilla before their opponent unfreezes, the metamorph can rain down angry gorilla fists with the fury of a thousand Gods, effectively shattering their opponent into a bajillion pieces. Suck on that, Sub-Zero!

2: Eternal Sleep

Bringing some 1980's horror to the text game arena, Dreamweavers in Lusty are able to kill an opponent where they're most vulnerable - in their dreams. Traveling into a sleeping opponent's dream realm, the Dreamweaver will cut the precious cord that links us all back to our bodies. While going 'peacefully' is a preferred method for some, I know I'll be sleeping with one eye open in Lusternia.

3: Absolve / Catharsis

Holy Priests and their evil Apostate counterparts share a similar text game finisher - that is, the ability to rip out a victim's soul. Priests and Apostates are granted Celestial guardian angels and daemonic Baalzadeen companions, respectively. Once an opponent is under a certain mana percentage, the Priest or Apostate will give the signal to their companion, who will literally tear the soul from the hapless player.

4: Toadcurse

Unique to the Wiccans of Lusternia, this finisher is two-fold. First, the Wiccan will curse their opponent with the Toadcurse, transforming them into, you guessed it - a toad. However, there's no Prince Charming or happy ending in sight for the unfortunate amphibian. The Wiccan will proceed to stomp on the toad, very hard, leaving a mess of blood and guts behind. A fantastic Brothers Grimm tale, indeed.

5: Vivisection

Perhaps the most gruesome text game kill of all, practioners of Necromancy are able to horrifically torture their victims before death. After shriveling their opponents arms and legs, leaving them utterly helpless, the Necromancer will proceed to slowly rip open their victim's chest before finally stabbing him with his own sternum, leaving the corpse as a warning. Brutal. Fortunately for you, past articles explain how to avoid this!


6: Tahtetso

Utilized by Lusternian monks, this ability works a lot like the 5 Finger Touch of Death. After a series of chest-pain inducing blows, the Tahtetso monk will deliver one final strike, causing your frail heart to suddenly explode inside your chest. If Pepto Bismol existed in text games, I don't think it'd be much help here.

7: Devour

This one is self-explanatory. The wild and savage Lycans of Aetolia will, after slicing your guts, proceed to devour your carcass whole. True to their wolf nature, they'll clean the meat from your bones until you're nothing but a toothpick.

8: Hostage

The stealthy Rogue class in Midkemia Online allows players to sneak up on an unsuspecting text game opponent, silently creeping closer and closer until they're in perfect range. Then, without warning, they clamp their hands over the mouth of their victim and slit their throat with a dagger. The text game Rogue slips away behind the ensuing fountain of blood, for the win.

9: Incendiary Arrow

One of my personal favorites from Imperian, the incendiary arrow is an explosive finishing move - literally. After the arrow buries itself in your gut, text game players have a short time to remove the arrow as the fuse burns down, or be blown to smithereens. Removing an arrow from your guts can be extremely painful, but it sure beats your intestines splattering against the nearest wall.

10: Divine Zap

Pissing off a God character in any IRE text game can end badly for you. Maybe you offended them, or maybe you were just being an obnoxious player - whatever the reason, a stream of crackling fire will soon go sizzling across the skies. Your text game character can only watch in horror as the ball of fire hurtles towards you at an alarming velocity, before instantly incinerating you to a crisp. Text game misbehavers quickly shape up when the fireballs go a-streakin', for sure.


Ron Owens can be found mercilessly slaying opponents on his favourite text games at Iron Realms!


Ninja Absolves are Best Absolves

fun ^^

Vivisect is still one of the hottest finishers around. Just sayin'. 

I would reword that to something like, "most likely to cause an upset stomach" and make room for an incinerate below half health.

I hope that spinecut will have an awesome message as well for when I start using it..

Psh no backbreaker?

I love you, Isis!

