The lights are on
Plenty of video game
stories are predictable from beginning to end, so it's satisfying when
developers try to shake things up a bit. In this feature, we take a look at
points in games when you think the story is over - but there may be some more
twists in store.
Note: Spoilers follow
for Red Dead Redemption, Ghosts 'n Goblins, The Binding of Isaac, Dragon's
Dogma, Dead Space 2, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Resident Evil 2, and
Red Dead Redemption
With Red Dead
Redemption, Rockstar managed to encapsulate everything good about classic western
tales and revitalize them for a modern video game. The flawed protagonist, the
varied villains, and the tragic story arc all worked seamlessly in this game.
By the end, we've come to understand and sympathize with John Marston. He was
far from a perfect human being, but he had motivations that we cared about -
which made it all the more heartbreaking when he met his demise at the hands of
a man he once trusted.
After his death, the screen
fades to black. It's easy to assume that the game would be over then. But
before the credits roll, the game cuts to his son Jack and his wife Abigail on
horseback. Controlling Jack, you ride back to find your father dead. Fade to
black once more. Is it over now? Not quite, as Jack and his mother visit John's
grave. This seems like a fitting place to stop, but another fade to black is
followed by Jack standing over both of his parents' graves. From there, you
control Jack as you hunt down your father's killer. Once John Marston is
avenged, you finally see the credits roll.
Ghosts 'n Goblins
Notorious as one of the
most challenging games ever made, there is no doubt that many-a-controller has
been thrown in frustration on its behalf. The biggest and most glaring of these
moments would be at the end of the game. You plodded your way through a myriad of
difficult enemies and platforming sections to confront the final boss - and by
some miracle you win! Your moments of joy and relief are whisked away in an
instant when you find out that you didn't actually beat the final boss, and
that you would need to beat the game again - on a higher difficulty, no
less - to fight his true form. It's one of the most infamous screw-overs in
The Binding of Isaac
The Binding of Isaac is
known for its difficulty, as well as its depth. The assortment of enemies,
bosses, and items sucked many into the roguelike. The first dozen hours or so
of playing result in you learning what weapons do and how to efficiently kill
most enemies and bosses. However, the game's seemingly final boss, Isaac's Mom,
is difficult and different from anything you've previously fought. The entire
game is set up so that you think defeating Mom will be the end of the story.
But you would be wrong.
After Mom is slain a second time, a new area opens up with bosses, enemy types,
and items to discover. Another cellar door opens, and entering it sends you to
the Womb, a difficult level where the final boss is Mom's Heart (reaching this
boss fight again replaces the heart with It Lives, a slightly altered version
of the fight). Even then, the game isn't over. After fighting It Lives, you can
enter a new area known as the Cathedral, an even harder level. The boss
of the Cathedral is none other than Isaac - you - himself. After completing the
Cathedral six times, you get the opportunity to find the Polaroid item. If you
defeat the Cathedral using the Polaroid, you can enter the true final level of the game: the
Chest. Every room in the Chest is a boss fight, culminating in a fight with
"???", a boss that looks suspiciously like Isaac and fights similarly to the
previous Isaac encounter. In a difficult game like The Binding of Isaac,
satisfaction is nothing more than a fleeting hope before more trials and
In Capcom's fun and
dangerously addicting action RPG, your quest is to recover your heart, which
was stolen by a dragon. Now that we've suspended our disbelief, suffice to say
that you eventually find the dragon, slay him, and recover your heart, that
being your quest for the first 25-30 hours of the game. The game seems to be over.
However, upon returning
to the capital city of Gransys after the fight, you find a dark, mysterious
cloud and a giant crater. From here, a new and practically unrelated story
forms, pitting you and your companions against the toughest monsters in the
game, followed by an elaborate and confusing final ending sequence many hours
after the dragon was slain.
Email the author Dimitri Gedevanishvili, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.