3Indigo Prophecy Has You Fight the Internet and an Ancient Mayan, With No Warning Whatsoever
Indigo Prophecy is a combination psychological adventure game and proof of what happens when deadlines meet creative thought and beat the living shit out of it.
Your character, Lucas Kane, wakes up from a random blackout to learn that he's randomly murdered somebody, which, as anyone who's blacked out and randomly committed murder knows, tends to wreak havoc on your plans for the day.
"So much for hanging around this bathroom and soliciting sex."
Other than that and the occasional hallucination, the game is actually an exercise in normalcy and boringness. In fact, doing boring things in a boring way is how you keep your sanity level down. Take a shower, play some guitar, drink wine, pick your nose -- those are your objectives the entire time.
The WTF Ending:
There are actually three, but none involve being a square and returning to life in the slow lane. However, they all do involve superpowers, Mayans, and evil Internet creatures, none of which was foreshadowed in the least.
With less than an hour to play in the game, the following out-of-nowhere twists do a giant pig pile on your ass: Lucas dodges bullets and jumps hundreds of feet in the air. A Mayan Oracle is revealed to be controlling Lucas' blackouts, and the world. Lucas eats a giant bowl of death stew. Yellow creatures from the Internet (bafflingly called the "Purple Clan") revive him. Finally, the Yellow Purple People reveal plans to freeze Earth, and only an autistic girl called the Indigo Child can stop them.
His name is "Red."
Depending on which ending you choose, the Indigo Child dies and the Mayan rules the world in secret, the Mayan wins and then goes away, or the Internet creatures steal the child and freeze the world. You'd think everyone being a Popsicle would make life difficult for a man-made system like the Internet, but remember that this game was released back before anyone really knew how that confounded Series of Tubes actually worked in, uh, 2005.
The point being, not one stinking bit of this is ever hinted at prior to the ending. You're just moseying along, trying hard not to cross over into Kooky Land, when, BAM! You get thrown head-first into it, with no hope of escape. If you gave up on the game after eight-plus hours of drinking coffee and taking showers, you would have seen none of this, and would have no idea what the title's promised prophecy even was.
Or who dropped LSD into your coffee.
Why all the clutter? Because the game's developers, Quantic Dreams, had visions of the game being released in 12 parts. They wanted to experiment with an episodic approach to gaming, one that would have revealed the story at a much slower and far more detailed pace. Of course, selling a game as "slow" is akin to throwing giant bags of money into the wood chipper, so the deadline was ultimately sped up. This forced a lot of buildup to be cut, and the climactic reveals were thrust in our faces like a cream pie that turns out to be full of tiny clowns.
2Monkey Island 2 Is Nothing but Two Brothers Playing Pretend ... Maybe
Monkey Island 2 is one of those irreverent, postmodern, quirky games that barely goes a moment without throwing something absurd at its audience. This is a game that has you sword fight using nothing but insults, after all.
Your character, Guybrush Threepwood, is a pirate in search of buried treasure, if you can imagine such a thing. Your archnemesis, a zombie pirate named LeChuck, wants you just as dead as he is. So here we have a zombie pirate game made out of nothing but smart-ass goofball dialogue. How could you possibly screw something like that up? The game found a way.
The WTF Ending:
There are two parts. This:
LeChuck confronts Threepwood and suddenly claims to be his brother, a shocking twist expressed the only way a game like this knows how: by plagiarizing The Empire Strikes Back word for word.
"See, I had sex with your mother, and ... wait, no, that's not right. Let me start over."
LeChuck then pulls out a voodoo doll, which he claims will send Threepwood into a dimension of "Infinite Pain," but only sends him into the next room thanks to "shoddy material." This happens time and again until Threepwood rips off a piece of LeChuck's beard and mixes it with several other ingredients to create his own voodoo doll. The next time the siblings meet, Threepwood tears off the doll's leg, crippling LeChuck; as he lays dying, he begs Threepwood to remove his mask.
Now, it was never implied that LeChuck was ever wearing a mask. But Threepwood does so anyway, revealing the face of his "creepy brother Chuckie," who then yells at Threepwood for breaking a toy of his.
Suddenly, the two pirate brothers turn into kids at an amusement park, much to the relief of their very concerned parents.
"And now we're yelling at you. Next, we shall wag our fingers at you. Later, you will sit in the corner."
Threepwood is as confused as we are and asks who the hell these people are. His parents then suggest a thrill ride, and he excitedly agrees. As they walk away, Chuckie turns to the camera, his eyes turn red, and electricity crackles over his head.
Ahhhh ... back to reality then.
So ... what in the hell just happened? Was the entire game (and, by extension, the first game as well) just two brothers playing pretend? It seems to be, since Threepwood stopped questioning his surroundings the second Mom suggested they go on a fun ride. But then why do Chuckie's eyes glow? Is he still an evil zombie pirate? Wouldn't that make everything beforehand real, and THIS an illusion? If so, then why do Threepwood and LeChuck talk to each other like they're kids when they're still pirates?
Furthermore, if this is an illusion, why does Threepwood ever stop insisting he's a grown-ass pirate? You'd think that would be high on his list of priorities. Does he enjoy roller coasters so much that he'll quickly concede defeat just to ride on one? Did we just not do enough mushrooms before playing this game?