6 Video Games That Accidentally Make You The Bad Guy
One advantage video games have over movies and books is that they are the only medium where you actually feel like you're walking in the shoes of the protagonist -- a good game will convince you that's really you galloping across meadows, exploring futuristic cities, having sex with pigeons, etc.
Or, you know, just being a colossal dick for no reason.
Batman: Arkham City Has You Beat A Pregnant Woman (And Implies You Caused A Miscarriage?)
The Arkham games are based entirely around controlling Batman and his friends and beating the everloving shit out of waves of flamboyant bad guys. This is why we love them. So it makes perfect sense that when you encounter the Joker's personal cheerleader, Harley Quinn, she's going to get the same treatment. She's in the middle of trying to kill you and everything you love, after all:
"You have the right to remain ... silent!" *WHAPP*
But there's just one little thing -- a very little thing.
See, the Arkham games are full of crazy Easter eggs for amateur sleuths to find, like the secret room in Arkham Asylum or the entire secret city in Arkham City. The latter game also has a hidden room of its own, though: one belonging to Quinn. Some quick snooping reveals a positive pregnancy test on the floor, implying that the Clown Prince of Crime does not put a glove on it.
"Not the Plan B I had in mind for tonight."
If Batman discovers this happy little accident, Quinn can be heard singing "Hush, Little Baby" during the end credits, clearly directed at the future juggalo growing inside of her. However, the fans' rabid speculation about the Joker/Harley baby was cut short when Rocksteady added another Easter egg to the "Harley Quinn's Revenge" DLC, which is set after the main story. If Bats returns to the room, he finds a slew of negative pregnancy tests, leading him to deduct that Quinn was crazy and desperately believed a false positive.
Uh, really, world's greatest detective? That's your deduction? Let's go over the chain of events again:
Thrown into a wall by a dickhead in a bat costume.
Let's save the batteries of the detective mode goggles and just go straight to habeas corpus on this one. Rocksteady really did not do themselves any favors by having the only in-game interaction with Quinn force the player into giving her the ol' Clark Gable special. Even worse, for this new, athletic version of Quinn, she sure seems to get the wind knocked out of her after one quick judo throw -- almost like she hurt something really bad belly-flopping on the ground like that.
"I'm not mean! Anyway, check out that ledge over there ..."
Usually we'd admit that the developers probably never intended to include this interpretation, but since this is Rocksteady we're talking about, everything's possible. Either way, this means no Batman: Arkham Babies sequel, which is the real tragedy here.
The Elder Scrolls Turns You Into A Slave Trader
RPG games such as The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind allow us to do fantastic things we can only dream about in real life. Become a mighty warrior! Meet magical creatures! Buy and sell slaves! Huh? What do you mean, you've never fantasized of doing that last one?
"Come in, we just got a fresh shipment of furries today."
Becoming a slave trader isn't optional in this game -- which is weird, because pretty much everything else is. One mission of the main quest has you trying to convince a tribal war chief to back your claim as the chosen one who can save the world. In return, he demands a little "gift": He wants you to arrange a marriage between him and a high noble, who has to be "pretty," "plump," and have "big hips to bring me many sons." Unfortunately, the local wedding planner says that's pretty much impossible, because look at this guy:
"How about I get you a really nice muffin basket?"
Her solution? Just buy a slave, dress her up like she's people, and pass her off as noble. So, that's exactly what you do. P.S.: Holy shit, you suck.
At this point you travel to Telvanni, the Tennessee of high fantasy, and find an accommodating slaver who agrees to sell you a dark elf. You even get the chance to haggle over how much her life is worth, because you didn't pour 20 points into your mercantile skill to not get a discount on human rights violations.
We're pretty sure we read this on a pamphlet with a Dixie flag printed on the back.
The game tries to soften the blow by having the slave be grateful for you getting her out of the frying pan, but you're still sending her to have sex with a repugnant, low-budget, Avatar cosplay-looking motherfucker. But still, be sure to pat yourself on the back for having given this sentient bit of real estate a decent life until Mr. Warlord's seven-year itch kicks in. Or until he finds out she lied about being a noble and kills her -- whichever happens first.
