I’m a sucker for a great story so I love coming across a good plot twist that shakes me to my core. I thought back to the most memorable moments that I’ve come across. Bear in mind, I’m mostly a console gamer so I’m bound to miss some big ones like System Shock 2 (I know there’s a twist, but I haven’t gotten to it yet. I’m playing through it currently when I have time.) Now that that’s out of the way, let’s have a look at my top 10 favorite plot twists in gaming.
From the beginning, your objectives in Bioshock are straightforward:
- Save Atlas’ family.
- Kill Andrew Ryan.
- Escape Rapture.
When you finally meet Ryan though, you’re entire world get turned upside-down. It turns out that the entire time Atlas, who’s actually Fontaine, was playing you all along using a simple yet powerful phrase to trigger actions that you’re conditioned to obey. It was a great moment and a spot-on critique on how modern games tend to string you along. With that scene with Ryan, three plain words took on a whole new meaning.
No doubt about it, Killer 7 was an extremely strange game. The story wasn’t exactly easy to follow or understand from what I remember. What I do remember is my jaw dropping when I found out that everything that had been fed to me was the delusions of one man: Garcian. While you’re told that you play as 7 different assassins, you’re actually just a man filled with regret who took on several personas of former victims. Not only that, but he’s not even who he thinks he is. Maybe it can be attributed to the fact that I beat Killer 7 sometime around 3am, but I remember having my mind blown when I found out the truth.
Final Fantasy 7
This is probably a shocker to exactly 0 people. We all know the scene I’m going to mention. Aeris sitting there praying for the planet. Things finally seem to be going somewhat well. Then, out of nowhere, Sephiroth falls from the sky and impales her with his sword. At that time, I’d never hated a character more than I did Sephiroth.
Nowadays, it’s common knowledge among gamers that Samus Aran from Metroid is a female. When it first came out though, most people playing through the game probably thought they were playing as a guy. You’re running around and generally kicking tons of butt so it has to be a man, right? Imagine everyone’s surprise when they finished the game and found out that Samus was really a bikini-clad badass.
Poor Tim. His girlfriend was taken to another castle by some brute of a knight. At least that’s what you’re to believe given the information learned from the books on display before each chapter. Just when you’re about to be reunited with your long lost love, time stops. All you can do is rewind time and learn what’s going on. I felt sad for Tim, but I couldn’t help be disgusted and betrayed by his actions. The rest of the game is incredible, but this revelation alone made me an instant fan of Braid and its creator, Jonathan Blow.
Throughout Heavy Rain, you’re playing as 4 characters whose stories tend to blend together toward a single purpose: finding a missing boy and stopping the Origami Killer. The only problem is that one of the characters is the Origami Killer and is actively working against the others. It’s bad enough that we find out that we’ve been back-stabbed by the perpetrator, but then as the killer, we’re forced to eliminate the evidence that would lead back to us. Diabolical but well-played, Quantic Dream…
Metal Gear Solid
I feel like after reaching the middle section of Metal Gear Solid you get bombarded by head spinning moments. Liquid Snake is Solid Snake’s brother. Not only that, they’re both results of the Les Enfants Terrible project, which means that they’re essentially clones of Big Boss. To add to all of this, one of the people helping Solid Snake complete his mission, Master Miller, is revealed to be Liquid Snake. There are a lot of other big, shocking moments in the game but learning everything about the twin Snake’s histories took the cake for me.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end and have stopped Richter from resurrecting Dracula! Everything is right with the world. Wrong! There’s another, inverted castle. Dracula will be revived soon. Get back to work, Alucard.
Shadow of the Colossus
Even though it’s hinted at in the beginning that the main character may or may not survive the ritual to revive his female companion, what transpires at the end of Shadow of the Colossus never ceases to amaze me. The mysterious, malevolent entity known as Dormin has used Wander to unbind him from his prison. Long ago, Dormin was split into 16 pieces and sealed within the 16 colossi. By slaying them all, Wander has unknowingly released Dormin’s full power and is eventually consumed and possessed by Dormin. It’s heartbreaking, beautiful, and one of the main reasons that Shadow of the Colossus is one of my favorite games of all time.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
As Phoenix Wright would say, “What tangled webs we weave, when we practice to deceive”. What starts out as an open and shut murder case explodes into an investigation into an entirely separate, but ultimately connected, murder mystery from several years prior. If Miles Edgeworth didn’t do it, who could’ve had a motive and why would they want to frame him? It turns out that all things lead back to the DL-6 investigation, something hinted at in a previous trial, and the one tarnishing mark that was added to Manfred von Karma’s record. The result brings justice to the true criminal and also proves that Edgeworth is, in fact, a good person, contrary to what you’re expected to believe up until that time.