I've always been fond of Impending Doom from Midkemia's Thanatology skillset. There's nothing quite like reducing one's opponent to a smoking mess with a blast of pure death energy.

Have to agree that Impending Doom is pretty awesome.

I need to check that out.

Damnation is pretty kickass.  Now if only Paladins were able to viably use it in, say, against Isis, for example.


Filthy heretic! I will go infernal and play with your 

It needs to be ramped up or at least easier to pull off. The reqs are RIDICULOUS!

seems easy on paper (broken arms+hellsight) but absolutely impossible in arena if they have kelp outrifted?

If we had some way to prevent them curing hellsight, like Priests' Inquisition, then it would be 100% viable. Too bad finding a balnce between those two seems so difficult.

Judging by them being had by either class exclusively, chances are it was meant to encourage Bloodswearing, and reinforce the whole priest/paladin brotherhood thing.

I feel like sticking pallys with a finisher that only works in group combat is a cruel, cruel, idea

It's a broken head and hellsight as prerequisites, sadly. The only real ways to pull it off involve kelplocking someone until they can't get through the hellsight in time, or to venom lock someone so bad they can't do anything - but by then, it's sort of a 'win more' situation.

I'll trade you viviscet for damnation and hellsight. 

but but, you're a penguin!

backbreaker is also great!


Always been a fan of the Necromancy-based finishes - particularly Vivisect on Achaea and the Crucify+Sacrifice combo on Lusternia.

deathtarot on that list, since obviously it's awesome!

we runies could sure use something like vivi

we runies could sure use something like that

Metamorphosis Incerate is surpisingly entertaining for me in Achaea at least.


Nothing better than rendering someone into a pillar of sentient shaped ash.

It's all about dragon devour! (if you can pull it off :p)

Judgement has always been nice.

mmm yeah definitely in raids

This is the most hilarious one to watch on deathsight, though I do love it when the gods

get creative.


(Not like I can vivi >_>)

I personally like the cabbie's unravel in Aetolia, because the death message's pretty cool.

I was just thinking about that the other day and wanted to find the post that originated in. Because it was brilliant.

I did love vivi in Achaea - always seemed so damn cool

Devour in Imperian for the new wormhole abilities as assassin is also quite hot. You suck them through one of your wormholes and out of reality. 

I often think about how horrid some of these deaths would be. Can you imagine being hit with the brokenstar or heartseed? How about the mindburst or execute? It's a good thing the ESRB has no power here. :P


   Really I was about to say the same, horrid to think of really, just like some afflictions can be. 

Yes....whispering madness.....I want to see that affliction in RL.

The mental imagery of heartseed is definitely a favourite of mine. Not that I'm biased... ahem.

yeah, heartseed is just brutal

Heartseed reminds me always of aliens, bursting out of ones chest...

What about being planted in Grim Fandango? Similar-ish. Except... I guess in one you are the plant, in the other the plant is in you.

What about being planted in Grim Fandango? Similar-ish. Except... I guess in one you are the plant, in the other the plant is in you.

Miraculously healing them through the application of salves, very quickly, only to have them broken again? Ouch.

I wonder what a Runewarden finisher would be like. Probably something thurisaz-y.


Good point there, Perdy. Runelore could do with a finisher... hmmm, mayhaps it would have to be a set of runes sketched on your target? Like five runes to spell death upon the person you are trying to kill?


Or, and this would work better for the shammies, a rune to be sketched upon your opponent in their own blood (the requirement being a high enough bleed percentage)

Divine Zap cures everything, even the most severe cases of stupidity.

If only!

Aww...what about Thornrend? Rip you into five piecces!

monk slam throw is my favorite kill. 

There was this text game I used to play where you could kill people with groinkicks.  Their heads would explode if you finished with one...

*Twitch twitch*


I was sad to see that Brokenstar didn't make the list...



also safd that none of the psionics skills made it

The jester ability Jack In The Box was my favourite by far. Deadly AND entertaining. 

