Coincidental Things in Gaming Narratives

Has anyone else ever noticed how coincidental some events in video games are?

I’ve recently been playing Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass and I just realized that it’s an awfully big coincidence that the exact weapon I need to defeat the temple boss is usually found inside that boss’s temple (usually guarded by the mini-boss).

I mean, what’s with that story-wise? I’m not saying it makes the Zelda games bad. Not at all. It’s a part of the game we’ve just become used to. In fact, we don’t really notice it most of the time.

My sister, Victoria, and I have recently found ourselves making fun of the latest instalment of the Sly Cooper series. For those of you who haven’t played it, the Sly series started on the PS2 and is about a gentleman thief and his gang on their various adventures to loot and take down criminal overlords. Also, everyone is an animal, with the main character being a raccoon. The PS2 entries lasted three games before another company asked to take up the series and make a fourth instalment.

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is the first PS3 entry for the series (barring re-releases). I found it a fantastically fun games; a lot of love was put into giving this new addition the spirit of the original trilogy. But my sister and I get a crack out of some of the narrative conveniences.

So, the Cooper Gang has this time machine, and in order to use it, they need to put in an item from the time period and location they want to travel. The first item they have to steal from a museum, which makes perfect sense.

From there, it gets a little silly. The item that gets them to the second time period is an old sheriff’s badge, dropped by one of the Big Bad’s goons. It makes it look like the Gang is being led on. We can sort of take that. The third time period is reached via an item thrown in due to desperation and it was an item seen in previous games. Okay.

Well, it sure was a coincidence that random item led them to a period where the bad guys had set up shop.

Then we reach The Grizz—a parody of family friendly rappers (ie he speaks in rhyme with a vaguely hip-hop beat) who happens to be a bear. After you beat him, his crown turns out to be the item you need to get you to the next time period: Medieval England.

Yes, the rapping bear from modern times was wearing a legit Medieval crown. Or, as my sister put it, “The Grizz doesn’t settle for just any old bling.”

And let’s not even get started about how the cop character snatched an ancient Arabian coin while trailing black market art dealers earlier in the game.

I love how ridiculous video games can get.

Categories: musings, This is my life, video games | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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