Many video games will have endings that reveal some sort of plot twist that may change your whole outlook on the game, the characters, or even yourself. The game could reveal an unexpected villain, the death of a likable character, or that some of the characters you communicated with weren't even real. Plot twists are a great way to take a story in a video game to the next level. Wherever they are used, they can either make or break a video game. Whether you love them or not, plot twists often make the story more interesting and sometimes even call into question everything you worked for in the game.
But what happens when the game actually gives you hints to a plot twist or an ending? Depending on the hints, it makes it that much more interesting for the gamer. It’s tricky to balance these hidden spoilers between being too obscure or too obvious. But for many of these games, if you’re paying close attention, you might figure out the big twist before it happens.
Here are 15 games that hid spoilers in the beginning that you might have missed.
In Bioshock, you play as a character named Jack who discovers an underwater city called Rapture. However, there are much darker things at play as you start tracking down Andrew Ryan, the game’s antagonist. The big reveal comes when you finally confront him and it’s revealed that you are his genetically engineered son, conditioned to respond to the phrase “Would you kindly.” This turns everything in the game on its head, making you question yourself and the whole premise.
You can actually find a hint to this twist fairly early in the game if you thoroughly explore Rapture. You find an audio file that gives some background to Andrew Ryan and talks about how he restricted the bathyspheres to only him and a few others, using a DNA identification system. And yet, you, Jack have access to the bathyspheres. This is a great hint that many players may have missed.
14 Life Is Strange
This episodic game has you playing as Maxine, a young girl who discovers she can rewind time. She uses this gift to uncover a string of murders around her school, the victims being other girls her age. The end of the game reveals the murderer to be Maxine’s photography teacher, Mark Jefferson, a man who was kidnapping young girls, taking creepy photos of them, and then killing them.
The killer more or less gives himself away at the very beginning of the game during the tutorial you go through. While you’re figuring out the game controls, the photography teacher is lecturing the class where he starts talking about how photography can be used to capture moments of desperation, while only looking at the female students. Later, you come to realize he was describing his MO. It’s a great hint, especially for a game that relies on you investigating and figuring out the mystery. The answers are all there; you just have to be paying attention.
13 Borderlands 2
Borderlands is a great game that follows a bunch of vault hunters (grave robbers) who receive mysterious instructions to find an alien artifact. Borderlands 2 has four new characters asking the main tomb raiders to help them hunt for this great artifact. After defeating a boss later in the game, Roland, one of the original characters is shockingly killed by the main villain.
His death is foreshadowed rather dramatically the first time you meet him and yet you may have missed it if you weren’t paying attention. When you first interact with Roland, you’ve broken into a jail cell to rescue him. If you look closely at the wall behind him, you’ll find writing on the wall stating, “YOU DIE.” It’s a great way to foreshadow a character’s death without being super obvious about it.
12 Dead Space
Dead Space has you playing as Isaac Clarke as he navigates a ship taken over by Necromorphs, trying to rescue his girlfriend Nicole. Throughout the game, you believe that Nicole is alive, but the big twist comes at the end when it’s revealed that Nicole has been dead the whole time, and you communicating with her was the result of hallucinations brought on by the ship’s Marker.
While you can likely guess that Nicole is dead, the game gives a fairly subtle hint at the very beginning of the game by looking at the title page. If you take the first letter of each chapter, it spells out NICOLEISDEAD, which is the big plot twist at the end. It’s a sneaky way to introduce a spoiler at the very beginning.
11 Call Of Duty: Black Ops
This game has you working with your friend and companion, a man named Victor Reznov as you navigate the game. As time goes on, it is revealed that Reznov is dead, meaning that your conversations and any interaction you had with him was a hallucination.
The game gives a few hints that Reznov isn’t real throughout the game, one being that you’re the only one to talk to him and your conversations leave others looking confused. However, the biggest and sneakiest spoiler follows a format similar to Dead Space. If you pay attention to the title of the mission description, the first letter of each word after the 'Designate' spells out XREZNOVXXISDEDX. A subtle hint, but one that clearly gives away the ending of the game!
10 Portal 2
Portal 2 brought some great revelations about this game’s world, including one big twist. As you come to learn more about Aperture Science, you learn about the founder, Cave Johnson, and his assistant, Caroline. You eventually discover that GLADOS’s personality was heavily based off Caroline, an interesting and rather emotional twist.
You can find out about this twist early on in the game. As you walk along an assembly line of defective sentry bots, one starts talking to you, claiming it's different. If you choose to interact with it, it spouts a lot of random words and phrases, but one sentence is “Her name is Caroline.” At the time, it sounds like more gibberish, but it ends up being a bit of a spoiler for the great reveal of GLADOS’ origin.
9 Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII brought us the tragic death of Aeris, who was killed by Sephiroth towards the end of the game. Many fans shed a tear over this emotionally powerful scene as you held a dying Aeris in your arms. There are even some fans who still believe she didn't actually die and can be found in the game, but they seem to be holding on a little too hard,
What you may not know is that Aeris’ death is hinted at early on in the game when you get your fortune told. When you talk to the character Cait Sith, asking him where you can find Sephiroth, he tells your fortune. The fortune says that what you pursue will be yours, but you will lose something dear. While it's a fairly cryptic message, you're given a hint to Aeris’s death.
