7 Times It Wasn't Actually Game Over and You Totally Fell For It

Published A year ago by Andy Farrant

Raiden off into the sunset

If you've ever watched us play a videogame, you know we're no stranger to the game over screen. But though they're usually well deserved (for forgetting how grenades work or for walking off a cliff, say) there have been several occasions on which we've been fooled by convincing trick facsimiles of a real game over. Consider the fake game overs in which it wasn't actually game over and you totally fell for it.

The infamous 'Fission Mailed' sequence from Metal Gear Solid 2 is one such fake-out ending. It wouldn't be a Metal Gear Solid game without meta-narrative tricksiness, and Metal Gear Solid 2 upheld that proud tradition with a classic fake game over mind-screw.

Late in the game, during a fight alongside Snake, the screen suddenly goes white like a meta-narrative flashbang, and then you're faced with the familiar MGS2 game over screen.

What the hell, you thought, this is an outrage, until you realised the mini screen where it's usually mini dead Raiden has you still playing a mini version of the ongoing fight.

This is fully in keeping with Metal Gear Solid 2's theme of military simulation, blurring the line between game fiction and player reality, and, in the not actual words of Hideo Kojima, "messing with you for the lulz".

Fair's fair, though: your first clue that this wasn't a real game over was how the game over screen says FISSION MAILED instead of MISSION FAILED, which doesn't mean anything, and instead of EXIT/CONTINUE, it says EMIT/CONTINENT, which I'm not even sure how you would go about doing that.

Previously on Outside Xbox: 8 Times the Real Ending Was in Premium DLC.

About the author

Andy Farrant
Andy is co-editor at Outside Xbox, enjoys difficult moral decisions and fights like a cow. You might remember him from such defunct Xbox video channels as Inside Xbox.

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