I like jitb, too!

Jitb is a mental torture if nothing else. The first time I used it(ironically the first time I had seen it too) it actually kind of scared me on the second message, and it was my own box no less! The part where it goes "I'm acoooommmiiinnggg" is just too much for the already tense combat situation, it makes you just think "OMG OMG OMG". I mean, it just invokes images of all those doll and clown horror movies. It's a comical, sick way to die and one of my favorite things about this class. ^_^

That sounds awesome, actually.  I never encountered it, but it's been years since I played Achaea.

it was freaking insane

The Absolute Dead last WORSE Kill method? Nekotai FinalSting. LITERALLY. ALL IT IS. 5p Crotamine apply. The CURE. Ready for it? Sip Antidote. No set up to apply, no challenge to cure. My only beef with the skillset, No unique kill method! =(

well it does halve the time that crotamine usually takes to kill you and guarantees that the poison hits, So it does make it much less likely that your opponet will be able to cure it. since there's no shortage of ways for nekotai to make other poisons land, it's also that much easier for you to get your opponent into a greenlock.


It's better than Shofangi crunch anyway.

Hopefully it never happens to me!

Some of the magician skills in Midkemia have newish text that is quite graphic:

You thrust your hand forward, unleashing a barrage of crackling silver and purple energy that engulfs a blowfly, the eldritch flames melting his skin.
A blowfly is blasted apart by the wild barrage of magic, his burning corpse sent spinning through the air from the impact.

I think the 'spinning through the air' is a nice touch.


Haha, great read! Real nice diversion from th more serious articles. Fantastic concept, these articles..always enjoy reading 'em


What, no Heartseed? Say it with flowers!


Naht :P

I came here to post this, and when I saw this I smiled! :D

I suck in Mortal Kombat. I suck in Lusternia Combat. The fatalities are always on me.

The best deathsight:


Morbo has expired before fully knowing the pleasures of a gorgeous undead beauty.


Brokenstar is the best visual finisher for me. Makes me think of all those cool anime-style samurai that cut you down before you blink.

I really enjoy watching Brokenstar. Especially how the deathsight leaves the name of the user's blade as the main instrument of carving up their bloodied opponents.

There's nothing more fun than watching a Divine ran death down upon people. It serves as a good reminder not to anger them.

I've only ever seen this once, thankfully, on any IRE mud, but it certainly gets those stray thoughts, THOUGHTS, back in line..It IS entertaining, if for all the wrong reasons.

I never knew you could die in such horrible manners, like vivsection etc...

Does anybody remeber the "blue bolts form the heavens?"

Hmm... I have yet to see a Dreamweaver properly time an Eternal Sleep. Mind you, the idea was and still is great but the praticalities of accomplishing it are lacking. It would be great to see it more like its Elmish counterpart. I just think it's there to get the afkers.

I wants it for Achaea.

what's really cool is that the victim can leap around and dodge the foot


The last one is the most amusing, and when I see the deathsense for it it always makes me wonder what they possibly did to piss off said Divine.


NOT, however, enough to try a few things and find out for myself.

I have personally played Achaea for about seven years, and through the characters I have played, have been a number of classes..on one character in particular. My personal favorite deaths are brokenstar, vivisection, demon catharsis (used that one more times, than I can keep track of!), eliminate (In Apostasy), and finally Unravel.

unravel ftw

I never realized that some of these abilities could be so gruesome. Vivisection is disgusting.

Broken Star is definitely my favorite.

is my favorite skillset in Lusternia-- its just so difficult to pull off an EternalSleep!



I'm sad that SWALLOWING SOMEONE ALIVE AND WHOLE as a dragon is not included!!

agreed, sir!

I'm seriously loving the (delayed) instakills in Lusternia. 

Vivisection is the coolest.

I'm kind of surprised Brokenstar and Heartseed were excluded from this list. They're definitely the two most vivid and spectacular in my opinion. Vivisect is a close third. 