Star Trek Online Makes You Kill Innocent Doctors, Then Cover It Up
In Star Trek Online, you join the legendary ranks of Captain Kirk, Captain Picard, and, you know, all those other captains everyone definitely remembers. Pretty much the only Star Trek staple you don't get to experience in this game is sleeping with any green alien hotties, but don't worry: The developers made up for that by adding a mission where you screw with the very concept of justice in the universe.
In one mission, the player is tasked with aiding an admiral in attacking a Romulan weapons factory developing banned weaponry. So you suit up, beam down, and start lasering people like it's bikini season ... until it becomes painfully clear that you're not in a terrorist base, but in fact are giving a medical research facility and its dutiful staff the Waco treatment.
"Maybe they're evil tissue regenerators?"
And then you ... apologize profusely? Turn around and shoot the admiral in the face? Nope: The only thing you can do is to keep offing doctors and scientists who are now just fighting back out of sheer desperation. You're like the Ender of the Star Trek universe, but at least that kid had the excuse of being a brainwashed child. You're just really, really dumb.
Romulan doctor #13 died doing what he loved most: delivering clunky exposition.
By the time your C.O. is revealed to be the warmongering doppelganger you should have figured out she would be seven massacres ago, she's already teleporting away. Then, before you can say "Nuremberg," Starfleet Command decides to keep the incident a secret until they can uncover the underlying conspiracy and send you on a grand adventure of intrigue, misdirection, and, eventually, redemption ... except that they don't. The developers never got around to making the rest of the storyline, leaving only its war crimes-tastic opening chapter. Which means that you, Commander BigD1ck of the USS ASS, simply massacred an entire hospital, let the villain escape, agreed to a black ops cover-up, and then went on with your life without giving it a second thought.
The "reward" is the inability to look your children in the eye ever again.
Fans were so distraught by the inevitable tarnish on their fictional military record that the game's modding community banded together to create fan-fiction missions that fix everything, but we assume they all eventually devolve into Kirk/Spock make-out sessions.
Mirror's Edge Makes The Nonviolent Protagonist Drop A Cop To His Death
There are lots of games that force you to single-handedly murder more police than have been killed by all of the real-world drug cartels combined. But the whole point of Mirror's Edge is that it takes a different approach. In it you control Faith, a woman dressed like she's in a commercial for yogurt that helps you poop, whose mission is to help liberate a dystopian police state using only the power of parkour.
Remember parkour? Neither do we.
Although in many ways this game is like a Mario Bros. movie directed by the Wachowskis, the idea is that Faith is much more of a pacifist than those remorseless goomba murderers -- both the storyline and the game's scoring system make it known that the correct way to play is as a noncop killer, since A) your mother got murdered during a protest for peace, B) your sister is a cop, meaning Faith realizes there are good police, and C) one of the game's biggest achievements revolves around avoiding lethal firearms altogether. Also, the developers made the gunplay so goddamn awful that it's clear they'd prefer you to not kill any enemies.
Oh, except for this one guy:
"We got a report about a distraught woman on the roof. Please, lady, there's so much to live fo-"
Midway through the game, as you're running from a gunship, a shotgun-wielding SWAT member will pop up and stand in your way. The 300 recreation above is how you have to deal with him. Dedicated players can get through the whole game without killing any regular officers who are just doing their job (by dodging them, disarming them, etc.), but no matter what you do or what version of the game you play ...
He spent like half an hour covering the ledge with tarp, but it didn't even slow him down.
... poor Rooftop Cop is still doomed to live through a million Hans Gruber deaths. Worst of all, it's implied that Faith gives herself kind of a pass on that one -- the player can still unlock the "pacifist" and "test of Faith" achievements, because the game only cares if you refrain from killing someone by using a gun. That's the kind of loophole that even Bruce "I won't kill you, but I don't have to save you" would call bullshit on.
But hey, at least that guy was menacing the hero with a shotgun. Compare that to ...
