Story Contest: Game Characters After The Credits

By Jeff, Dec 01, 2007 7:45am PST

One of the best aspects of gaming is the variety of characters. Some are well crafted and deep, and well some are one dimensional justifications for gameplay mechanics. Both have their charms, from the drama of Tassadar crashing his ship at the end of StarCraft to accepting the unknown reasons behind Pac-Man's pill-munching habit. So we know these characters from their back stories, from their games, but what comes after the game?

In our latest contest, I would like you to write the true story of what happened to your favorite video game character after the credits rolled. Did the Lizzie from Rampage settle down with Godzilla? Did anything ever come of Sonic's speed accusations? And really... What has Duke been up to? And why was the Princess in those other castles?

You have until 11:59PM CST Sunday to write this story and post it in the comments for this story. For the prizes, the three winners will select from World in Conflict for PC, Heavenly Sword for PS3 and Project Gotham Racing 4 for Xbox 360 for the best three stories. Good luck!

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  • After what seemed an endless battle, the opposing paddle finally shattered into giant fading pixels. The remaining pad slid to bounce the ball one last time, and with the fading ring of a resonant ping watched as the ball faded farther and farther into the blackness of offscreen space, diminishing into the tiniest of dots until it eventually disappeared from all perception. With little else to behold except the tiny walls of the playing field and the now immobile score table, the remaining pad continued to stare at the spot where the ball had vanished, as a feeling of absolute loneliness gradually started to sink in. An immeasurable amount of time passed, before suddenly something smacked the pad in the back of the head. Curving ino a slight smile, the pad again focused on where he'd last seen the ball. And waited.

  • I apologize, Its a bit of a read, but fans of the orange box might enjoy it hopefully! :)

    Continued ending: portal

    The scene appeared wholly unremarkable by any account. A gate, three small one story buildings and a sturdy fence surrounding them sat in quiet serenity. Not a soul breathed to break the silence, or turned eyes upwards to whiteness the incredible spectacle about to erupt forth.

    First was the vibration, rattling the doors and windows on what appeared to be equipment storage buildings. Second was the bulge, the earth pushed upwards as if a giant sphere was attempting to force its way out. Asphalt tore in long striated cracks. Buildings buckled and glass shattered. Third was the light, as bright as the noon sun but cold and white, shining through every crevice, and then the light grew in strength until nothing else could be seen.

    When the light faded the scene had transformed. A dark underground secret had torn apart the quiet rural landscape and replaced it with a vast chasm of destruction. Rubble and fragments of machinery were thrown about and in the middle of it all, gasping for air, lay a lone survivor.

    The figure remained motionless for a time, clutching to her chest a gun-like object that closely resembled the many steaming shards of advanced electronics that now cluttered the area. Slowly she stirred, then as she regained her composure, staggered to her feet.

    Was it really over? She dared not let down her guard. The tests she had been subject too were so diabolical, there was no way to determine the extent of the deception. With vision still blurred from the intense light, she surveyed the surrounding, a skeptical eye scanning the remains of her electronic enemy. The computer certainly appeared dead. The orbs that contained pieces of its brain were crushed and silent, wires no longer sparking with life. And yet, if she closed her eyes and listened hard enough, she could almost hear singing.

    No, it would be foolish to believe her ordeal had ended, and yet she appeared safe for the time being, and allowed herself a moment to ponder. Who was she? How long had she been held prisoner like a lab rat and to what purpose? By God she didn’t even know her name, how she had ended up in the maze below, or why she had been bestowed with the portal gun she used so successfully to escape.

    The illusion of safety did not last long. Someone must have seen the explosion because in the distance a distinct humming could be heard. She took shelter behind a portion of wall that remained standing and willed her vision to clear.

    From over the pine trees across the clearing a creature had come into view. It was insect-like in appearance, with a long abdomen and dangling legs, and yet it shone like polished metal. It approached quickly, the hair on her neck stood up as the air became ionized. It may look like an insect, but this flying craft was electric and carried a powerful charge. It did not however appear to notice her crouching behind the brick wall, and as it turned to leave the area she made a decision. She wanted answers, and the time for caution was over.

