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7 Best Moments The Game Broke The Fourth Wall
JUN 22, 2022
Fourth-wall breaks are when someone says or does something that acknowledges they are in an artificial world. In video games, for instance, a character may openly question why somebody else is controlling their body. This is just one of many possible fourth-wall breaks a writer can include in their game.
They are typically used to make you laugh or mess with your head. Either way, a fourth-wall-breaking moment is usually memorable because they're still pretty rare to see in gaming. Yet, some titles include more creative ones than others. And the following examples are the best gaming has to offer.
No figure in media is as synonymous with breaking the fourth wall as Deadpool. He does it a bunch of times in his own game where he proves to be one of the funniest characters of all time. However, his best fourth-wall-breaking joke in gaming comes in Marvel Vs. Capcom 3.
During one of his special attacks - called hyper combos in-game - he throws a flashbang at his opponent before grabbing his health bar from the top of the screen and hitting the enemy with it. After that, he then does the same thing with the hyper combo meter. The move is aptly called the 4th-Wall Crisis.
Conker's Bad Fur Day is one of the funniest games of all time, and much of that comes from its vulgar humor. But a scene late in the game proves that the writers excel at meta-comedy, too. The said scene takes place amid a boss battle. As the alien is about the land a blow on Conker, everything freezes besides the protagonist.
He realizes the game has locked up, so he goes over to the screen and asks to speak with a software engineer. The protagonist claims he won't tell people about the fault in the game if the engineer gives him some weapons to use in the fight. The squirrel gets what he wants and achieves victory in a hilarious moment.
While the South Park television series isn't known for meta-humor as much as the likes of Family Guy, the show has still dabbled in it. And that fourth-wall-breaking comedy finds its way into The Fractured But Whole video game. The best example of it comes right at the beginning.
The game opens with a cutscene of Cartman delivering some backstory. If you try to skip it, Cartman will stop you and tell you to continue watching. The more you try to bypass the scene, the more annoyed the character gets. Eventually, if you attempt to skip enough times, Cartman will skip you straight to the game's end credits instead.
Undertale is an extremely clever game that continually subverts your expectations and video game conventions as a whole. Therefore, it isn't surprising that the title also includes a few fourth-wall breaks. Flowey arguably provides the best ones.
The character is among the smartest AIs in video game history. This is because Flowey always remembers your actions, no matter if they were in another playthrough or before you reset your save. For example, if you kill Toriel and then reload your save to spare her, Flowey will know. In fact, the character will call you out on it, which makes for a very surreal moment.
Throughout Spec Ops: The Line, protagonist Captain Walker starts slowly losing his mind due to the horrors he's facing. As such, he begins to suffer from hallucinations. You witness these hallucinations with him, so it's like your mind is being messed with, too. It gets to a point where the game's loading screens get involved.
Initially, these screens include little tips or a bit of backstory. Yet, as you get deeper into the game, the messages start to speak directly to you and question your actions. For instance, they say things like, "the US military does not condone the killing of unarmed combatants. But this isn't real, so why should you care?" or "Do you feel like a hero yet?" The messages are an example of a very unsettling type of fourth-wall break.
In the Metal Gear Solid universe, Psycho Mantis has strong telepathic and psychokinetic powers, which he uses on a few people in the original game. However, he doesn't just target characters. In the boss battle against him, the villain utilizes his powers against you.
As such, he reads your memory card and remarks on any other Konami games you've played. Plus, he takes over your controller, stopping you from moving your character. And he even messes with your screen to make it seem like it's turned off. It makes for one of the most original boss fights ever.
The indie puzzler known as OneShot is a very meta game where you, the player, are treated as a different person to the protagonist. So, naturally, there are plenty of fourth-wall-breaking moments. One such instance occurs when you interact with a computer.
It informs you that the code you're looking for doesn't exist in this world. Then the game shows you your own computer desktop and asks if you understand. What it's saying is that you have to find the answer to the puzzle on your own computer. It turns out the code is hidden within your documents.
Ben Jessey (497 Articles Published)
Ben Jessey spends all his time playing video games, watching TV, watching movies, watching football aka soccer (which I guess counts as watching TV) or writing about those things.
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