Big bad resurrection

Altar

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Anyways I just got done playing I guess it doesn't matter but it was a game involving your standard evil group trying to resurrect some great evil and that has me thinking, in all games I can think of that has a group/person trying to bring something back to life or rebuild some giant ancient fighting robot, they always seem to bring it back, at least partially.

So why is that the case exactly? Would the players not be able to accept not facing this thing and thus the players would get upset?! Is a story telling thing, in that it must appear or something?!

Which brings me to my second question, can someone think of a game where you actually stop said group/person completely from bringing something back/rebuilding etc and if so did it do it well.

(And yes as you can tell, trying to explain things is not something I can do. So yeah sorry. Good thing I'm not a teacher.)
 

RJ 17

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The point of the story "letting" the baddies succeed in resurrecting the dark god or finding and powering up the ultimate world-destroying weapon or what-have-you is pretty simple, really. In most cases, that "thing" is going to be the main boss of the game and as such defeating it is the pinnacle of triumph for the hero(s). That's why the entire game builds this "thing" up as "completely unstoppable!" "We're totally screwed if that thing wakes up!" etc. Thus once the player goes on to smash that "thing", they get the feeling of being an almighty badass for destroying the supposedly indestructible.

As for a game where it's prevented, can't think of one off the top of my head but I'd imagine there's a few. I suppose you could technically count the FF7 heroes preventing Sephiroth from calling down Meteor to destroy the world as one such case.
 

Mental Cosmas

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Mostly yes, building up the unstoppable evil and never seeing it can be kind of a letdown. There are compromises, such as an "incomplete" summoning for when it has been built up so much there's no realistic way the good guys can be expected to beat it.

Jak 3 is an example, albeit a slight stretch as it's not a "resurrection" so much as a "return"

The Dark Maker ship is destroyed before it makes it to the planet, but one of the vehicles in it manages to survive, giving a valid reason why people were terrified. One of these is a tough fight, the ship full of them? Ouch)
 

Zhukov

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Because it would be anticlimactic otherwise.

It's like how in more grounded (relatively speaking) action movies when the bad guys are trying to set off a bomb, the bomb tends to end up going off, even though the good guys win. It usually just goes off in a contained or safely relocated but still kaboom-ish way. (Eg. Dark Knight Rises and 24.)
 

Brennan

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One comparison I'd make is between the Hellboy comics and the Hellboy movie:

In both versions, the story revolves around an evil sorcerer trying free an elder god-type thing, which once free will end the world.

In the movie he succeeds, but Hellboy stuffs the elder god back in it's "bottle" before it's able to commence wrecking things.

In the comics, not only does he fail, but it's heavily implied that if he'd succeeded, there would be no stuffing the elder god back in the bottle, no matter how powerful or hooked up you were. This foe, as Gandalf would say, is beyond any of you. If it gets out at all, that's game over, right then and there.

So why the difference? Well, the comic is built heavily on suspense and atmosphere inspired by old gothic horror films and Lovecraft-type stories. The movie is built on action and a more colorful Marvel-ish conventional superhero type storytelling. The difference is one is all about the anticipation, and the other is all about the climax.

Coming back round to games: in a survival horror game having the giant robot, elder god or what have you looming over ones head throughout the game can be the "meat" of the experience. You're not supposed to want to fight it, you're supposed to dread it. If you're wanting to fight it, the game hasn't properly done it's job of scaring you with it. Letting it out can easily be the failure state for the game, and you don't need it as a boss monster. Depending on the gameplay style, you may not need a bossfight at all, just a boss puzzle or some kind of marathon challenge or something instead (example: Penumbra Overture). If you do need a bossfight, you can sub the dragon for the elder God: fight the prick who's trying to summon it, and if it's a well made fight, it won't matter that he's not the elder god itself (example: Amnesia TDD).

