Most Shocking Plot Moments of 2009

I haven’t provided a column to the lovely readers at GamerNode for quite some time now. I do admit that I have been upset with myself, unable to come up with a topic of discussion in so long. But with 2009 at its end and 2010 now upon us, I decided I would write my own column that would look back and count off my picks for the most shocking plot moments in video games for 2009. But before I do, I will give a fair spoiler warning.


**Spoiler Warning** – The scenes that I will write about below are all plot spoilers for some of the biggest titles in 2009. If you have not played these games, they can and will be spoiled. You have been warned.



Duncan kills a Grey Warden initiate who refuses to drink the blood.

4. Discovering how the Grey Wardens really get their powers in Dragon Age: Origins

If anyone was like me when they played this game, the Initiation scene for your character and the other two Grey Warden hopefuls was a shocking and disturbing twist that left a bitter taste in your mouth. You discover that all Grey Wardens have their powers and abilities derived from the blood of the Dark Spawn. Those who cannot withstand the poisonous effects of the blood die a most excruciating death, while those who refuse to drink are executed so the secrets of the Wardens are not discovered. Those who survive the Initiation are cursed with nightmares of the Fold and will eventually succumb to the poisonous blood over the years. It is a sour moment that shows how even the strongest and most noble among us can have dark and cursed secrets.


Harry Flynn goes kamikaze on Nathan Drake, Elena Fisher, and Chloe Frazier.

3. Harry Flynn blows up himself and Elena Fisher with a grenade in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Maybe it’s because I’ve seen too many movies and expected the opposite. For in action films, and even in most action video games, it seems that the protagonist’s rival will eventually either die by the protagonist’s hand, change sides and live to see the end, or die after deciding to aid the protagonist. Perhaps it is for this reason that I never saw it coming when a wounded and battered Harry Flynn revealed the grenade in his right hand with the pin already pulled and detonated it, killing himself and mortally wounding fan-favorite heroine Elena Fisher. I expected Elena to be able to help Nate talk sense into Flynn before he made himself a human bomb. But as Flynn so greatly put it before blowing himself to kingdom come, "This isn’t a movie."


General Shepherd's lackey's toss Ghost's corpse next to yours.

2. The "No Russian" mission and General Shepherd murders Ghost and Roach in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Of course the infamous airport scene that made headlines across the country has made it onto my list, but it is with the help of another great twist in the Modern Warfare 2 story that it earned my number two spot. Watching, at least when I played through it, unable to raise or use my weapon as I witnessed hundreds of innocent Russian civilians being slaughtered by Makarov and his men is a moment in gaming I will never forget. That feeling of helplessness and growing anger at what Makarov was doing only motivated me that much more, playing as the members of Task Force 141, to find and kill him for what he’d done. However nothing shocked me more in Modern Warfare 2 than when General Shepherd, your leader and collaborator in bringing Makarov down, executes both Ghost and Roach and reveals his true colors and intentions. Seeing the turn as Roach in first-person just made it that much more jarring. Shepherd had worked with Makarov all along so he could get his glory in warfare, and was now eliminating everyone and everything that could ruin it. Then, the scene kept the shock going as you watched, barely alive and in first-person view, as Shepherd had you tossed into a ditch and burned to death. Infinity Ward sure does a great job at making you hate its villains.


Minerva appears before Ezio.

1. Ezio uncovers the origin of the Pieces of Eden in Assassin’s Creed II

It didn’t win GamerNode’s Game of the Year for nothing, and it’s thanks in part to this shocking twist that it did. After Ezio defeats Rodrigo Borgia, the gaming world is treated to one of the biggest mind-f#@%$ in industry history. The Pieces of Eden are revealed to be artifacts created by an ancient and advanced race of beings (gods?) who "simply came… before." The holographic image of Minerva, one of these beings, appears before Ezio and informs Desmond through Ezio of what their origins are. This race had created humanity in their image as a link between them and the hominid species on Earth, then enslaved them using the Pieces of Eden. Humans revolted, and the ensuing war distracted both races from a cataclysmic event where the world burned, according to Minerva. Minerva then warned Desmond that this event would occur again and soon, and that her race placed temples with Pieces of Eden around the globe to ensure it wouldn’t. She then simply fades away with the parting words, "The rest is up to you." Poor Ezio is left in confusion to never know what the words meant as we sit at our screens utterly dumbstruck. Because of this, Assassin’s Creed II‘s ending gets my number one for Most Shocking Plot Moment of 2009. As Desmond summed it up best himself, "What the f@#%?"


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Author: Mike Murphy View all posts by
Mike has been playing games for over two decades. His earliest memories are of shooting ducks and stomping goombas on NES, and over the years, the hobby became one of his biggest passions. Mike has worked with GamerNode as a writer and editor since 2009, giving you news, reviews, previews, a voice on the VS Node Podcast, and much more.

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