The Top 7... gut-wrenching choices

The choice: The plots of most role-playing games can be boiled down to fewer than ten words: “pretty boy meets pretty girl; has adventure with same.” But what to do when there’s two pretty girls and the RPG forces you to choose allegiance between them?!

The paralyzing thought process: If you’re a fan of the Ar tonelico series, the answer is, apparently: agonize for hours or days, maintain a complicated library of PS2 saves, fill entire message boards with your rambling indecision and draw lots and lots of fan art.

Who can blame them? The game was specifically designed to prey on moe, the Japanese slang for love / fetishism of cute anime characters. The most attractive and appealing women in Ar tonelico II grow stronger through “diving,” a mechanic in which the hero unlocks their psyche and bonds with their secret subconscious. Kinky. No wonder players have such a hard time deciding which lady’s “Cosmosphere” to “bond” with fully.

Below: Just a single sampling from a single forum. And yes, that’s official artwork on the right

The aftermath: We kinda forgot to mention the specifics for this entry, but no matter. Cloche and Luca end up being sisters, a third girl (Jacqli) ends up stealing the show and true devotees of the series end up going through the game again and again anyway.

The choice: No need to explain here. You already understand the meaning and consequences of this decision. If you’re truly any kind of geek or gamer, in fact, you were probably born with that understanding. Good versus evil. Willpower versus temptation. Sith versus Jedi. Blue saber versus red saber. This stuff is in our pop culture DNA.

The paralyzing thought process: If we know the choice is coming, then, why does almost every Star Wars game – from shooters to RPGs to platformers to goddamn chess – still seize our brains with catatonic indecision? The two sides of the Force couldn’t be more different. Followers of the Light can heal, persuade and levitate. They live in shiny bright temples on bustling glittering planets. They hang out with Wookiees, droids and Ewoks, and usually end up with the girl.

Converts to the Dark, though, can choke, crush and blast lightning. They get to take over the shiny temples and glittering planets. They get to enslave the Wookiees, droids and Ewoks, and while they don’t usually end up with the girl, they can always kidnap her from the goody-two-shoe Jedi and dress her up in a nice gold bikini.

The aftermath: What aftermath? Whether the Star Wars game in question changes the whole storyline based on your decision, or simply flips the ending cutscene, you know you’ll restart and play both sides of the Force anyway. It’s in your DNA.


Top 7


  • EwoksTasteLikeChicken - April 21, 2011 11:24 a.m.

    What about Mass Effect? I chose to save Ashley instead of Kaiden.
  • shravanraja - January 30, 2011 3:18 p.m.

    Infamous had a lot of choices to make too which greatly affected the games outcome. For example, you could have either give a group of hungry people food, or zap them and take it all for yourself. =P
  • Voltaire - December 9, 2010 5:13 p.m.

    I dont remember any choice in Shivering Isles
  • Gsindahouse - June 8, 2010 1:07 a.m.

    Or just pick nobody and get the Cocona Ending! But good luck beating Raki before the game freezes w/o anyones super song magic/Replakia.
  • dannage805 - October 19, 2009 11:04 p.m.

    portal has meaningful choices and dilemmas? lol i just blew up megaton 2day, dat shits unreal
  • petrolboy - September 21, 2009 11:50 a.m.

    What about Half Life one. That's pretty defining...
  • GameManiac - September 15, 2009 2:48 a.m.

    The number one pick could not have been more one-sided. And I know that from experience.
  • KayRedd - August 31, 2009 8:25 p.m.

    One choice I had to make was in Lost Magic (NDS). The choice comes halfway through the game, where you either give the bad guy the wand (which your father told you was the only thing which could stop her) and save your friend (bad guy's sister) or keep the wand and let her die. I obviously thought you HAD to keep the wand, i didn't know there was a real choice! So I gave her the wand, she kills your friend, you start going crazy, bad guy turns you into a phsycotic mess with clever word-play, and ends up turning you into a slave for which you spend the rest of the game killing all the friends that helped you..... FUN!
  • MassEffectfan - August 17, 2009 4:57 p.m.

    Mass Effect should have made it on here. Its choices are totally better than some of these. Like Kaidan or Ashley or the Council or Soverign. Plus the effs of these choices effect the second game.
  • zuse315 - August 9, 2009 12:21 p.m.

    How is Mass Effect NOT in here???
  • Black_X_1111 - August 6, 2009 12:33 a.m.

    You forgot Black & White, and to a lesser extent, all the other strategy games out there. And a lot of mmorpgs.
  • 11englj - July 20, 2009 3:37 p.m.

    I always kill Francis McReary because that asshole always deserves to die, or atleast in my mind he does
  • Warhead1997 - July 19, 2009 8:12 p.m.

  • theodo1997 - July 15, 2009 9:41 p.m.

    they should have had fire emblem, whether to restart when one of your guys die or to continue on without them. that bugs me every time!
  • _D-Man_ - June 24, 2009 6 p.m.

    lmfao pokemon got number 1 captcha: times rein
  • baconfacemilomonster - May 28, 2009 5:11 a.m.

    damn that ghoul is moira is HOT! love me some of that bald dead chick action
  • HRhuffnstuff - May 27, 2009 8:10 p.m.

    I believe the other choices in Grand Theft Auto aer much greater than the two yuo've chosen. Kill a ghost that has haunted you or let him lead his miserable life? Get lots of money for you and Roman or get revenge on some who wants you dead? Those were way worse than the others.
  • deathhunter - May 18, 2009 3:20 a.m.

    you guys forgot about Silent Hill Homecoming. When your in the jail and you find your mother tied to a machine straight out of a Saw movie. You either shoot her between the eyes, or watch as shes ripped in two pieces screaming in agony.
  • xXxKohakuxXx - May 17, 2009 8:33 p.m.

    in GTA 4 kill play boy,you get his house and dwayne will be your freind Dwayne's ability is to send you two gangsters that will protect you (also you get an outfit that the main character wore in GTA 3)
  • Blinder - May 12, 2009 11:59 p.m.

    You forgot The Suffering

Showing 1-20 of 148 comments

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