Top Five ~ Gaming Plot Twists

As I really enjoyed writing Metafur’s Top Five: Dragons – I’m back with another! This time my top five gaming plot twists. You should probably be warned that there are quite a few spoilers in here.

5) Baldur’s Gate – Murder’s Child is full of loot!

I’ll be the first to admit that this is not one of the greatest twists of all time, but the entire experience of Baldur’s Gate combines to make it better than you would first think. Considered by some (including myself) to be one of the best RPGs of all time, and one that has stood the test of the time. Baldur’s Gate draws you in slowly, the wonderful mixture of gameplay and characterisation, set against the backdrop of one of the most famous RPG worlds ever created, gets you to really care for and nuture your character. So when you find out that you are actually the spawn of the deceased god Bhaal, the Lord of Murder, and half-brother to the Big-Bad Sarevok, it’s very much a ‘Wow! That’s so cool!’ moment. And so it earns a place on my list.

4) Call of Duty 4 – Apocalypso!

For me one of the greatest FPS games of all time, there are moments in this game that became instant classics and are still aped by both later games in the CoD series and the franchise’s many rivals. All Ghillied Up, which eschews the usual action tropes of the genre and sees you as a sniper sneaking into a town to assassinate your target. Death from Above, an eerie monochrome level that puts you in the cockpit of an AC-130 and sneakily tests your reaction to raining hot death down from the skies in a scene reminiscent of a Gulf War newsreal. The true shocker of this game though comes in Aftermath which finds one of the game’s two heroes, Sergeant Jackson, regaining consciousness in the wreckage of his chopper which was downed in the shockwave of Nuclear Explosion. What follows is one of the strangest and most vicseral couple of minutes in gaming history: Your controls are unresponsive, you can’t stand up, you don’t know what the level objectives are. What the hell is going on? Staggering out into the fallout of the nuclear blast you’re thinking to yourself ‘Hold on, this is a bit far fetched – I’ve survived a nuclear explosion?’ It’s at that point Jackson collapses and the scene pulls away followed by the words Killed In Action. Absolutely brilliant moment and anybody who has ever played CoD 4 can tell you stories of their first time.

3) Metal Gear Solid 1 to 4 – Erm… all of it!

It’s hard to choose just one plot twist in Hideo Kojima’s sprawling saga of erm… plot twists, but I loved ’em all and so Metal Gear Solid earns a place. From the genius of MGS 1, which had you swapping control pads to fight psychic nutcases, searching on the back of your game case for clues, and just generally being in awe of the wonderful ideas that filled the game. To the epic finale of MGS4 when for a few brief moments things started to make sense. This series had it all, no wonder then that Metal Gear is such a favourite for a whole generation of gamers.

2) Knight of the Old Republic – Luke, I am your father!

If, like me, you found the Star Wars prequels to be eye-gouging blots on the sacred innocence of your childhood, Knights of the Old Republic was the cure. It took you back the the days when Star Wars was wonderful and cool! As a generic Republic space hero and later a Jedi you take on the machinations of the evil Sith Lord, Darth Malak, who is terrorising the galaxy after succeeding his master, the equally evil Sith Lord, Darth Revan. Of course a brilliantly realised RPG set in the Star Wars universe is not enough to secure it a place on this list, so why is it here? Well… two thirds of the way through the game you and your party are captured by the Sith and one of the best twists in gaming history ensues. Luke, you are Darth Revan! It turns out that Darth Revan was not killed at all, but instead defeated by a combination of Jedi savvy and Malak’s treachery, and taken prisoner by the Jedi Council. After much debate the council decide to wipe Revan’s mind and in effect give him a second chance in the service of Bastila, the Jedi Master responsible for defeating him… or rather you…  in the first place. The effect of this revelation on the game play is played out wonderfully. If you’d played the game as a bad guy, you now had the perfect excuse for all your nasty deeds, you were Darth Revan dammit! If like me you played a good guy, and had spent the entire game preaching to anybody who would listen about Jedi beliefs, and how the light side of the force was stronger, you were completely justified. Genius!

1) Final Fantasy VII – Cloud is a big fat liar!

Considered by some time be the greatest Final Fantasy game of all time, Final Fantasy VII is an epic game with the slightly cooky theme of saving the world from enviromental disaster and being nice and stuff. Worked for me, I live my life by such codes, well… the ‘stuff’ part at least. In someways FFVII is quite a basic story, chase the Big-Bad, kill him and save the world. The real beauty of it though is the characters, the setting and the ideas behind the game. One of the subplots tells the story of Cloud Strife’s time in SOLDIER, the military arm of Shinra Electric Co, the evil company hellbent on messing up the planet. This story is told in flashback, and Cloud (the game’s main hero) describes in detail his adventures with Sephiroth (the game’s main villain) back when both were elite members of SOLDIER. During these flashbacks you actually control Cloud and so they all feel natural enough, you’d don’t really give them a second thought, they are just filling in the story. The kicker, of course, happens when Cloud has a mental breakdown and the truth is revealed. Cloud was not the character you controlled in those stories, even worse, not only was he not the hero, he was the wimpy little soldier who tagged along with Sephiroth and the real hero of the flashbacks, Zack Fair, which is why he remembers the incidents so clearly. Awesome no? Final Fantasy VII – we salute you!


~ by metafur on April 6, 2011.

One Response to “Top Five ~ Gaming Plot Twists”

  1. nice read mate really enjoyed it keep them coming

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