A perfectly executed, unexpected plot twist is one of the great pleasures of all entertainment, so it’s no surprise that video games have provided their share of plot twists over the years. That said, some games have twists that didn’t make everyone happy. Whatever their strengths or faults, all of the plot twists on this list are noteworthy for one reason or another.
It probably goes without saying, but spoilers lie ahead. If you haven’t played a game on this list and don’t want a plot point spoiled, don’t read the description.
“Samus is a woman?!” It’s easy to imagine that outburst erupting from the mouths of nearly every player who beat Metroid in the 1980s, before the protagonist’s identity was widely known. Throughout the whole game, players only knew Samus as a pixelated character clad in a unisex space suit. But after defeating Mother Brain, Samus stood victorious and removed her helmet to reveal her gender.
If putting a woman at the center of a space shooter seems like a pro-feminist statement, hold your horses. The game came with a few slightly different endings. Which one you saw depended on how quickly you beat the game. The faster you beat it, the more clothes Samus would remove at the end. If you entered a particular code and were fast enough to beat the game in under an hour, you were rewarded with a view of the pixelated warrior in boots and underwear.
In the ensuing decades, lots of games would be helmed by butt-kicking women, but Metroid was one of the first.