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Mind-Warping Video-Game Twists

Here we are again on the road of brain-straining video-game twists, because I couldn’t simply leave the last article on this topic without a little bit of further exploration. Just like before, I’m going to discuss a few more of my favourite video-game plot twists and once again please remember that there are going to be spoilers, so if you come across a picture or a subheading of a game that you haven’t played yet and you don’t want me to (possibly) ruin it for you, go away and come back later.

5.) Ridiculously Good With Children: Heavy Rain

Heavy Rain

“What a stand-up guy!”

Usually, how someone acts around children provides a good indication of whether you can trust them or not. If they’re generally pretty nice towards the smaller characters within the game, the chances are that you can rely on them to be pretty decent towards you as well. Scott Shelby in Heavy Rain seems to be a reasonably okay guy, he’s got a bit of an issue with drinking – but other than that, he’s really dedicated to his work, and he seems utterly devoted to finding the Origami killer. Throughout the game, he proves him to be a sympathetic, sweet, and down-right caring guy.

Of course, in Heavy Rain, developers Quantic Dream decided that the caring dad role was exactly the image they needed for a psychotic murderer. Heavy Rain totally throws the player off by making it seem as though there’s no way Shelby could be the killer through a bit of exposition with a clock-maker, just to go back later and inform us all that actually, it was him all along. If, like many people, your reason for continuing to push through Heavy Rain as a game was largely enriched by the possibility of finding out who the Origami killer was, this particular twist will have really rocked your foundations. In a way, the shocking reveal leaves you wondering about yourself on a deeper level, as the character we were hunting all along was the one many of us empathised with the most.

4.) In Need of Some Marriage Counselling: Silent Hill 2

Silent Hill 2

Nothing sends you running to a demon-filled hell town quite like a hot chick

If one day I managed to write something nearly as complex and riveting as the plot to Silent Hill 2, then I will consider myself to be a roaring success. The story is absolutely genius, and the game itself is fantastic, so if you haven’t already played it I would recommend that you go and do that right now, before anything too surprising is revealed. The game focuses on a protagonist called James Sunderland, who seems to suffer from the same horror-movie affliction as every other scary-game hero, wherein they just can’t help but go and check on every potentially terrifying, creepy, and lethal event that takes place. On his journey to figure out why his dead wife is sending him letters, James encounters toblerone-face monsters, creepy wife-doppelgangers and various other demons that will leave you needing new underwear if you’re playing alone at night.

The centre of the whole adventure converges around the death of James’ wife, how it came to be, and whether she’s somehow managed to stop being dead. However, when you do finally get to the answer, the truth is absolutely shocking. James killed his own wife. Now, this isn’t the most bone-chilling murder in silent hill history, after all, he just smothers her with a pillow, but the home-movie discovery will totally change the way that you see the game. None of us saw the concept of euthanasia coming into play during a game like this.

3.) Your Princess is In another Castle, Avoiding You: Braid

Braid

Check out that heroic shirt and tie combo

Braid is a shockingly immersive little game for such a low resolution indie platformer, and it just goes to show that the graphics of a game don’t always dictate how worthwhile it is to play. In the game, you play as Tim, a character you don’t know a great deal about, other than the fact that he appears to be searching for his lost love, a girl that has been stolen away from him by some terrible brutish fiend. Obviously, Tim is not a perfect hero, so much so that he constantly wants to go back in time and erase his mistakes, but you have to cheer for the sanctity of love, right?

When we finally reach the end of the game, and thus the beginning of Braid’s storyline, we find out that actually the princess isn’t running from some other fiend. She’s running from you. Apparently, through the course of the game we’ve been acting as a horrible, usurping stalker that our girlfriend is desperately trying to get rid of. The end of Braid is surprisingly heart-wrenching and will leave you with feelings you never expected to have.

4.) Would You Kindly…Bioshock

Bioshock

Would you kindly save my family, and pick up my dry-cleaning, and pay my bills? “Of course we will Atlas!”

The Bioshock franchise, for me, comes with some of the best plot lines in the world of video-game story, and this twist can go some way to explaining just why I love it so much. Throughout Bioshock, while you’re exploring a relatively creepy under-water dump filled with juiced-up zombie-ish lunatics, you’re offered a helping hand by a silver-tongued charming fellow called Atlas. After your plane has a not-too-gentle landing, Atlas offers to help guide you through the ruined utopia of Rapture via radio correspondence, in exchange for you helping to save his family. Seems reasonable, right? He’s so difficult to say no to, with his sexy accent and his wonderfully polite turn of phrase, saying ‘would you kindly…’ with each request, that you can’t help but really want to help him out when he asks you to go and fetch something for him.

At first it’s just, ‘Would you kindly find a crowbar’ or ‘Would you kindly lower that weapon’ and we’re happy to obey. Even when it turns into ‘Would you kindly head to Ryan’s office and kill the son of a bitch?” As gamers, we’re ready to oblige. Anything for you Atlas, you Emerald-isle charmer. Except – it’s not quite that simple. As it turns out, you are actually Andrew Ryan’s son, who was sold by your mother to a creepy guy called Frank Fontaine, otherwise known as Atlas. Fontaine was a serious rival of Ryan, and instead of looking after your child self, he decided to train you with brain-washing in order to ensure that you’ll happily do whatever you’re told. The control phrase “Would you kindly,” allows Atlas to pull your strings throughout the game until you go ahead and take out his biggest rival for him. He doesn’t even have a family!

This one is for Angel, Jackhole: Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2

Apparently, she’s also a big fan of Skrillex

Borderlands 2 is one of those game (like Borderlands 1) that you should take your time completing. Make sure you go ahead and do every side quest available during your time on Pandora, whilst setting time aside for some mind-numbingly frustrating gambling on the slot machines, (I’ve got to get the jackpot at some point, right?). If you play it properly, this will be a game that takes you some time to finish, and trust me that’s a good thing, because you’re going to have a lot of fun. Borderlands 2 is more of the first, with fantastic characters, brilliant story and some genuinely funny plot devices, but the last thing that you expect from this comedic piece of genius is a moral crisis. Now there are several twists in Borderlands 2, but the one that really made me question everything about myself as a vault hunter was the revelation regarding Angel. Angel is the cyber version of Giles from Buffy, watching over you during your journey and helping you out with the odd locked door and bit of information. She also happens to be the daughter of the big boss, Handsome Jack.

Not only is she his daughter. She’s his enslaved daughter. His enslaved Siren daughter – who begs you to murder her before Daddy-dearest can use her for any more evil plots, such as taking over the world. There’s a pretty heart-breaking moment when you’re removing the Eridium injectors that keep her alive where Jack begs Angel to rethink her suicidal intentions, however much in the style we’ve come to expect from Borderlands so far, Angel simply calls her Dad an asshole and tells us, her helpful murderers, that we’re ending a “life of servitude.”

Back to Part 1

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