It took almost THIRTY YEARS to tell this story and now that it's over....the only word to describe this story is: MESS. It's a big mess....but as far as video games go, is it the King of the Konvoluted? Is it the most asinine story ever told in video games?
We're gonna look at three video game scripts that can be regarded as the most convoluted nonsense of all time and then we'll see if Metal Gear is really the King of Konvulution.
Notes before we Start
1. I read a lot of material and am always interested in text heavy business. A lot of video games are some of the most text-heavy things I've ever dealt with. A lot of games over the years are pretty epic stories that are basically like 30 hour movies or books. This article is more about writing than anything else and focuses on story telling...it is about video games but NOT the gameplay of the video games but the story telling of them. Like, Metal Gear on PS1 is probably one of the greatest games ever game-play wise....I'm not looking at that....I'm just talking about stories of the games and the stories being bad....but not the games themselves.
2. I haven't had a console since PlayStation 2...so I mean...I haven't dealt with games since like the early 2000s....I'm sure there's been stupider stories in video games in the last decade but I wouldn't really know or be able to comment on that. These following three entries are mainly from the 90s and early 2000s....I don't know much about the last dozen years of video games so I can't comment.
Convoluted and Asinine Stories. Which was the Worstest?
Probably gonna have a lot of spoilers in here, I dunno though, I might just call it bad in a variety of ways....I don't even know how to wrap my head around some of these stories let alone write about them.
1. Metal Gear: The Entire Series
I don't even wanna get into this story....like, where the hell do you even start? The twist and turns this story has taken over the last 25 years have ranged from nonsensical to needless to pointless to un-necessary.
Explaining this story to someone is just not possible. It is not possible to explain it because it doesn't make any sense at all. The Big Boss character, The Ocelot character, every other fucking character...none of what they do seems based on any sort of concrete logic. It's like these people just do the wackiest crap yet there's 5 hours of cut scenes to try and explain why they're doing this downright NONSENSE for.
If I went back in time and played every Metal Gear game from NES to MSX to PS1 to PS2 to Now...I would honestly skip every cut scene that didn't have a chick in a bikini top in it. Paying attention to the motives behind these characters that you're engaging with in this game is simply not worth your time.
Take Ocelot....what are the motives behind what he does? Why is he doing what he does? There's cut scenes to try and explain it but it makes no sense. You had a cool character who was like an Old West Gunslinger....just fucking stick with that. He was cool from his first appearance. Try and read the Wikia Page which explains what this old gunslinger has done in this series over the last 25 years (Here). Yeah, if you read through that wikia article....that's where they took this character, this pretty cool looking gunslinger, if you read that billion word Wikia page explaining what this character has done in this series....first of all DON'T waste your time doing that....don't read that article....all you'll have is a headache after....that's all.
So Ocelot hypnotized himself to believe he had the brain of the man who's arm he replaced his amputated arm with? Why did he hypnotize himself into thinking he was this person? Was there any conceivable reason as to why? No. Not at all. Nothing this character does makes even A LICK of sense. Ever. The motives behind what this character does is far fetched to the point where you just play these through these stories to laugh at them.
So Big Boss, the villain from the first two games and who you get to play as in one of the PS2 games...let me get this straight now....never mind....I don't want to get this straight. The new plot twist in the Big Boss character in the new game is simply one of the dumbest things I've seen anyone do in a story before. If you play to the ending in Metal Gear V, you'll be treated to what is likely the dumbest ending in any story that's ever been told. If you think the pointless twists in Night Shamalan movies are out of nowhere...the ending of MGV is out of further than nowhere...it's out of whole cloth. The escape from the hospital part and that motor cycle scene has got to be the dumbest thing I've seen on a screen in long time. Pointless, needless nonsense. Pointless needless nonsense to the utmost degree.
I have a feeling the maker of these games is getting sick of them and is just purposely making dumb stories on purpose. No one trying to do a good job would sit down and think up something like that.
I wonder if the story team has an editor or something like that. I bet it's like there's an editor who goes back and reads these scripts and says things like.....
"Wait, this makes too much sense this part....can you try and throw some pointless nonsensical crap in here? Maybe some random silliness or some dumb shit just so it's not so plausible? This is making too much easy-to-follow sense in this section you have to fix that. Pronto."
"This character is pretty normal...can you like make them retarded? Maybe this character can graft another character's arm onto his stump and then somehow hypnotize himself to believe he's that other character for no apparent reason? Can we change it to that? Okay, great, thanks. What? Of course he can hypnotize himself....he's a master interrogator...everyone knows interrogator's can self-hypnotize themselves!"
