While we may never pilot a spaceship or mow through an Orc army, internal conflicts are universal; we face them every day. Seeing our heroes overcome this part of themselves shows us we're also capable of overcoming adversity. In Waiting for Godot, Vladimir and Estragon experience internal conflict from the very beginning - whether to continue waiting or just leave. But they never act on this impulse. They never overcome. They never change.


To examine this a little closer, let's talk about a game that, for everything it does right, leads to a conclusion oddly lacking lasting affect: BioShock.

As an unwitting child of Rapture, our hero Jack spends the game scavenging to survive - appropriating anything from food to ammo to the lives of young girls. Choosing whether to harvest or save the Little Sisters dictates the outcome of the story - whether to abuse them as per the player's actions throughout, or hand them the key to Rapture. Remember, the climax of Jack's character arc is not the external conflict with Fontaine but this pivotal decision afterwards.

While the Resurrection may seem present here, the moment lacks emotional gravity and the problem lies in Jack himself. He's a blank slate. He does not have the capacity to change or learn because he never was anything to start with. There is no point that unequivocally tests Jack's resolve simply because he has none. So instead imagine if Jack was characterised as a criminal on a last-ditch quest for redemption (regardless of the later story revelations). Learning the value of human life in a failed objectivist utopia where it is paradoxically devalued - by not harvesting the Little Sisters - would demonstrate his desire and capacity to grow as a character and, perhaps in doing so, find a new reason to live. Conversely, harvesting them would create a tragic character arc, demonstrating the hero's ongoing reluctance and inability to change.

The moment of Resurrection following the Fontaine battle would need to be reworked accordingly. If the player has harvested the Little Sisters, perhaps they turn on Jack in violent retribution; while Jack has saved Rapture from Fontaine, his continuing selfishness is ultimately punished. Save them, however, and Jack is put to his final test, forced to choose between sacrificing himself so the remaining Sisters may survive (proving he's successfully absorbed the lesson of Rapture) or harvesting them all to escape. By choosing the honorable death - appropriate to his character until this point - the player would see a definitive final change in Jack. His sacrifice shows us even the disgraced are capable of redemption.

Moving on to a game where the Resurrection takes a different form: While a heart-warming story of love, courage, and loss of childhood innocence helps make Ocarina of Time one of the most celebrated pieces of videogame storytelling, subtle characterisation and a superbly crafted final act ensure the experience sticks with you.

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