At the end of FFVIII's first disc, Squall goes and gets himself ice-stabbed by the sorceress Edea and proceeds to fall off a giant platform. After the encounter, he wakes up in a desert prison with no wound to show for it. And it's never explained. Seems like something that should have come up at some point: "Hey dude, remember when you went and pulled an Aeris on us? Haha, crazy. Seriously though, HOW THE FUCK ARE YOU ALIVE?" A logical explanation would be that Squall was killed and the rest of the game is just a dream.
It makes sense; the game takes a noticeable turn for the surreal after disc 1. We start seeing talking cat men and romantic space getaways: a bit of a leap from fighting mean army guys named Biggs and Wedge. Still, it's not uncommon for a Final Fantasy game to progressively get stranger as the game goes on. But then there's the ending.
Squall's life is literally flashing before his eyes. When he sees Rinoa, her face is all blurry. And Squall? He has NO face. The images reset and scenes are replayed repeatedly: almost as if Squall's trying to remember a relationship that DUN DUN DUN never happened. On top of that, he's wandering around a sky island by himself and then is consumed by white light. Textbook dead guy stuff. Sure, they show all the characters together at the end, but couldn't that all be part of the dream? Maybe this is Squall's heaven.
A decent paradise, I suppose. I'd probably ease-up on the Zell hotdog stuff.
Portal is your typical witty, space-bending romp through a deserted research facility as narrated by an insane, malevolent computer with a capacity for duplicity that would make Dick Nixon blush, and whom you eventually must face down in a kill-or-be-killed neurotoxic deathmatch. Pretty standard stuff. But what if there were a dark heart beating under all those quippy one-liners and promises of undelivered cake? What if the death of GlaDOS
was GlaDOS's plan all along?
Look at it through GlaDOS's optics. Thanks to her pre-game murder spree, she's all alone, but she's permanently rooted to the center of the Aperture Science center. That would bum out most stable people, let alone an unbalanced immortal cyber-brain. GlaDOS initially summons your character forth from isolation, and her language suggests you're one in a long line of potential candidates for some unknown purpose. She runs you through a battery of tests, never mentioning what you're being tested for, but in the process presents you with the portal gun and introduces you to the incinerator, two vital tools needed to destroy her. And, during the agonizing end to your adventure with the Companion Cube, she makes damn sure that you're capable of murder. What exactly is she priming you for?
It only gets worse when you meet her. Portal's designers have said that the character design for GlaDOS's dangling computer cluster was partly inspired by an inverted female figure. This theorist in particular takes it further by comparing GlaDOS's form to a bound woman, chained in place and helpless to escape. Could it be that Chell's triumph is the final result of an insane's supercomputer's elaborate plan to end its own suffering? Are the lyrics to "Still Alive" meant to sound smugly victorious, or disappointed & mournful? Anyone still in the mood for cake?
We all know that Aeris can't be revived without cheating, but was that always the plan? Over the years, fans have speculated that Square scrapped a Revive Aeris quest in order to meet deadlines for the game's release. Though the evidence is by no means empirical, it does raise a few good points: Why is Aeris pictured looking at the Highwind in the instruction manual when she never saw it? Why does Aeris have an ultimate weapon and limit break when she dies on the first disc? If Aeris never died, would I have still been inspired to write all that fan fiction? It's been confirmed that a "breathe underwater" materia was cut during the development stages. Was acquiring this the first step in a quest that would allow Cloud to reach Aeris at the bottom of the City of Ancients?
Interestingly enough, it's possible to revive Aeris if you're using a GameShark. And if you're playing the Japanese version of the game, she actually contributes dialogue at points where she should be dead (after disc 1). Was this dialogue that was originally intended for the game? Did they kill my poor, sweet Ancient just to meet their release date? How many hypothetical questions can one article have?
I don't know who I blame more for this, Sephiroth or Square.