I'd also say the death messages for dying by each colour Dragon's blast attack are sort of spiffy. Short, to the point, but spiffy.

+1. Heartseed and Brokenstar are very vivid intheir descriptions.

Midkemia Online has a lot of its regular attacks giving unique death messages, even against denizens. Makes bashing (slightly) more interesting.

I especially like how the Metamorphs can finish off their opponents.....


I like bbt

Because I lack it.

If you can pull it off, Cleave is a great instakill.  As a Troll, though, it is nearly impossible in 1 on 1 for me.

Considering the punishment that a person would have to indure for me to behead them, I would say its pretty brutal...however, not as cool as most of those...devour though?  Im sure there could have been a better one than that, although if you eat them when they are alive....then its pretty BA.

Magis need a fun instakill.. like Judge or Vivi ._.

Best instakill by far.

I'm quite partial to Magician's undoing on Midkemia myself.

I want. I want bad. I want now.Give to Achaea Serpents please.

Rogues hostaging is evil, I'm glad it made it on the list. Many times I have been minding my own buisness only to find my head suddenly missing.

... I prefer a nice Malignosis Eliminate...

That sounds awesome. I wanna learn....

Ranks up with meteor (when it works) as my favourite 'insta'. Pity it only sees the very occasional use on system flaws or massive groups of mana-sappers. Great list though, enjoyed the read.

How did heartseed not make it onto this list, or incinerate?

They both did make it on the list. :) Just scroll up!

I cackled so bad at most of the Lusty ones. Am I horrible person for wanting to do the toad finisher on my --  ...Well, I'll keep who I wanted to use it on private. /wrings her hands together, and chortles.

Personally never been much of one to use "finishes" moves, besides maybe a voyria

I wish I had any of these skills, but alas I am a poor newbie shaman with nary a finishing move to me. One day I shall have the cool abilities, I swear it.

I'm surprised Imperian Bards' Kantae (I think that's what it was called?) didn't make it to the list.

A moment of pure bliss as the angels call their name or whatnot, and then they turn to stone. The result is basically a statue pulling this face: ^_^ for people to walk by and know that this person got owned by a bard (there's a line of text on the statue saying who killed them).


I'm a fan of all the finishing moves that leave a little souvenir in the room.

It's common and easily avoided, but voyria is an utterly horrifying way to go when you think about what that must feel like.

Vivisect is just brutal; just imagine the victim's organs available for all to see just pulsating as the Necromancer goes to work on the victim much like a kid taking apart a mechanical toy.


Beheading is simply a classic. Not to mention the fact that the imagery (at least for me) is much more graphic (in Achaea, etc.) than MK.



I am personally a big fan of the Godly Zap.. when used on others, that is.

Oh yeah, was about to say that

Zaps are cool.


Custom zaps, on the other hand, are a whole new dimension of awesome. 





I love Freezepound

I love brokenstar

See, I'm much more in favor of Crotamine in Lusternia.

My favorite 'finisher' has to be the custom God zaps, like a horde of rats in Achaea or my personal fav, Lims giant dog that ate Grin.

As soon as I saw the title of this article, all I could think was, "Vivisection had better be on that list!"

I wasn't disappointed.


I think the best improvement was making it so that you can actually die from hunger. Nothing quite so fun as teasing the derp who left his character logged in all night, where he starved to death. Makes level 80 a goal for all the idlers.

80 isn't too hard to get either.

Another vote here for heartseed. In addition to the awesome spectacular ending, there's the warning that you're about to die that's also pretty cool.


And I don't understand why freeze/pound for the metamorphs and not incin. Incin has a great deathsight message.

I always really loved the Inquisition kill in Lusternia, but the deathsight is nothing special. When done, though, the person's eyeballs melt and light starts coming out the sockets and then their head explodes.