    With the deft movement of someone well trained in its use, she oriented the gun at the creatures’ underside and fired a portal squarely in the middle of its belly, right between two twitching legs. The creature-craft didn’t seem to notice and continued to hover away over the forest at a healthy clip. She remains hidden until it had left her view and then placed another portal on a clear patch of ground nearby.

    The vision available in the oblong window before her would have disoriented most anyone else, as she looked down through the creatures’ underside and out on to an expansive landscape. The image was smooth but panned by in a blur of motion, as the creature flew over forests and along rivers, occasionally passing destroyed remnants of civilization. Whatever was happening in the world it appeared bigger than just herself. Whatever test she was involved in before, this was too big.

    But a voice inside her said to remain cautious. She had no way of knowing the potential of her captors. They may yet be watching, judging her every step and always, always prepared to kill her at the first mistake.

    A change in motion drew her attention back to the portal; the creature had slowed and now appeared to be descending on a small group of houses, their roofs caved in and one openly burning. She leaned in closer to watch and saw something, a man in what appeared to be a radiation suit stood out in stark contrast to his dilapidated surroundings. He stood near what looked like a car with everything stripped, except for a bare-bones frame and an engine. He was working away at smashing crates with a... She couldn’t quite make it out, but he was making short work of the crates and seemed so focused he hadn’t noticed the approaching creature which now hovered some distance above.

    Who was this new enemy? She decided he may know something, and in a bold move she rather believed she might regret, jumped through the portal.

    The air threw back her air as she went from standing on sturdy ground to falling at great speed. Carefully, she readied her leg braces for impact on the unsuspecting mans head. The brace would protect her, but what will it do to her new friend? She hoped his suit kept him alive long enough to talk.

    Before she could land he looked up, reacted quickly, too quickly, and hit her with some kind of weapon. For a moment she thought she was dead, her body felt weightless and her skin glowed orange. They looked at each other; her through an orange haze, him through a thick pair of black rimmed glasses. Something about his body language appeared more curious then fierce, but the glasses made him look like a scientist, and she hated scientists. As if to confirm the thought, the next moment she was flying backwards up where she had come. She underestimated this new enemy, his reflexes were fast and it seemed he could control gravity itself.

    She struggled to turn towards the creature that still hovered above, was she about to become an afternoon snack? She wrenched her head around against the onslaught of air to see the bug-like creature had pulled itself upright, and was now gathering great amounts of energy into the area in front of its head. Arcs of vibrant blue shot back and forth between its mandibles, and she felt her hair singe as she flew past. Fortunately the portal still sat perfectly on its midsection, and she closed up into cannonball formation to fit through.

    Back at the site near the underground facility, the unnamed woman hurled out from the glowing bluish portal on the ground. Turning back again towards the ground, she looked back to see a rocket shrieking towards her, and a narrow beam of red light coming up through the ground and focusing directly on her chest. Before the projectile could hit and obliterate her frail frame, she fired another portal wildly, closing the one on the ground. A sharp explosion could be heard off in the distance. That was a close call, and she needed to be more careful. She landed with a thud mere meters from the giant cylindrical crevice behind her.

    Who was that man? What was happening in the world? Had she just made an enemy considerably more dangerous then that malicious computer? She disabled all the portals with her gun, and sat down to rest and collect her thoughts.

    Déjà vu hit her like a sucker punch to the face, as her rest was interrupted by the distant sound of an engine approaching. It wasn’t the creature-craft this time. This sound was far more mechanical, and coming from ground level.

    He was on his way. That wreck of a vehicle he stood beside could run, and as the engine roared ever louder she knew he would be upon her before long.

    She had to think quickly. She could flee, but did not owe the fact that she still lived to such actions. Her ability to pass all the tests in the facility below and her eventual escape was owed to bold action and innovative thinking. As far as she knew she was born earlier that day, and had no other experience to draw from. She would go with what she knew.

