90. Stealth Sequences
If it's not a stealth game, you can be sure there will be stealth sequences somewhere. Whether you are Ryu from Breath of Fire sneaking into the house of a rich nobleman, or Bahamut from Hard Corps: Uprising sneaking in to a science lab, game developers like to put sneaking sequences into games where no sneaking should be required. What's worse is that these sequences generally serve as roadblocks when you could have done just as well by shooting all of your enemies in the face.
89. Anything Abandoned
Here is a video game rule of thumb: If someone ever asks you to go to "an abandoned house" or "an abandoned hospital" or "an abandoned space-station," chances are it isn't really abandoned. Open the door and you will stumble upon zombies. Or maybe you'll stumble upon a cult that is trying to drag the world to hell. Or better yet, maybe you'll stumble upon a secret lab that is trying to breed mutant super soldiers. No matter what, the word "abandoned" pretty much guarentees you're going to stumble upon something once you open that door.
Side note: The more innocent the place seems, the more evil the place really is. "An abandoned church" is basically synonymous with "Satan's summer home." You aren't fooling anyone.
88. Morality Systems
At some point, a designer must have asked himself, "What if I don't want to be the hero? What if I want to go around murdering everyone around me?" Thus the morality system was born. Now, pretty much every modern day action game or RPG has one. It started with simple decisions before the end boss that lead you to a good or bad ending. Now, entire games have you choosing whether or not you want to be Hitler or Mother Theresa.
87. Advanced Ancient Civilizations
Have you ever noticed that scientific progress always seems to work backward in video games? There always seems to be some sort of ancient civilization that was way more advanced than we ever will be, and whose technology still seems to work to this day for some reason. It all started with places like Zeal from Chrono Trigger, but even to this day we are finding ancient relics of civilizations long past in games such as Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and Borderlands.
86. Being Manipulated by Evil
You know that guy with the long silver hair that loves to talk in long dramatic monologues and has a penchant for saying "Muahahaha" at the end of every sentence? Chances are, he's evil. So when you get that mission from him to slaughter an innocent village "for the greater good," maybe you should think twice. Some protagonists realize they are being played quickly, like Cecil from Final Fantasy IV, but others, like Ark from Terranigma, keep doing the bad guy's dirty work right up until the end of the game.
Honestly, when your employer walks around in jet black armor and wields a sword that screams with the torment of a thousand lost souls, you're probably working for the bad guy. I guess maybe they just had really good health insurance plans?
85. Difference Equals Importance
You walk into a small village with six houses that all look the same. There are maybe fifteen, twenty people there, tops. Everyone is dressed in the same brownish green clothes, walking around the same paths and saying the same one sentence over and over again. All except for one guy who's dressed in bright red armor with spiky hair and a sword as big as his body hanging out at the tavern. Who are you going to talk to? Right.
84. Convenient Item Acquisition
Do you remember that tiny pendant you got from your mom at the beginning of the game that you had no use for up until now? It's probably the key to defeating an ancient evil that everyone forgot about. That basic weapon you had long since stopped using? It's probably the final boss's weakness. Heck, even Phoenix Wright had to use his seemingly useless lawyer's badge as evidence in one of his final cases. No matter what baddie you are going up against, you probably have had the key to defeating them all along. In Kratos' case, it was hope, and action gamers everywhere groaned in unison.
83. Years With X in Their Date
Man, the year 200X was great! There were alien invasions and robot massacres and we all lived in pod societies. Of course, now it's 2011, so I must have slept through that year. Not to worry, 20XX is going to be even more awesome, with lifelike humanoid robots fighting wars against each other. It's so much cooler than 199X, when that kid in a baseball cap saved us from some primordial ancient alien evil.
Antiheroes aren't just cool, they are a rule. For every hero, there is a more awesome, more badass version with an edgier fighting style and a darker past. Mega Man X had Zero, the reploid who was built by Dr. Wily to be the progenitor of a horrible mind-controlling virus. Sonic had Shadow, a hedgehog who was actually made to be a clone of an alien lifeform who controls time and space. Mario had Wario… OK, Wario is a pretty bad example. The point is that bad is good at this point. I mean, just look at Kratos.
81. Multi-Form Final Bosses
You have traveled across worlds to fight your rival. Once you finally defeat him, he powers up and takes on a new armored form. When you beat him again he takes on the form of a giant monster, and then when you beat him again he becomes some sort of weird angel, and then when you beat him again he becomes some weird Lovecraftian monster, and when you beat him again you turn the game off in disgust because this has gotten absurd. Some games take the multi-form final boss way too far. I swear I beat the final boss of Kingdom Hearts like seven times before he finally went down. Enough is enough!
By Angelo M. D'Argenio
CCC Contributing Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*