8 Red Dead Redemption
This game ends in profound tragedy. The character you play as, John Marston, is a reformed outlaw trying to live a normal life. The game revolves around Marston taking out people from the government sent to arrest/kill him. Just when you think John Marston gets away and gets to go back to living on the farm with his family, he is cornered by several people from the government and is killed.
However, did you know that there was a hint to John Marston’s death? A strange man in a black hat interacts with you a few times throughout the game. During one of those times, he comments that the spot he’s standing on is a beautiful spot. This is the same spot where Marston is eventually buried.
7 Spec Ops: The Line
Besides having some pretty brutal, violent scenes and portraying some heinous war crimes perpetrated by the main character, Spec Ops: The Line also gives a great twist at the end of the game. It turns out that Konrad, the main bad guy you’ve been pursuing, has been dead for a long time, and everything you’ve done is the result of your own hallucinations. This is a fairly popular plot twist, but it’s also an effective one. Having someone you’ve been pursuing not actually be real calls into question every action you’ve taken as the protagonist.
The game shows hints throughout the story that the protagonist is slowly going insane, showing bodies that his comrades can’t see and the fact that the antagonist's face is plastered everywhere. These hints tell you that something isn’t right, staring at you in the face in an obvious and yet masterfully subtle way.
6 Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
This game brought a very controversial plot twist that many gamers didn’t like. Throughout the game, you play as Snake, but it’s revealed in the end that you actually weren’t Snake, but a medic that was surgically changed to look like Snake.
Several hints are given throughout the game about this twist. Many characters that you know don’t seem to recognize you at first. A computer AI flat out states that you are not Snake. However, the biggest hint is actually the environment. If you go near the glass in your helicopter at night and rotate the camera angle, you’ll see your reflection. The reflection is not Snake, but the “real” you, the character you created and customized at the beginning.
5 Batman: Arkham Knight
For many players, the mystery of the game was who was the man behind the Arkham Knight. It’s eventually revealed to be Jason Todd, the former Robin. It’s a great twist, showing Jason’s character and his interesting, yet dysfunctional relationship with Batman.
This twist can be guessed from the first line the Arkham Knight gives to Batman. The Arkham Knight’s opening line is “You’re dead, old man!” To the average player, this may seem like a generic line, but to Batman fans, it’s an obvious link to Jason Todd, who often called Bruce “old man.” It’s a fairly obvious hint to those who are more familiar with the Batman universe, but may fly over the heads of those who aren't.
4 Shadow Of The Colossus
The premise of the game has you hunting down giant creatures as part of a deal to bring the girl you love back to life. However, you eventually end up becoming the villain that releases a powerful demon on the world, which then takes over you. Essentially, you become the monsters you have killed.
There are many hints throughout the game that show you are becoming the villain. The being that you’re making a deal with is rather suspicious and has a somewhat demonic presence. And as you progress through the game, you start changing, your skin becoming more mottled and less human. But the biggest hint is in the music score. Whenever you successfully kill a colossus, the music, instead of celebrating your achievement, is mournful. It shows that not all is right with this scenario and has you questioning your actions throughout the entire game.
3 Persona 3
Persona 3 has you playing as a silent protagonist: a male high school student. Throughout the game, you fight beasts called Shadows with your ability to summon a Persona, a weapon that’s like a second soul. You and other students that can summon Personas work towards preventing a being called Nyx from destroying the world. The twist is that the protagonists ends up giving his life at the end, sealing away humanity’s despair which summoned Nyx, while saving the world.
This twist at the end can actually be guessed at the very beginning. The opening to the game shows text saying, “Remember you are mortal,” and “Memento Mori.” It’s a very subtle hint that suggests your character, the protagonist, will die.
2 Batman: Arkham City
The big plot twist in Arkham City is that the Joker you interact with throughout most of the game isn’t actually Joker, but Clayface acting as him by Joker’s request. When you first come across Joker, he is sickly and dying. When you find him again, he’s much healthier and seemingly cured. But it’s revealed that this healthy Joker is actually Clayface.
You can figure this plot twist out very early in the game. If you turn on your detective vision and look at the Clayface Joker, you’ll find that he has no skeleton, showing that there’s something suspicious about this healthy Joker. It’s a pretty big hint, but you can easily miss it if you’re not paying close attention.
1 Chrono Trigger
Chrono Trigger is a story about time travel, magic, and defending the world from an unimaginable evil. One of the big plot reveals happens when you travel to the distant future and discover that the earth is now a giant wasteland and what’s left of humanity barely clings to life. As you look at records, you find that most life on earth was destroyed by powerful being called Lavos. The rest of the game is spent traveling back and forth through time, building up allies and strength to stop Lavos before it can destroy the world.
You can get the hint of these events to come in the opening to the game. In part of the opening, it shows the destruction of the world by Lavos, hinting that this is what you are trying to prevent.