Ten of the Most Downright Idiotic Plot Twists in Gaming

First thing?s first, I?m going to get something out of the way: this article contains spoilers. If you don?t want anything spoiled, don?t read it.

I?ve always been a sucker for a good story ? so much so that I?m actually willing to suffer through horrible gameplay to experience one. As a writer, I fully understand how difficult it can be to craft a compelling, beautiful narrative, particularly with the knowledge that many people are probably just going to blaze through your game without giving much thought to what?s going on behind the scenes.

Still, there are some damned excellent storytellers out there, and over the years, we?ve seen some games whose storyboards are downright masterful. Unfortunately, for every skilled storyteller, there are several who aren?t so skilled ? and even the best writers make mistakes; even the most talented author occasionally crafts garbage instead of gold.

One way you can tell whether or not a game?s narrative is a good one is through how engaging it is ? whether or not it keeps you glued to the edge of your seat, eager to discover what happens next. One way that many storytellers attempt to do this is through plot twists: unexpected occurrences and subtly foreshadowed events designed to take the player by surprise. Unfortunately, pulling off a decent plot twist is no mean task ? and there are plenty of writers out there who simply can?t seem to get it right. As a result, their ?twists? either fall flat and fail to resonate with the audience, or leave everyone scratching their heads as they try to discern what in the bloody hell just happened.

Today, we?re going to look at a few such ?twists.?

[heading]Liquid is Ocelot is Liquid is Ocelot is…Ocelot (Metal Gear Solid 4)[/heading]

The Twist: So, hey, Looks like Liquid Snake isn?t technically dead in Metal Gear Solid 4. As it turns out, he?s somehow managed to possess Revolver Ocelot, who grafted Liquid Snakes arm onto his body. Except that Ocelot isn?t actually possessed by Liquid ? not really. As it turns out, he?s using drugs, hypnotherapy, and nanomachines to make himself fervently believe that he?s Liquid Snake, even though he?s actually just a crazy old man posing as him.

Which Was Bogus Because?

Remember the final showdown between Solid and Liquid? Two old dogs of war in a world that no longer has a place for them; two brothers with a long history of hatred engaging in one last fight to the death?yeah, no; given that Liquid Ocelot is really just a drugged up Revolver Ocelot, the final battle is more or less completely meaningless.

And Snake almost let himself get beaten by a guy hopped up on enough narcotics to open up a drug store.

[heading]Only Hope Can Kill A God(God of War 3) [/heading]

The Twist: To be honest, the whole plot of God of War 3 was one big crapshoot. Think about it ? Kratos spends pretty much the whole game pissing and moaning about how he ?MUST FIND THE POWER TO KILL A GOD.? Do note that at this point, his kill roster includes Poseidon, Hermes, Kronos, Ares, Helios…you get the idea. Hell, he kills Hera by casually batting her aside when she starts drunkenly berating him for causing the apocalypse by killing the gods.

The biggest kick in the teeth comes when Kratos finds out what the god-killing power is: Hope.

Which Was Bogus Because?

Hope apparently manifests as blue fire, which could only be unlocked in Kratos?s soul through the sacrifice of a Homunculus which reminded Kratos of his daughter (named Pandora- so symbolic!)in order to open Pandora?s Box which looked empty but in actuality contained hope which Kratos absorbed and then used to beat Zeus to death with his bare fists after Pandora told him to remain hopeful while he was trapped within his own soul by chaos created by Zeus who apparently absorbed all the evils from Pandora?s Box and used them to defeat Kratos who lost hope.

Then he stabs himself so that he can give hope back to mankind, except mankind is dead because he caused the apocalypse by killing the gods.

It?s about as coherent as it sounds.

[heading]Married To Your Left Hand (Bionic Commando)[/heading]

The TwistNathan ?Rad? Spencer?s is a Bionic super-soldier, whose cybernetic arm makes him a terrifying force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, that arm has a dark, terrible secret: because of the way Bionic technology works, the arm apparently had to be made from someone with a natural connection to Spencer; someone who loved and respected him, else his body would have rejected it.

