Content Warning: This article contains discussions about violence and mental illness
Video games have gone from bops and pixels to full-fledged interactive movies, with an unprecedented level of immersion and depth. Over the decades, many developers have pushed the boundaries and pushed hardware and technology restrictions to the breaking point in order to tell a great story.
Good stories benefit from clever twists, and some of them can create entire franchises out of the following. Some of these games are newer, while others date back to the 1980s. However, they all did something spectacular with the plot – they turned a player’s expectations of character progression upside down. and history.
ten Wesker is the villain (Resident Evil)
The first one resident Evil the game opened up a lot of new horizons. It was one of the first to properly convey an atmospheric horror film motif inside a 3D video game, which meant Capcom had a lot of flexibility with the story. Aside from a hilariously bad voice and dated controls, it was largely successful.
He also managed to surprise players with the revelation that Albert Wesker, the best dog in the STARS department, was secretly working with Umbrella all the time. Fans got wind that the guy wasn’t really in good shape from the start, but it was quite a big reveal.
9 Subconscious Guilt (Silent Hill 2)
silent Hill The games are known to create nightmarish tales based on the psychological tortures endured by the main protagonists. However, the second game took him to the extreme. It’s easily the best of the first two silent Hill titles, with much more disturbing images and adult content than the previous game.
One big reason is that the main character, James Sunderland, is a guy who is still trying to come to terms with his wife’s death and the circumstances surrounding the incident. What follows is a series of repressed memories based on unimaginable guilt manifested in unspeakable horrors. The real reveal is as heartbreaking as it is monstrous.
8 The Snake / Raiden Swap (Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty)
Solid metal gear hit the first PlayStation and changed 3D gaming forever. The storyline was cleverly written, the characters were fascinating, and the stealth game mechanics were (at the time) right after Tenchu: Stealth Assassins in terms of immersion.
It was a huge shock when the highly anticipated second sequel replaced fan favorite Solid Snake from the equation at the start of the third act and replaced him with Raiden. To this day, the controversial change continues to divide fans in the middle, and for good reason. Snake is just too cool a character to play second fiddle to a young puppy.
seven The Big Samus Reveal (Metroid)
The developers were already thinking ahead (and outside the box) when it came to creating fascinating new heroes, and one of them was Samus Aran from the original. Metroid.
If the player completed the game within a certain amount of time, it was revealed that Samus was, in fact, female. Although commonplace in today’s gaming world, it was a huge shock at the time. Nonetheless, fans have responded positively to the change, showing just how receptive players are to a female role.
6 GlaDOS plays ball (portal 2)
The unbearably annoying and insulting AI GlaDOS turned out to be quite the opponent of the first Portal game, thanks to his incessant jabs and his personality. By the time the dust settled, the players only had a catchy look to remember her. GlaDOS was not gone, however.
She made a triumphant return in Gate 2 harass the player again, but this time the story took a huge turn. A megalomaniac AI known as Wheatley activates GlaDOS, forcing her and the player to team up and work together. As expected, this is not going as well as fans are hoping.
5 Kefka destroys the world (Final Fantasy VI)
Final Fantasy VI represented the last of the classic JRPGs before the series transcended the Nintendo platform to the original Sony PlayStation. This particular era ended on a high (in more ways than one) thanks to the game’s stellar and gripping storyline and a truly loathsome and vile villain.
While the player spent the first half of the game believing that Emperor Gestahl was the main villain, the turnaround came when his subordinate, Kefka, murdered him and usurped his power. With god-like magical abilities, Kefka devastated the entire planet, turning it into a post-apocalyptic nightmare. That set up the second half of the game, which was a huge turnaround in every way.
4 Shaun runs the show (Fallout 4)
Fallout 4 had his weaknesses, but he’s one of the best in the franchise. The story was light, centered around the player’s obsessive need to locate his son Shaun, who was prematurely stolen out of the cryogel. The player has traveled to the Commonwealth wasteland in search of clues that may lead him to him.
What a shock it was then when players learned that Shaun was not only alive, but an old man running the infamous Institute, responsible for flooding the Commonwealth with synthesizer androids. This would set up one of the most difficult decisions made by gamers in video games, and one that would drastically affect the outcome of the story.
3 The Upside Down Castle (Castlevania: Symphony of the Night)
Symphony of the night is, in every way, a masterpiece of classic Metroidvania style gameplay. It’s a 2D title with incredible levels of depth, marrying the classic Castlevania from platform mechanics to an RPG system, a much longer storyline and non-linear gameplay. It also features one of the strangest and most outrageous twists in history.
After advancing through the castle, Dracula’s son Alucard confronts Richter Belmont, who was controlled by the spirit and became the ruler of Castlevania. If the player has completed a few tasks beforehand, they can break an invisible orb controlling Richter and free him from his curse. When this happens, a second castle, flipped vertically, appears in the sky directly above the original. It’s an upside down recreation of the first one, with much stronger monsters, more boss fights, treasures, and the full storyline. It’s one of the best twists in video games to date, and it’s not close.
2 The murder of Aerith (Final Fantasy VII)
Final fantasy vii has had its fair share of character deaths over the course of the franchise, but none have hit audiences as hard as Aerith’s death in Final fantasy vii. All fans who have played the game remember it like it was yesterday, as well as their surroundings, the time of day and what they were wearing.
This happened after Cloud Strife and Aerith started to get closer. Fans were led to believe this could be the start of a budding romance, but the life of the pure-hearted Aerith was cut short when Sephiroth descended on her and impaled her with his sword. Not all of the Phoenix Downs in the world were able to bring her back, and it left a gaping wound, not only in Cloud’s heart, but the player’s as well. To this day, it remains one of the most emotionally shocking moments in video games.
1 The Darth Revan Saga (Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic)
Video game fanatics understand perfectly why this Star wars the title is number one. It’s impossible to name a more shocking twist that affects the player on such a direct level. Throughout the game, players were repeatedly briefed on the horrors of Darth Revan, a former Jedi who went to war with the Mandalorians, fell to the dark side, and then waged a campaign against the Republic.
The real truth was too much to bear. A series of events led to a shocking cinematic reveal, which showed the player to be in fact Darth Revan from the start, with a wiped-out spirit in the hands of the Jedi Order.
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