How the story begins: Parkour expert Faith returns to her message delivery job for the underground resistance, but quickly gets wrapped up in clearing her sister's name in a high-profile murder. Along the way, a web of intrigue and danger is revealed as she tries to take down the Fascist city government.
What the prequel would cover: The whole story of Faith and Mirror's Edge comes packed with history worth exploring. How did Faith join her group of freestyle runners? What was this injury she had that was alluded to in the tutorial? How'd her relationship with the shifty Jackknife go sour? And just think of the drama as she has to dodge the police while doing her job, and one of the cops is her sister. There's tons to cover.
But our biggest reason for wanting a prequel to Mirror's Edge, as opposed to a sequel, is the game that takes place beforehand can have what we thought we were getting in the first game: missions involving her delivering stuff. We liked the simplicity of going as fast as possible from point A to B, but found the dramatic reasons for running there pretty unimportant. Maybe the prequel could just give us complex deliveries featuring multiple runners (co-op?) instead of Faith searching empty buildings for clues.
How the story begins: Your plane crashes into the frigid Atlantic Ocean and you are the sole survivor. Fortunately, there’s an island and working lighthouse within swimming distance. Hey, you’re gonna be okay! Unfortunately, the lighthouse leads to a dilapidated underwater hellhole inhabited by murderous, mutated freaks and ego-driven, philosophy-driveling psychopaths... the latter of which seem to know an awfully disturbing amount about you. Oh well, can’t win ‘em all!
What the prequel would cover: Rapture wasn’t always a hellhole. As anyone who’s played the original BioShock knows, the city was once a utopia populated by some of the globe’s best and brightest individuals. It’s only located in the murky depths of the sea to avoid oppressive scrutiny; the citizens are only insane and mutilated because they tried too hard to improve themselves with science. In hindsight, of course, Rapture was always doomed. If you had lived there during its heyday, however – through the glamorous parties and exciting technological breakthroughs – would you really have questioned?
That’s when this prequel should take place: right at the cusp, the turning point, between thriving metropolis and tattered ghost town. BioShock 2 is promising to take us to that moment in the multiplayer, but it’s hard to imagine getting a meaty narrative experience out of a random deathmatch, no matter how cool the maps look. When everything starts to fall apart in Rapture, we want to be in the middle, struggling to make sense of it all. When people start going crazy, we want to have a sense of their personalities already, to view them as tragedies and not boogey men. And when the dream seems altogether lost, we want to escape Rapture in a complete storm of chaos.
How the story begins: A trio of pretty-haired pre-teens sit around on a beach, sewing zippers to their clothing and dreaming of worlds outside their own. Sigh… if only some sort of inciting incident could occur that would immediately justify this foreshadowing and fulfill their generic dreams of intrigue, adventure and excitement! Oh yeah, then a portal opens and a bunch of Disney and Final Fantasy characters show up.
What the prequel would cover: Yes, yes, we know that the upcoming Birth by Sleep for PSP is a prequel to the first Kingdom Hearts. Please read on before you write angry missives in the comments section below. That’s not the kind of prequel we’re interested in.
As much as we adore the idea of mixing Final Fantasy characters with Disney characters, we’re not sure how much longer designer Tetsuya Nomura can keep the balancing act up. Already, the plot is dizzyingly confusing and characters often seem awkwardly wedged into the plotline. We want a third game in the main series, but we’re also scared of that game. What if this oh-so-delicate house of cards completely tumbles?
Here’s our preferred solution. Get rid of one of the universes. Stop trying to deliver everything to everyone and, instead, focus solely on the characters and storylines that are unique to Kingdom Hearts. Square’s already got plenty of other games starring pretty-haired protagonists with fancy clothes and delicate emotions... why not make a straight-up Disney RPG with Disney characters alone?
We’re guessing this would be best accomplished with a KOTOR-style prequel, one that goes back thousands of years, to a time when Final Fantasy legends weren’t next-door neighbors with their cartoon counterparts. If such a time never existed according to the canon, change the canon... it’s so convoluted that no one will notice, anyway.