I always really loved the Inquisition kill in Lusternia, but the deathsight is nothing special. When done, though, the person's eyeballs melt and light starts coming out the sockets and then their head explodes.

In light of these, I kind of wish Subterfuge's Execute had a cooler message...but that's pretty minor, really. We get nooses instead, which are really neat to visualize!

or, you know, if subterfuge was actually useful

Execution and noose?... If you can pull either of those off you were fighting/killing a complete novice :/

Serpents need a new insta-kill. Fact.

Coup De Grace is fun!!

Personally, I love IRE's beheading or Elemental Converge from the Mages in Imperian.


When I first started playing with Iron Realms (years ago), the Tekura Backbreaker Throw was burned into my mind as the coolest finisher. I think because it was much more effective way-back-when than it is today. And also because it seems to be more of a "realistic" way to kill somebody. Although I guess we all play here to get away from "reality"  :)


You can't even call yourself a reporter if you're not going to do your research just to shit out a 'top 10' list. Attributing hostage to midkemia is like saying Vivisect, Absolve, and Catharsis came from Imperian.


I get it though, you had to go and mention something about every game since this is more advertisement than news. We all can't work for CNN I guess.

I've only once pulled off Eternal Sleep, and that was in the arena, where the other person just stood there and let me do it. Granted, I haven't really tried to use it in a real combat situation, but the only way I can think to use it would require a fair amount of coordination with my group, and everything going perfectly.

I donno, I feel like instakills should be hard to pull off. Otherwise everyone'd be insta-killing everyone else instead of doing actual battle. Pulling of an insta-kill in battle should be something you're able to brag about and be proud of

The old Ninjakari instakill with ruptures. After beating the crap out of someone with a heavy chain, you basically use the skill and the end of your chain brushes against their heart lightly. They grin, and fall down dead.


Serpent's execute is one of the coolest ever. Why not included?

I have a couple of kills using incendiary arrows and it absolutely cracks me up every time it happens.

Freezepound FTW!

Unravel should have made it here. I giggle inside everytime I do it. plus I just love the cry for help when you Enlighten someone for it.

You have a very good point :)

Raise an inferno, start working towards a judgement kill while the burns start stacking and then BAM!! Hit them in the face with an incinerate. So much fun.

death by backbreaker! booya!

*inserts bone crunching noises* :D


Mostly agree.

really cool.

I like a simple true lock with a clean beheading.

I loved reading this, it was a lot of fun. 

no heartseed listed? 

brings back memories

I don't see brokenstar on the list and from what I can tell reading the description of it you pretty much hack your opponent in pieces with your blade. That would be pretty nasty, imagine CSI trying to follow the spray pattern of that kind of kill. Heh!

You literally slice them into tiny bits by following the bleeding cuts you put on them. It's pretty horrible.

Best instakill ever


With such finishers, IRE should have a PG warning for minors, for precautionary measures.

To IRE games I've never seen any of these, but man thats some nasty stuff.


Tee Hee

funny how many people have survived divine zaps. intentionally, by the god's choosing, of course.

So is Broken Star! (I think that's what it's called)


Nothing sexier than pulling off a Vivisect

Not sure why they keep using 'text game player'.

Dragon devour, or metamorphosis incinerate!

anyting that melts the flesh from the bad guy.


Axelord execute is brilliant, chopped in half straight down the middle.

I really enjoy tzantza, it's just a shame it's used so infrequently!



Heh, very nice

Storm hamma? :Da


Holo's are more fun in that case

I want a rocket arrow! Bah, now I feel deprived.

There are way more than ten finishers, not sure I would've picked these as the best.

The first time I witnessed my head hanging at a severe angle to my neck, it was indeed very pitiful looking. Heh

Now I almost wish I'd gone druid over sylvan. Some of these are pretty wicked.

Apparently my class not only has a finisher, but relies on it in most cases. On an unrelated note, 17 uses of "text game" was kind of jarring.

