Ever been playing a game and everything is moving along swimmingly: health is full, skills are maxed and victory is within your grasp, when all of a sudden, the game turns on you, like a digital Brutus. Et tu, PS3?
This has happened to me a few times and while I tend to not get too caught up in things like that, there are a few instances where the wound in my back from the knife still feels raw. And no, I’m not talking about crap where your favorite series, long exclusive to one console, suddenly becomes multi-platform. That’s not betrayal, that’s business.
One such example is Final Fantasy VII, kind of the most obvious one, so we can start with that. Aeris dies. *GASP* Well, yeah, and while it made some people cry (I call them “pussies”), it made me emotional for a whole other reason: I had spent quite a long time leveling her up earlier in the game and those hours were now wasted! I felt like the game was saying to me, “Sorry, Anthony, maybe you should have taken up another hobby, one that won’t wave its junk in your face and leave you crying in a heap on the floor, numb to all feeling except for the new rug burn on your face!” Or something like that, it got garbled in the translation.
Another time where I felt like the game was out to get me was Devil May Cry. I had spent time, blood and tears building my skills, honing my craft and kicking tons of demon ass in order to be ready for anything the final boss could possible throw at me. And what do I get? A complete change in game mechanics, where it turns into Star Fox 64! How lame is that? Developers: dance with the girl you brought, ok? Don’t change things at the very end just to be able to add another bullet to the back of the box.
But the final betrayal that still stings, that really pisses me off, that actually gets to me emotionally is Chrono Cross. See, in Chrono Trigger, which I played about a dozen times, the game has a nice happy ending. Chrono and Marle get married and become king and queen of Guardia. Until Chrono Cross.
When Chrono Cross starts ten years after Trigger and Guardia, which, if you will remember, we just left happily ever after, has been DESTROYED. That’s right and by their seemingly peaceful neighbor, Porre, too. In fact, to rub a little more salt into this gaping wound (minds back out of the gutter, please), in Trigger, you did all kinds of good deeds and even left the mayor of Porre as a kind and generous man.
You don’t find out the truth until late in Chrono Cross, but it you eventually meet the ghosts of the three main characters of Chrono Trigger. And though countless theories abound, it would appear that they decided to KILL OFF the characters before the game even starts. So much for being a sequel to Chrono Trigger.
The only pain I feel that comes close to this horrific betrayal is when I watch Alien 3 and see Newt and Hicks dead BEFORE THE MOVIE FREAKING STARTS. This is the gaming equivalent and I have to tell you, it hurts. I didn’t play Chrono Trigger over and over again in my youth just to have those characters butchered OFF-SCREEN shortly after I reach the end of the game! Bad Square Enix!
So that’s my outpouring of pain. Do you guys have any stories where a game has treated you like a doormat after you lovingly invested hours in it?