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I am not normally this nice!

by Grither
Games and Gaming

So there you are, having just finished riding out into the middle of nowhere Mexico to find that last damn woolly blue curl for your Survivalist challenge, and blammo, you fall down a little cliff that your 90yr old grandmother could have stepped down and your horse dies. Now, you have a couple choices here:

  1. Walk in the direction you want to go and wait until your horse re-spawns and you can whistle for it again.
  2. or

  3. Find the nearest road and shoot the first person you see and take their horse.

In a game world, one would think the choice would be obvious: Shoot a dude and take his horse. After all, you’ve got places to go, and this is the Wild West, where it’s every man for himself. Also, that’s not a real dude! But what do I do? I walk.

Losing that precious 10 Honor or whatever for killing someone is just too much for me, apparently. Even though I know I can just save a maiden to get it back, I find it difficult to be the bad guy. I couldn’t even handle getting the “Dastardly” achievement*, so I had a friend do it for me. Pathetic.

What usually happens when I choose to walk.

Another game where you have the choice between good and evil is inFAMOUS, which I didn’t pick up right away, so I had read a lot of reviews and semi-spoilers before I got it. I was determined to follow all the advice telling me to be the bad guy in this game, because apparently the bad guy gets the coolest (read: most destructive and awesome) powers. The very first choice in the game is after a food drop, you decide whether to distribute it to the people, or keep it all for yourself. I stayed strong, and went down the path of evil. The result? I felt so bad about that choice, that every other choice in the game I made was the “good” choice, and I still haven’t gotten around to going back and playing it through as evil.

Look how cool I'll never look.

The only game I’ve ever had any luck being kind of bad in is the Grand Theft Auto series. I’m not sure if this is because of the cartoony feel to the games, or the lack of any in-game consequences to being evil. In fact, a lot of the humor and enjoyment I get from the GTA games comes from doing ridiculously evil and hilarious things to people with planes, trains, and automobiles. But for some reason it just doesn’t feel wrong, since it’s so funny and clearly the folks I just ran over re-spawn half a second later, so no hard feelings, right?

I see you, little helicopter!

In real life, if you hesitate half a second to order your half-caff chai-mocha non-fat iced venti latspresso, I WILL make an annoyed face at you. I might even think bad thoughts at you. In the virtual world? Well, you’ve seen the examples above. I’m not sure what this says about me as a person, and I’m not really sure I want to know. What I do want to know, however, is that I’m not alone in this. So how about you, are you a good guy or a bad guy in your gaming choices?

* – To get this achievement you have to hog-tie a woman, and put her on the train tracks so she gets run over by a train.

Grither

has written 8 FGEC articles.

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9 thoughts on “I am not normally this nice!

  1. WolfDaddy says:

    To get this achievement you have to hog-tie a woman, and put her on the train tracks so she gets run over by a train.

    If this game were Canadian, Dudley Do-Right would show up for you.

    Great writeup, grither, thanks!

  2. wonderdad says:

    I know exactly what you mean. Maybe it’s just because I’m getting older, but I’m spending less and less time doing the “bad guy” stuff. For my first playthrough in Bioshock 1 I went against type and decided to harvest the little sisters. Then I got to the part of the game where [SPOILER] you get to the little sister’s stronghold (or home base or whatever) and they say things like “That’s him! He’s the one who hurts us…” [/SPOILER] and I felt fucking TERRIBLE

    When I finally got around to playing the sequel I rescued every single one. I never even considered trying the evil path.

    Red Dead was similar in that way. I largely stuck to the straight and narrow. I still haven’t brought myself to get the Dastardly achievement – I’ll just go ahead and keep my gamerscore 5 points lower than it could be.

  3. Luke says:

    Yep, I could have written this article. I can’t play evil characters to save my life. It sucks all the enjoyment out of the game for me.

  4. unclejoe says:

    Maybe I don’t have the proper moral rudder, but I find that I always do whatever is expedient at the time, leaving me with a roughly neutral orientation. the only game I ever played that really got the good vs. evil dichotomy right was Black & White 9too bad everything else about the game sucked). In in you played a good that could rule his creations in either a good or evil way.

    One of the early quests involved a woman that begged you to find her brother. In exchange, she would give you an important stone. Finding the brother got you “goodness” points. You could get evil point in a number of ways including stealing the stone, killing the woman or lying to her by telling her that her brother was dead. Somebody discovered that you could get the most evil points by finding the brother, bringing him back and killing him in front of his sister. Then you could smash her house and steal the stone. To be evil in the game, the player had to creatively think of abhorrent acts, making the act far more personal that a simple yes/no decision.

  5. joedan says:

    You’re right, the evil route always gets you the best powers! Why is that? I’ve noticed it since Jedi Knight, where choosing the Dark side gave you the awesome lightning bolt power while choosing the Light side gave you the lame force shield.

  6. SebAndSeb says:

    I get this as well, can’t remember the last time I played through a game as the bad guy. I took the good path in GTA4 too, although from time to time I stopped to just push people down stairs or in front of trains for a bit.

  7. Grither says:

    Thanks! And apparently writing this was some sort of catharsis… as I was playing RDR yesterday, I was told to pay some guy $200 to free a woman, and I was like “eff that!” and shot him in the face instead. Turns out I failed that little mission. Though fortunately it respawned, so I did it properly, and guess what? He ended up killing her in the end anyway. So really, I guess I was originally doing the “right” thing? D’oh!

  8. Chris Hansen says:

    I’m with you to a major extent. I often do evil things, such as blowing up Megaton in fallout 3, then feeling terrible about it, and trying to be splendidly nice. Though on a different note, the biggest example of this for me was again in Fallout 3, with Harold the Tree. I researched my rewards for keeping him alive. And I wanted those rewards. But the way he begged to die – maybe it was the voice acting – I had to do it. Going away without any reward but a happy soul is always nice I suppose. Yeah. I’ll look at it that way.

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