Written by Rick Warren / gfn21
The clear majority of video games prefer to take the route of linear, clear storytelling. Players can trust what they see on screen, and important story beats are easy to notice. There are some games that aim to break that mold, like Virginia and Hideo Kojima’s highly anticipated Death Stranding, but they’re very rare. As a result, for years fans have searched through their favorite games and found different ways to interpret them. Whether it’s just for fun or done to justify things like bad endings and cancelations, new video game theories are constantly popping up. Here are five of the most interesting...
5.) Nathan Drake Dies In Uncharted 4
The ending to A Thief’s End is one of my all-time favorites, working as a perfect conclusion to one of PlayStation’s greatest series. Nathan Drake gets the happy sendoff he deserves, and it’s something that many fans will be content with. Not all, though. Some were set on the idea of Drake dying from the moment the game was revealed, but clearly that didn’t come true.... right? The “Nathan Drake Dies” theory focuses on the moment after Sam is revealed to be lying about his past, when Nate takes a large fall and hits his head on a rock. It looks nasty, but Nate wakes up and seems fine. In this theory, though, everything from the fall onward is in Nate’s head. He died when he hit his head, and everything he sees in the last half of the game is just what he would have wanted to happen. It explains how Elena and Sully find him in what is supposed to be an unfindable place, and how Elena moves past Rafe and Nadine’s men unseen. It also incorporates the Crash Bandicoot moment, of all things, as Cassie playing the game at least 10 years later as opposed to something newer is odd. Every item in Nate’s house is a figment of his imagination, and something he connected with or wanted during his life. The game fits, as does the photo at the end.
I personally don’t believe there’s any weight to this theory, as nearly all its points could be explained away as “because Uncharted”. Still, it’s an interesting idea that plays well enough off early expectations.
Next up, Bioshock...
4.) Bioshock Infinite Was Planned From The Start
The Bioshock series and its incredible twists have generated hours of discussion on their own, but my favorite theory regarding the games is straight forward. Quite simply, it suggests that the final entry (for now) in the Bioshock series was planned from the very beginning. It’s not too hard to believe, given how well the references to Rapture were weaved into Bioshock Infinite, and how perfectly Burial at Sea connected the two very different cities this great series is known for. It also hinges on one big piece of evidence: the death of Songbird. When Booker and Elizabeth bring down the winged machine, they can see it out the window when they enter Rapture. It lets out a scream of sorts as its eyes burst and it shuts down for good... and it’s a noise that seems to be hearable in the original Bioshock! When moving through the theater and encountering Sandy Cohen, it sounds like Songbird can be heard dying in the background. Take a listen here, as YouTuber tanker shares the audio.
Perhaps it was a clever retcon, a similar sound... or a planned moment from the very beginning. You decide!
Next, Metal Gear Solid sneaks into the third spot...
3.) There Is A Third Chapter In The Phantom Pain
While it was almost definitely fans trying to cure the phantom pain they felt due to the lack of a strong story in the final Metal Gear Solid game, a community was built around the idea that TPP had more to offer. Getting their name from the young Liquid Snake’s jacket, Never Be Game Over spent countless man hours searching for a way to unlock more of the game. Tipped off by the odd, two-chapter setup of the game, this community searched every inch of the open worlds for answers. There were brief moments of hope, such as the leak of the cutscene that was set to unlock when every online player’s nukes are disarmed, but they turned out to be nothing. Sadly, a third and final act with the finished version of mission 51 and the dream meeting between Gray Fox and Big Boss didn’t seem to exist.
With the game having been out for three years, and the Kojima/Konami situation seeming to be as real as it gets, the Chapter 3 dreams have died off.
In the second spot, Mass Effect 3’s ending doesn’t sit well with fans, so they make their own...
2.) The Indoctrination Theory
Much like the previous theory on this list, The Indoctrination Theory seems to exist only due to frustration with the end of an iconic series. Honestly, it might, but it’s just so damn good and so damn believable. With a five-hour documentary from YouTuber CleverNoobs, and an additional look by The Game Theorists, this theory has been fleshed out perfectly. I’m not someone who hated the Mass Effect 3 ending by any means, but the Indoctrination Theory vastly improves on the ending to the point where I can’t accept anything else. Commander Shepard’s wounds appearing on characters who weren’t wounded, important figures appearing and disappearing, some of Shepard’s dead friends being used over and over as “cutout” dead bodies and so many more things are explained with this interpretation. In short, Shepard has been mind-controlled by the Reapers like Saren was in the original Mass Effect. The final choice is in his head, and it’s about fighting off the indoctrination more than the three choices that brought Bioware so much hatred. It’s why only the Destroy ending shows Shepard alive, even though he shouldn’t be alive based on what we see as players. It’s the ending where he finally breaks the Reaper’s control and succeeds in saving humanity. It’s a theory that grows stronger with every passing moment adding new evidence that explains the creepy child and weird animations (not Andromeda weird, but like, actually weird).
I’ve believed in this theory from day one, and nothing will ever change that. If you’re interested to learn more, check out the first part of CleverNoob’s documentary and The Game Theorist’s breakdown.
Finally, in the top spot...
1.) P.T/Silent Hills And Death Stranding Are The Same Game
You were there, when what was perhaps the greatest surprise in gaming history became the greatest disappointment. You were also there when Kojima rose from the ashes, bringing in the key minds behind Silent Hills over to his new game Death Stranding. However, do you know exactly how closely the games are connected? The YouTube duo PythonSelkanHD has made multiple videos theorizing on Kojima games, and they’ve knocked it out of the park with their many looks at Death Stranding. Quite frankly, it’s impossible to do the theory justice, so here are just some of the cool connections:
· Multiple references to Lisa from P.T, such as the dead, pregnant crabs in the Death Stranding trailer
· The lyrics in Low Roar’s music fitting better with P.T than Silent Hills (Easy Way Out = father’s suicide). Low Roar’s music video for “I’ll Keep Coming” explained as showing “the Death Stranding experience”, but instead is packed with references to P.T (the hole in the bathroom, the time on the clock, etc.)
· The radio in P.T confirming different realities like the ones in Death Stranding, particularly the one where the father kills himself with an umbilical cord instead of a garden hose
· Countless mysterious tweets from Kojima and those around him, but specifically the ones with the health drink from the old Silent Hill games (which he still tweets out regularly)
· “J” from the mysterious crash screen in P.T comes back into the spotlight in Death Stranding, as the letter is hidden on a bridge above the head of Guillermo Del Toro’s character
Perhaps Hideo Kojima and Konami are playing the long game, and this is the biggest ruse in gaming history. The PlayStation exclusive P.T/Silent Hills and Death Stranding are the same game, and Kojima never did leave the now-despised publisher. I think it’s a fairytale, though, and that even a mastermind like Kojima isn’t willing to go that far. Still, even though they may technically be separate games, the reality is that Kojima has brought a lot of what he was planning for Silent Hills into Death Stranding. It goes far beyond Norman Reedus and Guillermo Del Toro, and I’m sure that even more connections will appear as time goes on. I can’t wait to see what Python and Selkan find next!
That’s all for this week, everyone! Thank you so much for those who read this and those who have been reading all the top 5s I’ve done so far. Next Friday will be the end of these weekly lists, so I’ll be doing a double upload in honor of that. See you then!