An action game though is all about fighting, so the player spends the game expecting a big damn climactic fight. You don't watch a Van Damme move and not expect it to end with a 10 solid minute face kicking contest. You can't spend all game pimping up what is so obviously the final boss only to not fight it (examples: Borderlands 2, Jak and Daxter).

Thing is, a lot of major horror games basically play like rebalanced action games, thus necessitating a boss fight even though they're ostensibly not action games (example: Silent Hill series, Dead Space series). Not having the elder god wake up can easily work, but it needs to be in a game where puzzles, investigations, evasion, sanity, etc are the majority gameplay focus. In any game where combat is your #1 mode of problem solving, even if you're at a crippling disadvantage in combat, the player's gonna expect a bossfight, and you've spent the whole game telling the player "this is the top enemy", so it kinda has to be that.
 

DanteRL

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Yeah, it's basically because we fell like we need a big moment to finish a story, a payoff. Of course that the last fight can be with the bad guy summoning the thing, not the thing itself. I can think of a tabletop game that averts that, Eldritch Horror. The sole objective of your group is to avoid the rise of Cthulhu or whoever you chose to be the monster. If you do that on time, instant win, if he does rise, you have a tiny bit of a chance of defeating him, but the difficult ramps up A LOT, with the big possibility that not all of your group will survive.
 

Johnny Novgorod

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This happens in Silent Hill quite often, or at least it used to, back when The Order was trying to resurrect their eldritch god. You stop him in Silent Hill: Origins, you stop him in Silent Hill, and you arguably stop him once and for all in Silent Hill 3 (I don't know to what extent the god may or may not have been resurrected in the worst ending for Silent Hill 4: The Room, though).

Actually there's your answer right there: Walter is - unbeknownst to him - attempting to resurrect The Order's god through his actions. But you never face this god directly, you just fight Walter instead at the very end. The same case could be said of Silent Hill: Origins: Travis is facing off against the Flauros at the end, rather than THE god. And in Silent Hill: Homecoming, Alex faces off against the demonic sacrifices made for THE god, rather than THE god himself. You never see, meet or fight the "true big bad" in any of these cases.
 

Hero of Lime

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In Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link, the bad guys are trying to revive Ganon by killing Link and using his blood. So, Ganon only returns when you get a game over, but otherwise he never shows up as a boss. Instead we get the debut of Dark Link as a final boss, who isn't necessarily evil, but rather a test for Link to receive the Triforce of Courage. It's a very different ending than most Zelda games, but that is what makes it pretty cool.

However, it would be a let down if the entire game talks up a battle with some kind of ancient evil, but it never really shows up. I know it could be done well of course, especially if the game at least gives you a glimpse of what you are stopping.
 

Asita

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Usually because it's the natural conclusion for a 'chosen hero', so to speak, and works very well for a sense of climax. Emotions are dynamic things, and one of the easiest ways to heighten them is to juxtapose them. Seeing a sense of renewed hope be utterly shattered is often more impactful and certainly more tragic for a viewer than prolonged despair. A sense of joy is more welcome in the face of recent loss. In the case of the 'big bad resurrection', what we ultimately see tends towards fear and possibly despair give rise to bravery, determination, hope, altruism in the cases where it is concern for others that drive them forward, and ultimately victory in the fact of hardship, the very thing we often consider to be the mark of a hero. This is not to say that that's the only way they can end, but that it's a popular option because it works.


Brennan said:
One comparison I'd make is between the Hellboy comics and the Hellboy movie:

In both versions, the story revolves around an evil sorcerer trying free an elder god-type thing, which once free will end the world.

In the movie he succeeds, but Hellboy stuffs the elder god back in it's "bottle" before it's able to commence wrecking things.

In the comics, not only does he fail, but it's heavily implied that if he'd succeeded, there would be no stuffing the elder god back in the bottle, no matter how powerful or hooked up you were. This foe, as Gandalf would say, is beyond any of you. If it gets out at all, that's game over, right then and there.
Technically wasn't that a comparatively minor monster that was released, something more akin to a shoggath than Yog-Sothoth? The summoning of the big threat was never completed, to my memory.
 

