Monday, June 18, 2012

Top 50 Video Game Moments: Number 3

Only three moments to go. Now for the ultimate in video game twists.

The game is Bioshock. Don't read if you plan to play it sometime - you will ruin a very integral part of the plot.

If you've played the game, you already know what I'm talking about. Let's do this.

You've been scurrying through the hellhole that Rapture has become for several hours now. Always being directed the mysterious Atlas.

"Would I kindly pick up that wrench? Sure, Atlas! So polite..."
As you progress further and find out more and more about the ugly truths behind the submerged city, the less benevolent Atlas begins to look, but really, what choice do you have but to find Andrew Ryan and kill him?

Right before you get to Ryan's office, there's a room with the words "Would You Kindly" garrishly painted across the walls. In the room, you find a audio log of creepy behavior modification experiments centered around a trigger phrase. Guess which one?

When you reach the office, Mr. Ryan doesn't try to flee or even block your advancement. In fact, he invites you in and tells you what it means to be your own individual. Then he commands you to kill him.

As you fulfill your directive and bludgeon the man to death, he leaves you with one final thought.

"A man chooses. A slave obeys."

Maybe so, but your slave of a son is beating you to death with a golf club right now.
Andrew Ryan wasn't a good man, he wasn't even really a particularly decent man (check some of the audio logs if you need a refresher on exactly why that is), but he stuck to his own warped morals, and when it was time to go, he chose his own way. In doing so, in his own messed up way, he liberated the city that he had built, ruled, and lost.

On one hand the scene is just good storytelling, but it works just as well as a meta-narrative on compulsory goals in video games. We progress from point A to point B because we're compelled to do so. Bioshock just adds a secondary reason behind it.

The full video is below....if you haven't watched it in a while, you should. It's pretty damned awesome.

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