    She walked to the edge of the pit leading down to the remains of the facility, and peered down into its depth. It was a long way down, but she could see the bottom. There were a few significant portions free of debris. Her new opponent was about to discover a small taste of her abilities, and hopefully this time he would be unprepared for them.

    Before long the dilapidated car came screaming into view, and with the precision of someone who'd been exhaustively trained in its use, she fired a portal to the ground well in front and to the side of it. As part of the same motion, she leapt backwards into freefall. Reentering the facility gave her a bad feeling, but she would not be there long. As the ground approached she pointed her gun downwards and placed another portal directly below her feet. The change in G forces tore at her insides as she went from falling at great speed to being launched upwards in the air with equal velocity. Her plan was working, the car had driven past the portal and its driver did not appear to see her. One more shot was all she needed and she would be victorious. Aiming carefully from her vantage point high in the air, she fired one last portal directly in front of the cars front-right tire. The tire dipped inside and the car crashed into the ground and spun sickeningly into the air, slamming into the remains of one of the storage buildings near the pit.

    This time she was in her element and landed deftly, her reinforced lower legs absorbing most of the force. Her weapon focused, she cautiously approached the wreck. It looked as if no one could have survived, but she did not yet know how resilient her opponent was to injury or what life support functions the body suit he wore may provide.

    The husk of a car was twisted around a corner outcropping of brick, what whatever flammable materials were there burned tall and hot. The heat was uncomfortable against her face as she approached, but she pushed forward to confirm the kill. As she rounded the side and got a good look at the remains of the driver’s seat, expecting to see organic carnage, she was instead met with nothing at all. No blood, no bones, nothing that resembled human remains in the least.

    One moment she was considering the possibilities - had he been ejected during the crash? The next she felt her portal gun slip out of her grasp as if she had dropped it. She turned in the direction it flew and saw him standing there. He wasn’t a large man, but his suit made him appear formidable indeed, yet again his face looked more curious than angry. In his right hand he held some kind of yellow energy gun that must be able to manipulate gravity. He had it focused on her and could likely use it with one flick of a finger to send her flying backwards, this time without her portal gun, to certain death at the bottom of the vast chasm.

    She realized her portal gun was sitting nearby, but it was closer to the man than her and she dared not move. Instead she stood there and bore his stare for an uncomfortably long time before he spoke:

    "You don’t look like a member of the Combine. Why did you attack me?"

    Faced with the task of responding, she realized she had never spoken out loud to her memory. She wondered if she could talk and if so, what her voice sounded like. After a couple false starts, she managed to croak in a dry but high pitched tone:

    "You can talk. So can I, it seems. I attacked you to find answers. Do you deny that you are one of the scientists who had me abducted and tested upon?"

    He turned his head slightly sideways and gradually lowered his gun as he spoke:

    "I was a scientist once… That was long ago. I’m not sure what I am now, but I know nothing of what you say. One thing I’ve learned is that while there’s no lack of enemies to encounter, there are friends as well, if you look for them. If you are not Combine then we could use you and your unique power in the resistance."

    He turned his face towards the portal gun lying inert on the ground near his feet. His gravity gun hummed and her weapon floated gently into the air.

    "You've seen some of what’s going on here, we've been all but decimated, and yet we still stand. We have allies and I would like to take you to them. Also, you destroyed my ride. If I'm not mistaken your portal gun will make short work of the journey, so let’s work together."

    With a flick of his wrist he tossed her the portal gun, which landed by her feet with a hollow plastic resonance. She considered her next move carefully, and replied:

    "Thank you for returning this to me.” She bent down to pick it up while the man continued to stand before her, motionless. “You have given me reason to trust you, but I still have no way of knowing you don’t work for them. We can travel together for now, but don’t expect me to lower my guard. One wrong move and I will portal you so far away you'll die of starvation before ever finding me again."

    "Understood,” he held out a free hand. "My name is Gordon Freeman, and who might you be?"