Rayce Archer

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Now I'm trying to think of games (besides Zelda 2) where this DOESN'T happen.
-In Tower of Doom you kill Archlich Deimos who is summoning a demon, although it ALMOST arrives, it is shelled to oblivion by airships before you have to fight it.
-In Morrowind you destroy the Heart of Lorkhan inside Red Mountain (inadvertently breaking one of the stone/tower pairings that keep Mundus from spinning off into the aether) before Dagoth Ur can use it to activate his huge Dwemer war mech. This also kills Ur himself.
-An interesting variation in Skyrim; the Dark Brotherhood faction is trying to start over in Skyrim and part of that involves safe transport and storage of the Night Mother, a dead woman whose body is a conduit by which her soul conveys the will of Sithis (or by which Mephala pranks with Sithis worshippers if the Khajit are to be believed). If the player chooses to fight the brotherhood member who tries to recruit them, they can then go on to kill the remaining brotherhood members before this happens. You can also gank the keeper on the road, and leave the Night Mother to be eaten by crows.
-In a reverse example, Age of Mythology lets players release a Titan from the underworld to fight their enemies. To do this you must excavate a big portal. Attacking this dig site becomes a big deal for the other players, and stopping the dig stops the Titan arriving.
-In Dawn of War 2: Retribution, you fight the tainted leader of the Blood Ravens who has transformed into a Chaos Prince of Khorne. It is revealed that the Dark Crusade launched in DoW2: Chaos Rising was actually his shadow attempt to make a similar pact with Nurgle, so technically you stop it for a while in that game.
-The PCs in both Overlord games are the result of this; it is revealed in 2 that the goblins have a whole crypt of dead undead warlords under their tower and just dig up a new one whenever the old one dies or kidnap-marries the nice princess.
-In Quake the Ranger travels to hell to kill Shub-Niggurath, so although you fight her, you win before her dramatic emergence into our world.
-The same thing happens in Half-Life, although 2 reveals that other, worse aliens use the opportunity to manifest on Earth anyway. At the end of 2 you fight a reverse version of this battle as Dr. Breen tries to flee AWAY through a big portal between Earth and the Combine homeworld.
 

sageoftruth

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I could see it happening in a comedy, with the hero going, "Whew! Thank God we stopped that. Imagine! We could've had an all powerful creature laying waste to the city and it would be up to us to stop it."

He'd then turn to the audience and go, "It would have been so epic and awesome and the monster would be all 'RAAAAH' and we'd be all 'Pew! Pew! Pew!' and the viewers would all be going 'Wow! This is the best fight scene ever!', but thanks to our actions, none of that has to happen today. Good work team!"
 

Scow2

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inu-kun said:
It's basic story telling, imagine ME2 ended with the reapers deciding "maybe we should wait 100 years" and leaving, it will just feel wrong.
Actually, it would be a better ending than the one we got.
 

Brennan

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Asita said:
Technically wasn't that a comparatively minor monster that was released, something more akin to a shoggath than Yog-Sothoth? The summoning of the big threat was never completed, to my memory.
The actual Ogdru Jahad is let out. Its crystal prison is shattered, a portal opens over the earth, and it starts reaching down through the clouds towards buildings. Then Hellboy does his thing, and the tentacles recede back into the sky and the portal closes.

It's not really clear exactly how or at what point things get reversed, but it looks like the summoning was completed, but HB blocked it in the end anyway. Rasputin gets turned into "the behemoth" (the movie version of an Ogdru Hem; the Cthulhu mythos equivalent would probably be a Star Spawn), which HB kills with grenades. HB never fights the Ogdru Jahad, but he does turn it back after it's released, either by refusing the crown or by killing the behemoth. Neither of which should have made any difference once the Ogdru Jahad was out, but the movie doesn't really seem to care much about whether things are clear or consistent or not.