T.A.S.C, the military firm responsible for the Bionic soldiers, decided that they?d use his wife.

Which Was Bogus Because?

I?ll repeat that again, in case it didn?t sink in the first time: Nathan Spencer?s arm is (was) his goddamn wife. He is technically married to his left hand. How they expected this to come across as anything other than complete and utter narm is beyond me.

[heading]It?s Just a Game (Star Ocean: ?Till The End of Time)[/heading]

The Twist: Shortly past the halfway point of Star Ocean: ?Till The End of Time, the characters make a rather disturbing, horrifying discovery; one which changes the way they view existence. As it turns out, nothing in their world is actually real: it?s all just an MMO. Every single person, from the lowliest peasant to the mightiest hero, is just a computer program created by some putz living in ?4D Space.? The characters, of course, aren?t particularly happy with this when they find out their creator is getting bored and wishes to delete the Universe, so they take the only course of action possible:

They decide that the laws of physics need not apply to them, and proceed to break into his reality and kick his ass.

Which Was Bogus Because?

Well, for one, the concept is completely and utterly absurd. You?ve got computer programs that somehow manage to gain sentience and bend the laws of time and space, all to attack the sole creator of an entire virtual universe, who then apparently decides that because his programs gained life he should no longer delete everything.

More than that, though, it more or less destroyed an entire franchise. Star Ocean: ?Till The End of Time was the third game in the series. Every game prior was set in the same universe; with the same mythos?meaning everything else that transpired in the other games didn?t matter. It was all just a game. Literally.

[heading]Suddenly; Acid Trip (Indigo Prophecy/Farenheit)[/heading]

The Twist(s): Up to the point at which the twist occurs, players have been treated to a rather compelling psychological thriller regarding Lucas Kane, a New York City IT Administrator who blacked out and murdered a man in a bathroom. Plagued by strange dreams and visions, he?s on the run from the police, while desperately attempting to figure out what happened to him. The police, meanwhile, have uncovered a disturbing chain of events; discovering that Kane?s crime was simply one of many.

Then Lucas starts to develop supernatural powers, and things get a little weird.

We find out that he was possessed by a 2,000 year old Mayan Shaman by the name of The Oracle, who is himself working for The Orange Clan, who have him looking for The Indigo Child; a young girl with a perfectly pure soul who has never been incarnated and will somehow give them all the secrets to life and turn them into gods, at which point they?ll reign over all of humanity. Except that they already control the world without having godlike powers.

In order to find The Indigo Child, The Oracle is possessing people and making them kill people (and themselves) so he can peer into the afterlife to find a living girl who doesn?t exist but does, and Lucas?s powers apparently stem from his exposure to a radioactive artifact he came into contact with at a military base during his childhood.

Oh, and for some reason, the world?s temperature has dropped to freezing and everything?s turning to ice. Then Lucas and Carla (one of the police officers on his case) meet up with each other, and for some reason they fall in love, and he fights The Oracle and meets The Purple Clan, who apparently reanimated Lucas when he died so that they could get The Indigo Child and rule the world.

Lucas refuses escapes from the Purple Clan after they explain that they can kill him with a touch, and meets a bunch of homeless people called The Invisibles who?ve been fighting against The Orange Clan for millennia and reveal that the The Purple Clan is a sentient AI which is actually the physical embodiment of The Internet which formed during the 1980s, and?you know what? I?m done. Lucas wins at everything, gains godlike powers from the Indigo Child, and settles down with Carla, for some reason, and they eventually have a kid who probably goes back to the dawn of time to create the universe or something.

Which Was Bogus Because?

Do I even need to explain that at this point? The most bogus thing about Indigo Prophecy is that the developer, Quantic Dream, went on to create Heavy Rain ? which was, by all accounts, incredible.

[heading]With Friends Like This?(Mirror?s Edge)[/heading]

The Twist: Midway through the Game, Faith comes across a female antagonist called The Masked Assassin, who is her equal in pretty much every way, and can match her parkour abilities jump for jump. Later, it?s revealed that The Assassin is, in fact, Faith?s best friend Celeste.