"Hmmmm....what if Big Boss was actually a generic soldier dude from some dumb helicopter...that way we can clean up a plot hole from 1988 where Big Boss came back from the dead? Remember in one of those games back in the 80s? Big Boss was like a big robot at the end of the game or something? He was supposed to be dead but we forgot about that....so how about we fix that plot hole from 30 years ago by making Big Boss actually just some random guy on a helicopter that was in one of the other games? That makes sense, no?"
This game didn't need a Bizarro-Editor it needed an Editor-Editor.
Okie Dokie so.....From what I've ingested from this series over the last three decades...I've narrowed it down to this.......Big Boss is either:
A) Sean Connery
B) A Gigantic Purple Robot
C) A Pretty Cool Looking Guy Solid Snake was Cloned From
D) Some Random Person who very Briefly Spoke to You on a Helicopter
One of those four people/robots is Big Boss. I guess in the end, now that Metal Gear is sown up shut after almost 30 years....it is now up to us to decide which of these four we want to be Big Boss. For me it's between Snake Eater and the Gigantic Purple Robot and my heart is telling me Big Boss is the Gigantic Purple Robot.
Wow. It's hard to understand the Big Boss character when you can't even narrow down WHAT he his let alone who he is.
2. Final Fantasy 8
I have a brain-ache just thinking about Metal Gear....but the thesis was to throw down 3 of the silliest stories in video games and decide whether Metal Gear is in fact the silliest of all time. Next on the list is the horrendous story from the hit 90s game...Final Fantasy 8.
I used to really like these Final Fantasy games. The one where you run around as Cecil, Yang, Edge, Rose, Rydia, Cid, and that Spoony Bard was a fucking GOOD game...the one where you suplex trains with Sabin, and whip shurikens with Shadow and Quadra Slice monsters and go super-saiyan with Terra....that game was AMAZING. The one where Mr. T and a chain smokin' guy who swears and a hot chick have to run around....that one was fucking AWESOME.
Then came Final Fantasy 8...the biggest stupidest mess. This game turned me off to the series big time and with good reason. The story telling is downright atrocious. You could see it starting in the previous Seventh installment though too....like that scene where Cloud tells you what happened with Seph-a-Fool in that spooky mansion and reactor. Also there's a part where you have to go through Cloud's Magicant mind with Tifa and it just WON'T END! ARRRGH. You're in his dumb emo-mind for like a fucking hour! Those two story telling scenes in Seven were very hard to get through. Forget beating Emerald Weapon, forget beating Ruby...the hardest part of FF7 was listening to that emo-jerkoff Cloud tell stories.
I remember there was an option in one of those story scenes in FF7 where Barret was all like, "yo, fool...I pity this story let's get outta here!" and then an option variable comes up for you. You think you can skip the story by agreeing with Barret there...BUT NOOOOO...Barret leaves but everyone else STAYS and the fucking stupid story continues. Why couldn't I run away from the story like Barret did?
Fuck. Anyways...Final Fantasy 7, despite two awful emo story scenes, was still a SICK-AS-FUCK good video game.
But Final Fantasy 8? No way Jose. The emo seeds that were planted in 7 blossomed in 8....with a lead character so un-likeable that even Sabin suplexing him on his head 5000 times wouldn't wake this jabroni up out of his emo coma. Not just the lead but NO CHARACTER is likeable in this shitty game.
|Remember 8 years ago in grade school? OH YA!|
After 20 hours of game play of these horrible little teens being around each other....they all just collectively seem to have remembered that they all knew each other in not just their Muppet years but in their Muppet-Baby years too? They all grew up in the same orphanage except they all just conveniently forget...until....they all feel like collectively remembering and reminiscing for 20 full minutes at the player's expense?
That's All Star level writing stupidity. In all stories ever told that moment in FF8 is very likely the dumbest thing ever done in story telling. It has to be. Fuck. How in post editing could someone have not stepped up and said..."Hey story team....you know this is fucking retarded as shit, right?"
That happens about mid-game and it's all down hill from there. These teens in FF8 are the most unlikeable, ill-conceived, and downright stupid characters in any video game....ever.
Two of these characters then have the NERVE to fall in love and engage in extended romantic scenes including one vomit-inducer where they float through space together but with only one air supply for the both of them. Aaaaaaaw, how romantic!
Shutup, Air Supply. Just shut the fuck up, Air Supply.
You gotta watch these bozos float "romantically" through space for like 10 minutes....and all you really want to do in this game is DUEL-glitch some gremlins and shit and drop some Ifrits on some goblins.
Final Fantasy 8 sucks. It was a very very bad game.
3. Chrono Cross
Final entry coming up here! It's the sequel to one of the fucking greatest video games EVER... I'm talking about Chrono Trigger! Ya!