In fact IIRC, it's not even put back in the crystal prison, it just gets the portal closed on it. In the comics, the crystal prison is just out in deep space somewhere, so unless the movie changes that to be some kind of alt dimension separated from the rest of the universe (which the movie doesn't establish), the Ogdru Jahad is now chewing it's way across the universe towards earth. Like I say, the movie is kinda muddled.
 

Asita

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Brennan said:
Asita said:
Technically wasn't that a comparatively minor monster that was released, something more akin to a shoggath than Yog-Sothoth? The summoning of the big threat was never completed, to my memory.
The actual Ogdru Jahad is let out. Its crystal prison is shattered, a portal opens over the earth, and it starts reaching down through the clouds towards buildings. Then Hellboy does his thing, and the tentacles recede back into the sky and the portal closes.

It's not really clear exactly how or at what point things get reversed, but it looks like the summoning was completed, but HB blocked it in the end anyway. Rasputin gets turned into "the behemoth" (the movie version of an Ogdru Hem; the Cthulhu mythos equivalent would probably be a Star Spawn), which HB kills with grenades. HB never fights the Ogdru Jahad, but he does turn it back after it's released, either by refusing the crown or by killing the behemoth. Neither of which should have made any difference once the Ogdru Jahad was out, but the movie doesn't really seem to care much about whether things are clear or consistent or not.

In fact IIRC, it's not even put back in the crystal prison, it just gets the portal closed on it. In the comics, the crystal prison is just out in deep space somewhere, so unless the movie changes that to be some kind of alt dimension separated from the rest of the universe (which the movie doesn't establish), the Ogdru Jahad is now chewing it's way across the universe towards earth. Like I say, the movie is kinda muddled.
Ah, that's what you meant. I thought you were referring to the behemoth. My bad.
 

Rozalia1

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Simple story direction.

In videogame promotions in the east its very common for the face to lose initially to the heel, and than to build to the rematch get fed all the heel's stablemates to make the audience believe the unstoppable heel champion can actually be stopped. However here in the west promotions that have unstoppable face champs is much more common.

As for the failing to get the big bad force back... drawing a blank currently though I'm sure there are examples. One I can recall is what you want but with the rarer big good.

SPOILERS for Grandia 2!

Granas (God) and Valmar (Devil) fought each other in the battle between good and evil long ago. Granas was heavily injured causing him to rest to heel (explaining his lack of action in the world), while Valmar was cut to pieces and sealed away.

One of the characters is possessed by a piece of Valmar after a seal breaks and the story revolves around essentially getting Granas's help in both stopping the revival of Valmar and saving your party member. However late in the game you find out that Granas was actually killed in the battle and the "seals" are actually machines to aid in Valmar's resurrection. There are however two Deus ex machinas near the end that imply that while Granas is dead his... essence/spirit I guess if you will isn't.
 

Knight Captain Kerr

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Eric: Well you know how at the beginning of the war we did really well and the Allies nearly lost but now things seem to be going a lot better for them?
Hans: Yeah
Eric: Well have you ever seen a film?
Hans: What?
Eric: Well, I've never seen a film where the goodies start off really successfully, really nearly achieve their goals, but then the baddies come back very strongly, but the goodies still eventually win. Whereas I have seen a lot of films where the baddies start off very successfully, but then the goodies come back strongly and eventually win. I'm just increasingly uncomfortable about our place in the narrative structure of this war.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/YouCantThwartStageOne

Basically, yeah. The idea is that the story won't be as dramatic if the villain isn't thwarted in the final stage of their plan. It's more dramatic for the villain to be stopped after they've already planted the bombs in city hall and the bombs are disarmed just in time than stopping them when they've just come back from the gardening store with the fertiliser.

I disagree though, I don't think you actually need to have the big evil god be summoned. If you're playing Call of Cthulhu and you stop the cult from summoning Azatoth you'll be relieved. Especially because if they had summoned Azatoth and you'd tried to fight him you would have died, very quickly. If they did summon him and you defeated him easily you might wonder why you were worried in the first place.