Do you remember the first time a video game threw a plot twist at you that just blew your mind? You sat there, holding the controller, dumbfounded. Plot twists and twist endings in movies and books were a common thing, but your first video game plot twist is something you will never forget or get over (and we mean that as a positive thing). From a gender switch no one saw coming, to the moment you find out YOU are the bad guy from the game you just played, here are 6 video game plot twists that pretty much melted out faces.
Also, obviously SPOILERS AHEAD!
Samus From Metroid Was a Woman
First off, golf clap for this. Years before Gamergate and the world was going nuts about the roles of women in games (and game journalism), Nintendo decided to make one of their most badass characters revealed to be a woman at the end of the game, Metroid. Could have done without the bikini, but that was just because it was very hard to use 8-bit graphics to differentiate gender.
What this did for many young men was shifted the way we viewed the hero. Up to that point, the woman in the game always needed saving. Suddenly, it was like were playing Ripley from Aliens the whole time and had no idea. That made it even cooler, and set the video game plot twist wheels in motion for the rest of time.
Heavy Rain Shelby Reveal
Oh look, one of the bleakest games ever made wants you to know you just spent a third of this game playing as the bad guy without even knowing it. You are handling infants at one point, and trying to save a drowning woman. You do all this normal, heroic stuff, totally unaware that the man you are doing it with is secretly a monster.
You have to give them some credit, even if you take fault with all the QTE gaming. That was a genius twist that even the brightest of us did not see coming, and redefined the entire story that came before it as a result.
Silent Hill 2 Ending
I told you kids I would be bringing up Silent Hill 2 a lot, and again, that was no lie. Though it could be said this is like the above example, it isn’t. Though you do find out you murdered your wife at the end of Silent Hill 2 and the whole thing has been a hellish descent into the subconscious of your own guilt, we don’t get that deep with Heavy Rain or Scott Shelby. We just know we went through some awful shit, and did some awful shit as a result.
Silent Hill 2′s reveal is so much more powerful because you find out the entirety of your hell was because you mercy killed your sick wife because she was suffering (but you also secretly resented her for it, sexually and otherwise) and though all the puzzle pieces are there to spell it out for you, when it hits you, you get chills.
Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite Ending
Yes, I am putting the first Bioshock and the most recent Bioshock as two entries in one. That is not to undermine the sheer brilliance of both games, but rather, to give me a chance to praise both games in same breath. The “Would you kindly” twist from the first Bioshock rippled for years among gamers as what may be the greatest plot twist in all of gaming (and also a total riff on the fact that we, as gamers, are mindless sheep and do whatever we are told by whoever tells us). It was profound, and the kind of game you walked away from changed.
Infinite, on the other hand, threw more real world themes at us and gives us an ending that shows how the simplest choices in our lives can lead us down some VERY dark paths, and oft, paths there are only one way out of. Also, the multiverse theory used in Infinite was genius, and represents actual scientific theories that exist in our modern world, making the twists even more impressive in scope.
You Are NOT The Hero in Braid
You play the entirety of the indie gem Braid thinking you are trying to rescue your beloved. Only when the moment arrives at the end (beginning, really), we find out the monster she was trying to get away from was actually you. I could also layer on more exposition here about how she doesn’t really exist and she represents your goal, which is mankind’s creation of the atom bomb. Not even kidding you. I shall spare you, though, as you get the point by now.
Twists within twists within enigmas. Such fun!