One of the best things about video games is getting a big plot twist for the first time. While some games save their biggest reveals for a big surprise, others leave a trail of breadcrumbs leading up to that moment.
The plot twists give these already satisfying games and mysteries more replay value, as some of these clues only become obvious or even make sense after more than one play through. It’s safe to say no one saw these twists coming – but that’s what makes them so great to begin with.
WARNING: Spoilers ahead.
ten Call Of Duty: Black Ops – Viktor Reznov Acted Like A Ghostly Ally For A Reason
call of Duty Black Ops is structured in such a way that the missions players go through are the memories of their character Alex Mason, which he is forced to relive during an interrogation. A constant in these missions is Viktor, a hardened Russian veteran and Alex’s fire-forged friend. That being said, Viktor had been dead this whole time.
Alex met Viktor, but he died during their escape from prison. Since then, Alex has hallucinated Viktor through his trauma and Viktor’s brainwashing. This was heralded by Alex’s teammates never acknowledging Viktor’s presence, Viktor’s invulnerability to friendly fire, and Viktor’s impeccably perfect timing in life or death situations.
9 Dead Space – Game Chapters Literally Lay Out Nicole Brennan’s Fate
When USG Ishimura sent out a distress call, Engineer Isaac Clarke joined the rescue effort since his girlfriend Nicole was aboard the doomed vessel. Aboard the ship, Isaac received video calls from Nicole or saw her, but all was not as it seemed. It turned out that Nicole was already dead, and the infernal Markers used her likeness to manipulate Isaac.
dead space actually spelled Nicole’s fate, as taking the first letter of each chapter title would spell “Nicole is dead”. On top of that, Nicole’s interactions with Isaac were always weird. One of the biggest clues was Nicole’s odd vocabulary, which was unnecessarily grandiose and verbose. For example, his need for Isaac to “make them whole”.
8 Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – Venom Snake was never meant to be a big boss
When it was first announced that Ground zeros and Phantom pain replaced longtime Solid Snake/Big Boss actor David Hayter with Kiefer Sutherland, there was intense backlash. However, this may have been intentional since the “Big Boss” who would become Venom Snake was, in reality, his brainwashed body double.
Metal Gear Solid V only revealed it in his final moments, but many clues led to it. Some of the more overt foreshadowing elements included the death of Ishmael (aka an incognito Big Boss) triggering a “temporal paradox”, and Venom Snake being referred to as Ahab: the central character of Moby-Dick, but not its protagonist (that would be Ishmael).
7 Resident Evil Village – Ethan Winter’s true nature was obvious to everyone but the player
The great revelation of the eighth canonical resident Evil it’s that Ethan died before Resident Evil 7: Biohazard started correctly. When Ethan first fought Jack Baker, he was quickly killed but kept alive due to his unwavering determination to save Mia and Eveline’s Mold. In short, Ethan was a bio-organic weapon this whole time.
Neither Ethan nor the player knew this, but everyone they fought – especially Mother Miranda and her cult – did. For example, Lady Dimitrescu disappointingly commented that Ethan’s (dead) blood tasted “stale”. Another clue was Ethan’s inexplicable imperviousness to mortal combat and injury, which players dismissed as game logic.
6 Killer7 – The Handsome Men’s Fight Revealed The Smiths’ True Leader And Nature
The selling point of killer7 was that players could play The Smith Syndicate, a group of seven assassins that players could activate and deactivate at any point in the game. It didn’t take long for some players to theorize that six of the seven were actually the multiple identities of a person and that old Harman Smith was their host.
In truth, Garcian Smith was the main character because the others were dead. The Smiths’ fight with The Handsome Men was the the biggest clue since Garcian’s (not Harman’s) designated rival was their equally secretive leader, Handsome Pink. Also, Garcian’s death was the only way to trigger a Game Over since he was the only Smith alive.
5 Silent Hill 2 — The City Made James Sunderland’s Guilt Real
When he somehow receives a letter from his dead wife Mary, James ventures to Silent Hill to find answers. What he finds, instead, is a nightmarish hell that seems designed to specifically taunt and torture him. James had no one to blame but himself, since the ghost town only solidified the regret he felt for killing Mary.
From the monsters that embodied aspects of his psyche (Pyramid Head represented James’ desire for power and punishment) to the characters’ sharp observations, James’ dark secret was exposed without his knowledge. All in Silent Hill 2 pointed out this dark truth, and it was up to the players whether James accepted it or not.
4 NieR: Automata – The lack of life and humanity in the world was deliberate
In the distant future, the remnants of humanity have moved to a moon base after their devastating defeat by alien invaders. To reclaim Earth from the aliens, androids 2B and 9S are sent to the planet to fight in place of humanity. However, there was no war to be waged: Earth was devoid of aliens or humans and was instead populated by robots.
The truth is that machines have taken the place of man and the alien. NieR: Automata foreshadowed this with hints, like certain dialogue cues and the machines’ religious reverence for absent humans. Plus, the killer robot remake of Romeo and Juliet also foreshadowed 2B and 9S’s romance and 2B’s attempted murder of 9S.
3 Final Fantasy VII Remake – The Remake’s Creative Changes Were More Than Just Updates
Despite what its title suggests, Final Fantasy VII Remake was anything but a simple remaster or retread of the classic JRPG. Although things started off on a familiar note, the story gradually veered off drastically, such as Sephiroth’s introduction much earlier than his original appearance and Barret’s brief death.
This led to the revelation that Final Fantasy VII Remake was an alternate reality version of the original game, and the Spectral Whispers were responsible for ensuring Remake followed the original schedule. The Whispers’ interference only made sense to Cloud and players in hindsight – especially after they helped Sephiroth inadvertently kill them.
2 BioShock – Atlas used game snaps to control Jack and the player
As shocking as by BioShock The legendary plot twist was, it wasn’t a random surprise. The most obvious clue that Jack was Atlas’ mentally conditioned lackey was his overuse of the activation phrase “Would you kindly?” but the game left clues that would only be noticeable to those intimately familiar with how game stories work.
All along BioShock, the player was driven around Rapture under the impression that their actions would help Atlas (really a traitor Frank Fontaine) overthrow the tyrannical Andrew Ryan. The player’s habit of obediently following whatever a voice in the game told him to do hinted that he had no free will in BioShock.
1 Portal – GLaDOS betrayed player’s trust in puzzle games
When Chell awoke in the pristine testing facilities of Aperture Science, the reassuring voice of GLaDOS told her to solve some puzzles with a portal gun for the love of science and the promise of cake. As the experiments continued, however, GLaDOS’ witty sarcasm gave way to blatant lies, and the test chambers became increasingly dangerous.
These are just a few of the many clues to the PC hit Portal which led to the revelation that GLaDOS was an evil artificial intelligence. Along with enjoying the comforts players find in seemingly casual puzzle games, Rat Man’s manic vandalisms through the Proving Grounds have proven to be truthful warnings of GLaDOS’ deception.
NEXT: Bioshock Infinite and 9 Other Games With Shocking Twists No One Saw Coming
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