...I enjoy when I break their text arms and their text legs using text venoms and text rapiers. There is nothing more fun than pushing them down onto the text ground, splitting open their text chests with my text finger before text torturing their text organs. Finally, I can rip out their text sternums and drive it through their text spines, pinning them to the text ground and leaving behind a text note containing a text message.


"Congratulations, You have just been Vivitexted"

That was only 15~16 uses of the word text, so I am ok with it. However, if you had but one more use of the word "text" in that text, I would have text cried. Like this: T_T 

and you could have charged me for textual harrasment

Behead is my only insta kill! It is satisfying to pull off, because it is not easy!

It isn't a finisher. Hostage allows you to immediately kill someone who doesn't have notice up. Finishers are good because they take time to pull off. It's by far the most uncool instakill in Midkemia Online.

Easy to avoid - Bakstabba has never been hostaged.

Would you? Coup De Grace, judgement, etc. are finishers. Hostage is just ending something before it starts.

but I don't think it's uncool - it's easy to avoid

It makes me cringe.

Bahkatu should have an instakill where a bear fight ensues, and everyone in the same room dies from all the furry destruction!

Lusty monks - brokededed

I think all instakills are beutiful when they are happening to my enemies instead of me. Its hard to say which are the most beautiful though. The demeaning ones might be the prettiest because they let you insult and murder at the same time. There is a denizen that rips your head of and .,m!#s  down your neck in dun fortress I think. 

BEEN LIKE 7YEARS. Still bitter about obliterate being taken away :( I'd go back Shaman so fast for my oblit back.

a lot of achaeans i know feel the same way.

But insanely overpowered when you were actually trying to fight the person instead of just running away.

I can't speak for other finishers, I just know my own. Heartburst. Not the most gory, but it does involve telekinetically squeezing someone's heart until it implodes inside of them.

i've never trans'd a skill to actually try any killing blows. heh.

I wish coup de grace was more impressive. I mean stabbing someone in the heart isn't exactly a hard thing to do.



Sounds like a fun finisher

damnation is amazing, not in the list? :/

newbie death kick too

I don't see Freezepound too often, to be honest.  For Achaea, I would've thought a Blademaster's Brokenstar and an Occie's Unravel would've been top, not ... Freezepound. Heh

Power driver!

Tzantza! Headshrinking is sick. And considering how hard it is to get, it's really satisfying.

That sounds gruesome. I like it.

But yeah....Vivisect

Devour is a pretty cool way to take someone out, especially if an emote like, "and then The dragon uses a broken femur to pick pieces of dented armour from his teeth." or something like that was added to the after chomp message.

Divine zapping shouldn't count!


And it's not THAT hot.

I almost went Sylvan when heartseed and eclipse came out, they sounded like such awesome abilities and heartseed is one of my favorites. Radiance is such an awesome build-up too but easy to avoid. Then, being a Monk, there's deliverance. I've only managed to kill 5 at once using that. Working on it.

On Achaea I enjoy when alchemists turn people into gold, the shaman tzantza, and one of the bard ones.

Nice article good read

that sounds gruesome enough

Unfortunately the hardest finisher to pull off one on one

Hostage crazy

Can't wait to be able to do number 1.

Monk Radience for two reasons, I had freeze braclets so I could freeze the ground so I would wait for someone to attack to be off blance, order my pet to dirttrap , burrying them, then freeze the ground so they could not move or do anything, then start radience. I stopped when I relized how easily I could do it and put it in as a bug report.


Other reason is I got to have a thanatosian death chant to go along with it, during raids I'm told people enjoyed mags kneeling and starting to pray as deliverance ticked untill the prayer finished and there was the deathsight.

I love my scarab curse kills. The kill is so graphic

I only use TM55 the Tombstoner.


I was expecting to read about Unravel.. It even makes people yell from being unable to do anything..

why unravel when you can just bleed the enemy in the safety of your own city?