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Plot-twists, instant deaths and naked missions

What has been the event within a video game that has shocked you the most and left you reeling? Maybe it was a major plot-twist, the death of one of your favourite characters or a gameplay element that seemed to come out of nowhere.

This is the subject of the latest EXP Share, a monthly collaboration hosted by DanamesX over at Tales from the Backlog to encourage everyone in the community to share their experiences. Here’s the question: “Share a story where an event in a game, television show, movie or book left you in shock and your reaction to it.” I always turn to video games when I have free time so most of the following anecdotes are to do with gaming, but I’ve thrown in a couple about other media for a bit of fun.

There are spoilers in the following paragraphs. If you haven’t yet experienced the game, television show or book, you may wish to consider navigating away from this post now and coming back later.

Video game: Final Fantasy XIII

As part of last year’s game-swap series, I was challenged to play this title by Ellen from Ace Asunder back in September. I’ve never been a fan of turn-based combat so I knew it was going to be difficult for me but I didn’t realise the sheer frustration I’d feel with the last boss. After its health drops below 80%, there’s a possibility it could use its Instant Death power – and getting unfairly hit by this several times at 03:00 in the morning meant I was ready to rage. I’m not sure I’ll ever pick up another Final Fantasy game.

Video game: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

The game-swap before the one in the paragraph was with Athena from AmbiGaming and she challenged me to complete my first Metal Gear Solid title. I now have a lot of thoughts about the series in general, especially its depiction of women, but the strangest moment was when Raiden was captured and stripped naked. Seeing the protagonist perform attacks which had him doing somersault kicks – while firmly holding his crotch to keep his dignity intact – was perhaps one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen in a game.

Video game: SOMA

This was a release which left me thinking about its story long after I played it in September 2018. I think it’s very cleverly written: all the clues about what’s going to happen at its conclusion are there all along but it’s so easy to overlook them and focus on your pursuit for escape. The questions it asks the player, such as what it really means to be human and how you would feel if you found out you were a copy of yourself, are far scarier than any monster hiding in the dark corridors of PATHOS-II.

Video game: The Eyes of Ara

My other-half and I decided to pick up this title after completing Quern – Undying Thoughts and being in the mood for another similar game. It started off well and we enjoyed the puzzles-within-puzzles, even if we weren’t overly concerned about finding all the various collectibles. That was until we reached the final section and raged when we realised the blue orbs weren’t optional. A note for developers: never trick your players into believing that an object is a collectible when it’s not, because it’s really not fun.

Television show: Behind Her Eyes

It’s rare that Pete and I watch television, but this was a mini-series we watched last month after finding ourselves with a free evening and picking the first thing that came up on Netflix. Although he wasn’t overly keen on the thriller storyline which suddenly turned supernatural, I really enjoyed it and loved the twist at the end. My allegiance kept switching between David and Adele all the way through because I couldn’t work out who the real villain was; so Rob’s body-switch and then Louise’s subsequent death caught me completely off-guard.

Book: Pet Sematary

I used to read a lot of horror novels when I was far too young for them and Pet Sematary by Stephen King will always be the one I remember the most. I’m not sure I’ve ever been so scared by a book since and I can still recall the feeling of clammy palms while forcing myself to turn the pages. Being rather attached to my pet at the time, I was both fascinated and horrified about what happened to Church in the story, and the thought of a zombie-cat lurking around the house was terrifying.

Thank you to DanamesX from Tales from the Backlog for another interesting subject this month! If you fancy joining in with March’s EXP Share, you have another week until the deadline and can find all the details in this post.

Kim View All

Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.

21 thoughts on “Plot-twists, instant deaths and naked missions Leave a comment

  1. Had to skip the Soma section because I’m intending on playing it 😄 aw no, that’s a shame about the Final Fantasy games! FFXIII can be an irritating game, no doubt. I promise you there are better ones!