Which Was Bogus Because?

It was about as subtle as the Eye of Sauron on a starless night. Not only was Celeste the only other runner Faith ever meets, she?s also not exactly kind to her ?friend? when Faith DOES meet her.

[heading]Orphans. Orphans Everywhere (Final Fantasy VIII)[/heading]

The Twist: As it turns out, every major party member in the game grew up together in an orphanage, which was run by one of FFVIII?s main antagonists, the Sorceress Edea (as it turns out, she?s not a bad gal). The reason none of them remembers this is because equipping Guardian Forces slowly supplants the consciousness of the summoner and causes them to experience amnesia.

Oh, and it turns out the Sorceress Edea, who is herself manipulating another sorceress, is actually being manipulated by a sorceress from the future.

Which Was Bogus Because?

For one, everyone apparently forgot that they have amnesia. Not once did anyone question the fact that they didn?t have any memories from when they were kids. The plot twist also presents a rather troubling question: if Guardian Forces are dangerous and insidious enough to essentially damage the minds of the people who use them, then why the hell does pretty much everybody use them?

[heading]What?s Up, I?m a Tree (Final Fantasy V)[/heading]

The Twist: The big bad of the whole game is an evil tree from the Great Forest of Moore, imbued with the evil souls that the human residents of his dimension decided to imprison there in order to clear their land of corruption. He?s trying to fuse his dimension and the dimension of the game?s main character in order to destroy all of existence, because?

Well, it?s never really explained. I guess he?s just kind of a dick.

Which Was Bogus Because?

At the end of the day, no matter how powerful Exdeath is, no matter how malevolent he becomes or how hard he tries to destroy existence?he?s still just a piece of angry foliage.

[heading]You Don?t Matter (White Knight Chronicles)[/heading]

The Twist: This isn?t technically a plot twist, but it?s still a baffling enough story decision that it makes the list. Your character doesn?t actually matter worth a damn! You?re just a secondary character ? a bystander who isn?t allowed to contribute to the plot in any meaningful way! Isn?t that fun?

Which Was Bogus Because?

Most people who purchased White Knight Chronicles purchased it due to the promise of an in-depth character creation menu, coupled with the ability to create and manage one?s own settlement in a Dark Cloud-esque fashion. The fact that your character can?t even contribute to the main plot is, to put it bluntly, a kick in the teeth, and makes one wonder just why the hell they tacked a character creation menu on to this bland, tasteless JRPG in the first place.

[heading]Surprise! I?m a Templar!(Assassin?s Creed III)[/heading]

The Twist: Haytham Kenway, the witty, dapper, charismatic Englishman you spend the first several hours of Assassin?s Creed III playing as is actually a Templar ? and one of the game?s primary antagonists. Oh, and he?s also the father of the game?s protagonist, Connor.

Which Was Bogus Because?

I hate to say it, but comparing Connor to Haytham is like comparing a fortune cookie to a slice of cheesecake. Connor starts out as rather unlikeable and irritating, and moves forward to being bland, boring and generic. Even though Haytham turns out to be a complete and utter asshole in the long run, while I was playing as him, I found him infinitely more likeable than his uppity son.

[heading]BONUS ENTRY: You Are Not The Champion(Pokemon Red/Blue)[/heading]

The Twist:You?ve finally done it. You defeat the Elite Four, and you wiped that smirk off Gary Oak?s face for the first time since your childhood. You?re on top of the world, and you?re the best trainer in Kanto. After flying home to tell mom the good news, you decide to return to Indigo Plateau to sit upon your Champion?s throne, only to find out that no one there remembers who you are, and they all still think that smug dick Oak holds the title.

Which Was Bogus Because?

You were robbed. All you ever wanted was to be the very best, like no one ever was?and no one gave you credit when you final prove that you were.

What baffling, infuriating, or pointless plot twists have you encountered in your gaming career? Let us know in the comments below!

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