That’s not to say there isn’t a huge surplus of stupid video game plots, some of them are so generic I can apply them to dozens of games simultaneously. So we’ll start with the general plots.
1. In Space, with Aliens.
As Halo, Space Siege, Starcraft, and about a billion other games will tell you. Aliens are bad. I guess this is based off the assumption that as soon as WE get our act together enough to unite the human race, build faster than light ships and break all formerly known boundaries of humanity and technology, that what we find on the other end of our billion year evolution is a bunch of dickheads. Yup. Infinite potential for interaction and growth between interstellar species and the most interesting thing we can think to do is shoot the shit out of each other. Usually it’s their fault, they attacked us, they drove us to the brink of extinction, etc. But ya know, we’re just as likely to do that. How about a game plot that doesn’t make us sound like the only non-bastards in the galaxy? Or better yet, a game about aliens and humans tag teaming on a bunch of Nazi’s because hey, no one likes them…
2. Someone is kidnapped
Yeah Mario knows all about this shit. But who else doesn’t? From prisoners of war, to habitually snatched princesses, to out and out random kidnappings, there’s always someone gone missing. It’s not usually a cool way either. Basically someone got punked walking out of their house made of innocence and flowers and will spend the next 200 hours waiting for you to destroy millions of human/alien/turtle/nazi lives to get to them and pop them out of the empty room where they’ve been rotting, with no apparent after-effects. How about a game where you spend 2 hours finding the kidnapped person and then 2 years rehabilitating them and helping them to overcome post-traumatic stress and agoraphobia? We’ll call it “Rescued: Afterwards”
3. Big bad guy
When Hitler/Bowser/Darth Spoonmaker each come into their own, they suddenly have an armada of bad guys, generals and mini-bosses. Who is following these people? Why is the majority of each fantasy world populated with sheeple who are magnetically (and possibly erotically) drawn to the most obvious epitome of evil within 1000 miles? It’s like walking into a party and bee-lining for the ugly girl. Or meeting like 30 celebrities but just talking to Andy Dick. What kind of charisma and people skills do ANY of these Pyschotically evil, oversized, cybernetic, spiked and fire-breating bastards have over thousands of creatures destined to become your enemy? Why sign up on team “Countless waves of cannon fodder”? why not start your own evil cult? Get it together evil!
4. Good Vs. Stupid
You’re an angel sent from heaven. A small boy with a good heart. A lowly sword-expert/turnip farmer. You are torn from the thigh of Zeus and destined to be everything cute and wonderful. Your enemy? Hulking, dark, smelly, evil, and infinitely more powerful than you. But he’s content to sit in a place very far away. He doesn’t even notice you I guess. When he does he sends some barely adequate enemies your way. Why are the bad guys always stupid? Or so aloof or busy they can’t be bothered to wipe out you, the hero, who has sworn vengeance on them for the destruction of their wife/house/turnip-farm? Especially in games (JRPG’s I’m looking at you) Where the main baddie actually SHOWS UP TO TAUNT YOU.. Really? You’re going to open a rift in the universe to end all life, killing billions, but you stop short of killing me to call me a douchebag and fly off on a dragon or something? Why doesn’t the boss show up early on and try to punch you in the face, but you barely escape and end up on the run, or he’s a pansy too and that way you both have to grow into massive armor-clad ninja magicians to do epic battle later?
5. You fix it, klutz
Secret of Mana springs to mind, but along with a shit-ton of other rpg’s and games. This sound familiar? You’re a teenager-ish kid who’s frolicking in the dangerous woods near your village, doing cute kid things when something goes unfortunately wrong and you:
- Trip and Unleash hell and millions of demons
- Remove the holy sword/wand/dildo/McDonalds toy/gerbil from its sacred spot that no one bothered to fence off or wall-up which THEN unleashes hell and turns everyone for 200 miles into hellbeasts.
- Trip and fall into an unknown basement, where there’s a box.. that… unleashes… hell….
- Read from the dark demonic big book o’ hellfire summoning by accident and then hell, um, unleashes..
Regardless of these many possibilities, there’s always one outcome. No one wants to help you, and they send you off alone armed with a stick to fix the problem. Sure you’re 14 and a virgin, but you alone must travel to the crystal city to see the king of everything besides hell, to simply have him tell you, that you have to go get the magic whatzamajizzit to close the gates of demon spawn that are pouring into the world. Meanwhile, I’ll just stay here with my thousands of guards who could kill you in an instant and hope it all goes to plan. It’s always your problem. Despite the fact that inaction will likely end the entire world and all hope for salvation rests of the pimpled shoulders of a level 1 dipshit who fell in a hole or picked up a sword. Apparently the necessary skills to become the worlds greatest hero is having all four limbs and bad luck.
Well, check back next time, when I pick apart SPECIFIC stupid plots.