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    • I’m glad I’m now able to say I’ve played and finish one, but Final Fantasy games just aren’t for me. I think that kind of goes for JRPGs in general though. I’m happy to sit back and watch friends play them on Twitch, but I’ll leave it to the experts. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing! I remember watching a playthrough of Soma and having a lot of mixed emotions at the end. I felt that it did a good job of telling its story and theme. Definitely did not make me start questioning things around me….definitely not.

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    • You go into SOMA thinking the scary part is going to be the monsters lurking in the dark, but nope. I spent so long thinking about this game after we’d finish playing it and worrying about all the implications posed by the storyline.

      Thanks for another great EXP Share! Not long to go now until the next one. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This one’s an oldie, but do you remember Spycraft: The Great Game from Activision? It was an FMV game back when they were a thing and it had a scene where you were interrogating someone which was one of the more confronting scenes in the game seeing as you also had some degree of interaction in it too. For me at the time it was super confronting and very uncomfortable.

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    • I have to admit that I haven’t heard of Spycraft before… but I’ve been on an FMV binge over the past few weeks and I’ve just realised it’s on Steam. Would you say it’s worth playing?

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      • I think Spycraft has dated a lot since its release (low res FMV mixed with minigames) so hard to know if it would have the same impact now. Maybe as a curiosity buy in a sale?

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  4. Oh, come on. Final Fantasy XIII wasn’t THAT bad if you’re still talking to me, right?? 😆

    Also, Metal Gear Solid 2 has a naked Raiden VR Mission section. He has to streak across a gauntlet of areas. If you get caught the losing sound changes to sirens like he got caught by the police, haha. Man, I’m glad I didn’t stream that one. 😂

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    • No, FFXIII wasn’t that bad… but instakills at 3am? Those I can definitely do without! 😆

      Just when you think MGS2 can’t get any more bizarre, it does, and there’s no way you can play and keep a serious face while watching Raiden hold his crotch and do summersaults. Why the nakedness in VR though? I mean, it’s VR!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Fair! In all seriousness, thanks for getting through that and giving my special game a serious try, eh. So many people dismiss it purely on the reputation and it’s awesome when people form their own opinions on things.

        It… makes absolutely no sense, like the elephant noise giant boss guy and the Godzilla guard monsters. I also giggle like a teenager whenever Raiden does his naked summersaults…. another reason I’m grateful I never streamed that part 🤣

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  5. I just watched a let’s play of Little Nightmares II and the end of that is beyond words. It ties together all the games, and it both horrifying and heartbreaking. While it didn’t psychologically scar me like SOMA, it’s still just as clever and profound.

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    • I still haven’t made it around to playing either the first or second game, although I watched a friend play a little and liked one I saw! Another couple of games for the to-play list.

      Liked by 1 person

        • You know what, I think I’m going to have to take a tip from you and start watching more videos. Work has been pretty busy and so it has been difficult to fit in as much gaming time as I’d like recently – but watching short sections of a video while taking a break between meetings could work. 🤔

          Liked by 1 person

          • I used to feel a little bad about “just” watching let’s plays, but not anymore! Sometimes I’ll even watch ones for games I’ve started to play but didn’t have time to finish or wasn’t overly fond of the gameplay. That happened with FFV. I also will watch an LP of a game I’ve played after I finish it (or when I’m near the end) because I pick up more stuff. I love that the option is out there, and there are so many good streamers/let’s players out there. It’s something I definitely want to get into. Watching them can be so relaxing if you can find a good person.

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            • Yeah, I think it’s that ‘guilt’ about watching a video and not playing the game myself. But it feels like it would be a nice distraction, and my work are promoting short breaks between conference calls so it would be something I could easily fit in. I’ll let you know how I get on!

              Liked by 1 person

              • I used to feel that way, too until I realized I was just gatekeeping myself hehe. While gaming is definitely more “hands on,” there are sports fans who have never played their favorite sport, but they still consider themselves fans. There are lots of games I love that I’m terrible at (or would be terrible at), but I love their stories and other aspects.

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