The Top 7… 'Whoops, you're evil!' moments

What you thought you did: Survived by your wits and physical prowess in a desperate escape attempt from a monster-infested utopia gone mad.

What you actually did: Single-mindedly carried out the murderous orders of anyone who used the key phrase “would you kindly,” because that’s all you know how to do. This included killing your own father, crashing a passenger-filled airliner and even snapping a puppy’s neck.

Wait, what!? One thing is certain in the underwater city of Rapture: you’re always in danger from a host of mutant freaks, and you’re not wrong to fight them. Your reasons for fighting them, on the other hand, are a lot more sinister than even you realize until about midway through the game. Guided by an unseen engineer named Atlas, you try to escape from the madhouse, only to watch as Atlas’ family – and your ticket home – are blown up. Only by finding and eliminating Andrew Ryan, the madman at the heart of Rapture, can you hope to ever make it out alive. Or so you’re told.

Of course, there’s more to it than that. Much more. Hints begin to arise when you learn that the Vita-Chambers – which conveniently resurrect you after every death – are keyed to Ryan’s genetic code. Eventually, you learn that you’re nothing less than Ryan’s illegitimate son, spirited away by his enemies and conditioned to unquestioningly obey any command that includes the phrase “would you kindly.”

That phrase has forced you to do horrible things. For starters, you brought down a plane full of people, murdering everyone on board just so you could find the entrance to Rapture. In one recording, you can listen to yourself, as a child, killing a puppy on the orders of a scientist. And when you finally encounter Ryan, he uses it to force you to kill him. Maybe he’s trying to free you when he repeatedly screams, “A man chooses, a slave obeys!” But it doesn’t really matter, because all he gets for his trouble is a putter wedged through his skull. 

Once Ryan’s dead, you find out that the “Atlas” who’s been manipulating you this whole time is actually a mob boss named Fontaine, and you’ve just given him complete control over Rapture. You’ve been nothing but a criminal’s tool the whole time, although a narrow escape and a little deprogramming will give you the chance to set things right. Sort of. Maybe.

What you thought you did: Fought to bring down a despicable group of terrorists who’d stolen the cure for a global pandemic known as the Gray Death.

What you actually did: Acted as a tool in the world-domination plot of a super-shadowy organization called Majestic-12.

Wait, what!? In the early stages of Deus Ex, you’re simply JC Denton, a government agent working for the UN Anti-Terrorism Coalition (UNATCO) and trying to track down a shipment of medicine stolen by a secessionist terrorist group called the NFS. As you shoot, stealth and probably just generally murder your way through legions of NFS militiamen, however, it gradually becomes obvious that your enemies aren’t quite as vicious as their reputation, and that your superiors are hiding something from you.

Things come to a head when you’re confronted by JC’s brother Paul, a fellow agent who reveals that he’s been working with the “terrorists” as a double agent the entire time. Furthermore, he reveals that the NFS goons actually have humanity’s interest at heart, and that UNATCO is a front for something far more sinister.

Specifically, the agency’s secretly under the control of Majestic-12, which is also partly responsible for creating and unleashing the Gray Death in a bid to destabilize the world and make it receptive to the idea of a one-world government. It’s the usual conspiracy nonsense we’re used to hearing in the real world, but it’s then backed up by the secessionists’ leader. If you can keep him out of the terrifying metal clutches of your cyborg superior officer, he’ll reveal that you’re actually a clone, created by UNATCO to unknowingly advance Majestic-12’s agenda.

JC’s not sure if he believes any of it, until UNATCO retaliates against Paul’s defection by activating a genetic “kill switch” that’ll leave him dead in 24 hours. As he races to save Paul, he’s told about a secret Majestic-12 facility under UNATCO headquarters – and after he’s arrested and wakes up in a cell within it, he’s got all the proof he needs.

Admittedly, things don’t look too rosy for our nanomachine-augmented turncoat friend, but the events that follow will give him a chance to not only smack down Majestic-12 but possibly take over the world himself, so don’t feel too bad for him.


Top 7


  • Egonor - December 3, 2010 7:07 a.m.

    No KotOR?
  • nathankurt - November 23, 2010 1:44 a.m.

    what about assasins creed
  • EvilInkarnate - July 16, 2010 9:52 a.m.