Back in 19-whatever-dee-7 everyone was flipping out over a sequel to Chrono Trigger...the most beautiful game. Everyone was flippin' out....and what did we get? Chrono Cross...the biggest fucking mess of a thing you've ever even seen!
Look, this is only covering Story and nothing else. Like with Metal Gear who had amazing gameplay but a bad story....Chrono Cross had pretty cool graphics and really good music....but an awful story.
Man the music in this game was fucking good. Very relaxing-ass music, for sure. The story though? It's a big big big big MESS.
It's a BIG MESS. It's really MESSED UP.
Like, Metal Gear, I don't even know where to start with why it's a mess....it's like Jello....I can't even mentally grab on to something to start with and get going with this mess of a jello of a story.
First off, all the beloved characters from the greatest game Chrono Trigger? Dead. They all died. How? Some un-interesting half-cat half-man Cat-Man killed them all before the story even starts. They're dead. I think only the robot from Trigger wasn't killed by Cat-Man...I think he died by turning himself into a virus or something and tried to poison time. I don't know. I actually really don't know...this game makes no sense.
To help it make less sense...there's like 300 characters....most of them playable characters....yet the backstory applied to these 300 characters is minimal to non-existent. Most serve no purpose to the story...they're just there.....in your party....and you don't even know why. At least straw voodoo man, the fungus man, and the mexican wrestler guy look pretty cool....but I have no idea what purpose they serve to the story at all.
If telling you all the old characters from Trigger are dead (as an aside mid-game), and then replacing them with 300 pointless characters wasn't enough to make you wonder where the fuck they're going with this sequel....they throw something else to make it even whackier.....they make you play in two worlds...each identical to each other....one dimension where you do exist and one where you don't...and you got to back and forth through these two worlds trying to remember what's different in these two identical worlds. They did this gimmick in Dragon Quest 6 too....and it wasn't a good gimmick then either.
Just trying to remember this game is confusing. It's so fucking dumb. Playing it was even more confusing. They try and help you out and explain the story to you at one point in the game...using ghosts from Chrono Trigger....and it really feels like the writer is trying to tell the reader something along the lines of....
"Ya Player, I know this game is retarded and makes no sense and....um....well....uh....you remember that Flame thing from the castle part in the world where you don't exist? It was ummmm....it has to do with a Spanish guy named Miguel and Miguel is like a bad guy I think....and......uhhhh....I don't remember what I wrote but...here, wait a sec Player....I'll put some ghost children versions of characters that I killed off to explain it to you....okay? You understand now? Great, let's keep going!"
|These Ghost-Kids of killed off Characters will help explain!|
Like Metal Gear going back to fill plot holes that make no sense...Squaresoft re-released Chrono Trigger on the PS1 after Cross was released and they tried to sew up the holes in Cross by adding a silly CG movie to the re-release of Trigger. Seems that little back-water village with five buildings from Trigger becomes a super-army nation in like 2 years...and that town literally murders everyone in Guardia is what the cut scene suggested....and ya, it makes no sense. It's like trying to fix a pot hole in the road by dumping shampoo in it instead of cement. Trying to fix Cross's plot holes is not something ANYONE should attempt doing....there's no way to fix those....there's nothing you can do to fix that because it's fucking nonsense....total nonsense.
Chrono Cross's story was a new level of Mess.....I don't think anything can approach how convoluted this game's story was.
Is Metal Gear the most convoluted and downright stupid video game story ever unraveled? Hmmmmm........no, it's not.
Metal Gear is a special kind of silly that, at times, I think Kojima did on purpose. I think he may have been influenced by Takeshi Kitano and Shigesato Itoi....and similar to them....he tried to be annoying and over-the-top on purpose in these games.
Compared to games like Final Fantasy 8, and Chrono Cross...there's no way Metal Gear is the most convoluted and silly story ever told. So it's between Eight and Cross....and....Eight is just plain bad...like awful stupid and bad.....but Cross? Cross is legit convoluted as fuck. I don't even think that Masato Kato himself really even knew what the heck he was writing...he just kept going and going hoping the nonsense would just string together somehow.
All things considered...out of games I've played (there's probably hundreds of dumb stories in games I haven't played by-the-way)...Chrono Cross is the most Needlessly Convuluted Video Game Story of All Time!
Look, Hideo Kojima, and Metal Gear staff. Let's be serious for moment....Metal Gear has provided a lot of people with S++ caliber entertainment for almost 30 years. Even if the story telling in Metal Gear is Top 3 most convoluted of all time....this series may still very likely be the greatest ever in the entire history of video games. The Metal Gear Solid on PS1 is very likely the greatest game of all time....all things considered. The staff and people responsible for the Metal Gear series should be very proud of themselves for the close to 30 years of entertainment they've created.