No matter how badly you get screwed by Returnal’s luck-of-the-draw roguelike gameplay, you’re not nearly as down on your luck as a player who desperately tried to get some loot, only to meet a grisly fate.
Player Nalotaib shared their misfortune on Reddit, which started when they opened a malignant chest in Returnal’s second area. Malignant chests will give you an item, but with the chance that you’ll retain a “suit malfunction”—essentially, a restriction on your character that you can only clear after completing an in-game task. Nalotaib did not receive any malfunctions. That’s where their luck ended, though.
Credit: Housemarque / Sony / Nalotaib (via Reddit)
Instead of receiving one of the sweet guns or stat-boosting artifacts malignant chests usually doll out, Nalotaib received a translocation sphere, a generally useless item that instantly transports you to one of Returnal’s “secret rooms,” where you miiiight find some helpful gear, but more often than not just find a bunch of obolites (Returnal-speak for “gold”). The room Nalotaib ended up in didn’t have any loot. Instead, it turned out to be the den for something called a Gorgolith, a giant, nightmarish crab...scorpion...thing that exists solely to ruin your day. (Gorgoliths have killed me five times, according to my in-game tally.)
When you drop into a secret room, you momentarily lose control of your character. The animation plays out as a sort of miniature cutscene, even though the rest of the game proceeds apace. You can’t move, but you can still take damage if, say, an enormous enemy is lurking on the far side of the room and decides to attack you before the cinematic finishes. Despite not having any control over what happens for a few seconds, the game can still fuck you up.
Anyway, the Gorgolith showered Nalotaib with a barrage of projectiles. Instant kill. Better luck next time.