3. Resident Evil's Umbrella Corporation Is Quietly Dissolved Off-Camera.
For years, Resident Evil players fought off zombies and zombie dogs and even bigger zombies, with the evil Umbrella Corporation always lurking in the background. They were the humans that managed to be even scarier than the monsters, because they knew exactly what they were doing. We all wondered when we would finally get to meet the head of the Corporation, and blow his head off once and for all.
Well, we never did. Sometime between Code Veronica and Resident Evil 4, Umbrella suddenly dissolved. So what happened? What major twist occurred that brought them down so quickly and so efficiently? And was it good enough to justify not getting to destroy the company ourselves?
Of course not! Albert Wesker, the series' main villain, handed the government proof of what Umbrella was doing, and the subsequent government intervention caused a series of major stock collapses that forced the company to fold. So the zombie-making monster scientists got treated almost exactly like Enron did, only with less fanfare and no Playboy spread for the Women Of Umbrella. This was handled off-camera, by the way, which was surely a disappointment for anybody who had been clamoring for a pulse-pounding simulation of the awesomeness that is a Congressional hearing too dull even for C-SPAN 2.
Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles threw us a bone by letting us blow up Umbrella's final tyrant, but the glory of exposing the company was still a tacked-on afterthought. In addition, an obscenely evil dude who wanted to kill, oh, everyone, got to do it. Not only that, he did it in the most boringly bureaucratic manner possible, just to be a dick. At least that part was consistent.
2. Lara Croft Gains The Powers of King Arthur and Thor, No One Cares.
So Tomb Raider has never been the most realistic of franchises - you fight a dinosaur in the first 15 minutes of the first game, after all - but they really threw us a curveball near the end. One that could've literally ascended Lara Croft to Godhood. Don't scoff at this lack of realism. Just remember: DINOSAUR. Also, Lara's chest. Realism is a dirty, dirty word in the Tomb Raider universe.
In Tomb Raider Legend, Lara tracks down the Sword of Excalibur, which works and everything. Not only does it work, Lara can wield it perfectly. Now, only King Arthur could wield Excalibur, due to his status as rightful king. This, by extension, would make Lara Croft royalty. And yet her writers managed to forget all about a famous enchanted friggin' sword by the very next game. Legendary magical weapon, bah! A dime a dozen.
But that's OK because, in the next game, she uncovered the Hammer of Thor. Yes, THAT Hammer of Thor. It was just lying around. And again, she could expertly wield it, which meant she wasn't mere royalty, but a literal Goddess. Before anyone with a brain could process the potential of a hardcore adventurer with supernatural powers and a legal claim to queenship, Eidos chose to reboot the series, presumably with no mythological weaponry this time. Sadly, any stories about Lara's newfound status as ruler of both England and Asgard must reside solely in our damaged little heads.
They'll probably bring back that stupid dinosaur, though. Anything beyond that is just too damn silly.
1. The Wisemen's Committee from Metal Gear Solid 2 Could Have Been Undead.
Throughout Metal Gear Solid 2, mentions were made of the Wisemen's Committee, twelve old men who secretly ran the Patriots, a force that controlled almost every government on the planet. Pretty impressive. Meanwhile, you probably can't read this and eat a sandwich at the same time. How does it feel to be inferior?
Post-credits, it was revealed that the Wisemen had died over 100 years ago, but were somehow still alive and controlling the world. At that point, the population of the planet dropped significantly, as the brains of several million gamers exploded at the exact same time. How, we wondered, was that even possible?
Simple. They were computers. And that whole "dead for a century" thing? The writers simply had Snake open the sequel by declaring the whole thing a false lead, filled with "bogus information." So yes, they promised us Snake versus an undead zombie shadow government, and gave us malicious Windows software instead. Hope you stocked up on ketchup, dear Reader of Text, because that's the only way this red herring is ever going to taste good.
Snake discovering the secret of the Wisemen's immortality, and working frantically toward reversing it before the world suffered more damage, would have been an insanely entertaining premise. And the nerd crowd would've eaten it up, since it's been scientifically proven that zombies + anything = wet nerd panties. Clearly, no one at Konami has a wet panty fetish. They do however, seem to adore old people in tight clothing. And if you do too, MGS4 was probably the most satisfying thing you'd seen in years.
Jason Iannone is a humorist and editor for hire. His Facebook is a rockin' party, and his Twitter is the awesome afterparty. Tumblr is where he rides out the hangover, and archives anything he writes from anywhere.