Memorable curtain calls.
*Heavy Spoiler Alert*
I’ve played my share of video games. Hundreds upon hundreds of them. So it’s easy for me to forget the goings-on of any given game if it isn’t filled with memorable pieces. As literature is designed, the climax marks the peak of excitement where all of the expository pieces culminate into some sort of excitement. In many games, this excitement is actually lost, as the entirety of the experience is aimed at being an adrenaline ride. RPGs, however, come with all the opportunities to create a piece of memorable literature. Yet after the climax completes and the falling action, well, falls, the most memorable piece of any narrative – for me, anyway – is its conclusion. That “Oh my goodness” moment. This list consists of five of those moments that I found incredible, and it’s by no mean the “top five” or “best five”; it’s just a simple list of awesome endings in no particular order.
Vanguard Bandits is an awesome strategy RPG that graced the original PlayStation. It featured lengthy Gundam-esque battles where you commanded a small group of mobile suits. But the game itself really took into consideration your actions during the game. Not always was doing the ‘nice’ thing the best choice. No, I found that out the hard way. You see, Vanguard Bandits has about seven endings, but I was unaware of that my first time through. So picture my surprise when, during the last mission, Sebastion – the protagonist – is mentally controlled by Faulkner, the villain. The last battle consists of you annihilating your entire squad of comrades – and that’s it. After you kill the last of your friends, the game ends, and the credits roll. It’s stunning, but it’s also awesome – and a very memorable conclusion (don’t worry, I got the ‘good’ ending later) to a very memorable game.
Another memorable series, .Hack drops the player inside a virtual MMORPG (known as The World), where being eliminated by an infected enemy can put you into a coma. In .Hack//G.U., you take the role of Haseo, who is hell bent on finding old friend Ovan. At the conclusion of the trilogy, you must duel and defeat Ovan in order to, more-or-less, ‘fix’ The World and those hurt by the adverse effects of outside tampering. But in vanquishing Ovan, Haseo realizes that he will, ultimately, be killing his old friend… in real life. Yet Ovan and Haseo both know that it is the right thing to do.
Final Fantasy XIII-2
Final Fantasy XIII-2 took Square-Enix’s sequel madness to new levels by tossing out a story of time travel. As cliché as the whole time travel fixes nothing plot is, Final Fantasy XIII-2 at least incorporated a memorable villain; he is, in fact, one of my favorite Final Fantasy villains (Caius Ballard). Still, the reason Caius is a villain is because he watched his beloved Yuel die time and again from using her powers to see different realities (and his desire to save her from an eternity of perpetual death). Enter Serah: the main protagonist. She’s Lightning’s sister and is granted the power to, with new ally Noel, travel through time to find and free her sister. As the story progresses, however, Serah continues to use her newfound abilities, which are very much similar to Yuel’s. They’re so similar, in fact, that, at the game’s thrilling conclusion, Serah… dies? You’ll have to find out her fate in Lightning Returns.
Ah, the RPG from Square-Enix that, perhaps, began to change the perception of SE. Bravely Defeault tells the tale of Tiz, who is the only surviving citizen of his home land. After embarking on an arduous, 70+ hour adventure, you begin to fall into a sort of time loop. And after slowly fighting your way continuously through the same time loop, you discover that the little fairy who’d been assisting and guiding you through the entire game is actually a heinous villain. No wonder nothing working out; it was a pretty interesting twist, and one I didn’t see coming.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel
And speaking of twists I didn’t see coming, Trails of Cold Steel takes the cake. I spent months playing through and beating this game carefully, and I spent months trying to figure out who Comrade C, the leader of the terrorist Liberation Front, was. I traced back into Trails in the Sky, deciding that, maybe, it was Cassius Bright or Joshua, especially after seeing the weapon C wielded. Well, it turns out that I was dead wrong. Comrade C, the bastard who terrorized Rean and his classmates of Class VII, was none other than Crow Armbrust himself – a second year at the Thors Military Academy and late joining member of Class VII. Through brilliant planning and executing, Crow was able to fool everyone by not even being a suspect on the radar. And when the chancellor was giving his declaration of war speech, and Class VII discovered that Crow was, indeed, C, I literally yelled at my Vita – and watched him sink a bullet into his target.
I was like the nonono cat below.