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This memory of a scene from a book/movie/show/comic popped into my mind and I can't figure out what it is from!

It's a beheading/execution scene on a castle/tower/skyscraper over a waterfall/into a sewer. The person being beheaded is the (anti?)hero, and I guess the person in charge of beheading is an evil ruler.

There is some kind of heist plan from the hero's friends/team - they use a machine (I think) to grab the beheaded head right away as it falls, replacing it with a fake. The real one is immediately taken to a lab and hooked up to stuff while they make a new body or something. The fake is used to confirm death. Obviously at some point the hero returns to surprise and faceoff with the dystopian tyrant who had him beheaded.

That's it. All I remember. I think it's sci-fi (so science stuff) but may be fantasy (so magic stuff).

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Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus contains an execution scene that follows pretty much as you describe.

It takes place pretty high up for all to see. The head is dropped into a chute that leads to an incinerator.

The hero of the game, B.J. Blazkowicz, is beheaded by the evil dictator, Frau Engel.

A robot is used to grab the head, and it is replaced with a fake that can be seen falling into the flames. The real head is quickly placed into a vat, where eventually it's reattached onto a synthetic body.

You can watch the whole scene on YouTube:

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    Yes! That's it! Now wonder I couldn't figure out which movie/book - it was from a game :) Thank you for scratching that itch for me! Jan 18 at 17:00
  • Glad I could help @BeardedHobbit :) I recently replayed the series and it still holds up. So I definitely recommend a play through!
    – fez
    Jan 18 at 21:14
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    I bet the author of the game had read Iain M Banks' "Use of Weapons". In it, the protagonist was beheaded, the head was then recovered by SC to have a new body re-grown from it.
    – Moriarty
    Jan 18 at 21:51

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