Ninja Gaiden 3 Forces You To Slice Up A Father Begging For His Life
Ninja Gaiden's protagonist Ryu Hayabusa has been scaling rooftops in pajamas and making players destroy controllers in fits of rage since 1988. Throughout his career, this brave, honorable ninja has banished evil deities, interdimensional invaders, and ... uh, some unarmed dude begging for his life.
"ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: Dude, what the hell?"
That scene happens early in Ninja Gaiden 3 (aka Ninja Gaiden 12 Or Something, Not Sure if you actually count all the games in the series), and no, you can't just press square to spare the dude's life -- you have to kill him in cold blood, because the developers want you to get your "hands dirty." While slashing up some mercenaries in London, one of your terrified enemies drops his gun, takes off his mask, and begs you to let him live. He even admits he's made some poor career choices that led him to this moment.
If you have the PS4's nose peripheral, you can actually smell his soiled undies.
Note that at this point in the game, the British prime minister and his family are being held hostage down the street from where you are, and there are still dozens other mercenaries (plus a giant robot spider) wrecking shit up out there. You'd think Hayabusa would knock this dude out as fast as possible and go on his way, but nope: Our beloved protagonist takes his sweet time intimidating the implausibly cockney man, who desperately explains that he's got a family.
"And I'm just trying to feed my demon sword. It's tough for everyone out there."
Admittedly, working for a magical terrorist who wants to destroy the world is kind of a dickish way to get money for baby formula, but what risk did this guy pose for Hayabusa? What does he get out of slicing him open, other than a murder boner and a potential new enemy/victim 20 years from now, when that kid grows up?
All this does is make it pretty hard to slog through the next five hours' worth of cutscenes where Hayabusa gets all high horsey with the evil villain while still rubbing specks of Dad out of his eyebrows.
The Final Fantasy Series Makes You Ruin The Lives Of Children
The protagonists of the Final Fantasy series are all noble protectors of varying degrees of blondness, each one unfairly tasked with saving the world while on a crash course in learning the power of friendship. They're also terrible, terrible people -- remember in Final Fantasy VII when your group blows up a huge power plant and the protagonist, Cloud Strife, never seems to give much of a shit about all the people who died there?
"And that hobo we ran over?" "Uh, also for the life of the planet. Yes."
But at least we're dealing with adults here: Final Fantasy Tactics Advance reveals that even the kids in these games can be little bastards. The game follows a group of extremely disadvantaged primary schoolchildren who accidentally use a magic book to turn their depressing reality (dead parents, crippling diseases, severe bullying) into another world where all their problems are fixed. For instance, one of the kids has a dead mother and a drunken father, but in this altered reality they're alive and a nondrunk Judgemaster (like a judge, but more badass), respectively. He's finally happy! So, naturally, it's your job to ruin this for him, and everyone else.
For basically no other reason than "I want to go home," the protagonist, a kid called Marche, goes on a quest to restore the world to the way it was -- knowing it will make life shittier for his friends. You're literally making a kid lose his mom all over again.
Lack of parental supervision leads to questionable decisions, like weird perms and forehead tattoos.
And, again, this isn't just a dream world or a shared psychosis (which seemed like the most likely explanation given how miserable these kids were); it's a real place, superimposed upon the old reality. Even after Marche realizes this beautiful paradise was made so that his friends could be freed from their horrible lives, he still continues to take an axe to this Narnia's door like he's in The Shining. Here's the biggest moment of self-awareness:
"Made some kids unhappy: 15000 XP."
Marche just brushes off that horrible realization and keeps on trucking. But Marche's biggest dick move is when he attempts to convince his ill, paraplegic brother to leave this magical world by telling him he'll still be able to walk when they go back home ...
"I too believe in magic. The magic of moral relativism."
... only for us to see at the end of the game that, nope, he's back to his old wheelchair, being wheeled over to the nearest console so he can play Final Fantasy. Holy shit, Square, if this whole thing was an elaborate advertisement for your games, you're sicker than we thought.
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