    A Captain Dynamic: When I beat MGS 1 after the ending I just sat the on my bed, staring at the TV repeating "Wow". Bioshock 1 is still my favorite game of all time I think. However, reading the SoTC thing makes me really regret not having played it. reCaptcha: bear President-elect. Sounds like Soviet Russia.
  • gilgamesh310 - July 14, 2010 10:59 a.m.

    A brilliant article. Some of my favourite games of all time are on this list. The ending to shadow of the collosus is gut renching, it really does make you feel like a proper evil bastard and regret everything done up to that point. That's why I could never play through the game a second time.
  • Chippie17 - October 26, 2009 7:57 p.m.

    Completely saw the Haze one coming
  • Chippie17 - October 26, 2009 7:56 p.m.

    Completely saw the Haze one coming
  • Satanshadow94 - May 6, 2009 8:18 a.m.

    Come on guy's about the haze one you could have figured this out by whatching the video the only time you are in a futuristic millitary and aren't being munipulated is Halo and look how that worked out for bungie it will be one of the many type's of stories that you want to stab a bunny
  • rezapoc - April 30, 2009 7:24 p.m.

    what about half life where you go to xen and are filled in on what evil deed you've done by the g man at the end.
  • ballplayer27 - April 4, 2009 12:40 p.m.

    Before anyone else comments: I know I misspelled your. It was a typo, not an actua "misspelling".
  • ballplayer27 - April 4, 2009 12:38 p.m.

    As always, awesome article. Problem: Some (many?) of yor readers are, in fact, fratboy douchebags. I am personally a member of a fraternity and I enjoy playing videogames and reading your articles. I know the stereotype that you are talking about, and have met many of them, but I do not think that the majority are like that. Do not get me wrong, I am not going to stop reading your site because I am offended. It is just slightly irritating that we all get cast in that light. Like I said, great article, that was just annoying. Keep up that good work, and if possible, lay off the fratboy stereotype if you can. Thanks, Brad
  • Gotxxrock - March 14, 2009 12:43 a.m.

    I almost wanted to weep at the end of Braid. I sat in front of the TV (after playing the game for several hours) for about 10 minutes when it reverted back to the "In Game" title screen, and had no idea what to think. One of those defining moments in life... from a god damn video game no less (not to degrade the value of good old interactive electronic visuals!!)
  • gmilf71 - March 7, 2009 7 a.m.

    even in the end of haze. i first felt sorry for poor merino. then when i heard: "do not fear. these emotions, they are just chemical reactions in your head..." and "you worry to much, my friend! they were just animals!" , i was like, oh damn. this guy's evil to. i think that was the real twist.
  • snipes98 - March 6, 2009 8:56 p.m.

    Bioshock had a surprising twist but SOTC made you think the most, killing those creatures just got harder and harder...
  • GamesRadarMikelReparaz - March 6, 2009 8:55 p.m.

    We discussed KOTOR in the office, but decided it didn't really fit the concept of the article, which is well-intentioned protagonists (or players, at least) suddenly finding out they'd actually been doing evil the whole time. Meanwhile, KOTOR's big twist (SPOILER ALERT) is about finding out that you were evil before the game even began, and that you've been manipulated into doing the right thing when all along you thought you were... doing the right thing. Again, it doesn't quite fit. As for Crackdown, Assassin's Creed and MK: Deception, those were all considered, but in the end this is a Top 7 and we felt the entries that were included were stronger. Just assume that your favorite is #8.
  • Vallanthaz - March 6, 2009 7:51 p.m.

    No KOTOR Darth Revan realization?! Fail! =P
  • speedyrel - March 6, 2009 1:15 a.m.

    What about assassins creed?
  • Gilbert_pwns - March 5, 2009 11:36 p.m.

    They should have included the story mode in Mortal Kombat Deception. Another one of those twists the big thing is you spend your whole life until you finally realize what youve done.
  • key0blade - March 5, 2009 12:18 p.m.

    nice one GR! i didnt realize how evil Braid was...
  • TriLun0r - March 5, 2009 12:42 a.m.

    Umm...sorry, but what about Crackdown? It caught me off guard at the end, because I was already killing civilians...didn't think it got worse that. Fine, maybe #8.
  • deadgeeks - March 4, 2009 8:02 p.m.

    dude wheres ninja gaiden? and darkwatch? and just for the fun of it why not darth vader?

Showing 1-20 of 84 comments

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