A lot of games have expansive lore, with vast worlds full of history. Most of the time, though, we only explore a very small portion of this history. Various characters, nations, and aspects of the world's history remain as mere anecdotes, leaving us to wonder what fills in the blanks.
I've compiled a list of what I find to be the top ten most intriguing unexplored plot points. For each of the games I've listed, the mystery of these parts of their story has left me theorizing for years.
10. 'Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow' - The War
The Pokémon games aren't exactly rife with deep lore, but there's the occasional plot point that comes up that manages to capture the player's attention. Lt. Surge, the third gym leader the player faces, mentions being involved in a war in the past. He even goes as far as to say that his electric Pokemon saved his life!
While more than likely nothing more than a vapid nod at the fact that he's a Lieutenant in the army, when taken at anything beyond face value, this statement does raise some serious questions and issues. There are wars in the Pokemon universe? Pokemon are used to fight in these wars? This statement has resulted in fans coming up with their own theories, some of which sound as plausible as they do insane.
9. 'Chrono Trigger' - 1999 A.D.
Out of all the different eras we visit in Chrono Trigger, 1999 remains the only one we can't explore. It sets the scene for the final battle, but that's it. This is the one era I always really wanted to see - it seems to be a near-future type of world, with cities under domes and highways between cities. The modern/near-future aesthetic is very unique when compared to even the two closest explorable eras - 1000 A.D. is more medieval, and 2300 is more futuristic, so we mostly skip over the "present day" aspect of time travel. Chrono Cross convolutes 1999 even further, due to the heroes from Trigger averting the Day of Lavos and creating an alternate future. If we ever get a third Chrono game, I kind of hope it takes place in said alternate future.
8. 'Demon's Souls' - The Sixth Archstone
Five of the archstones in Demon's Souls all lead to various areas. There is a sixth archstone, however, that is mysteriously broken by the time the game begins. You never get to visit the area it originally linked to, although several people suspect that it once led to the Land of the Giants, which was the first to fall to The Colorless Fog. You can read more theories about the broken stone, and why it is in the state that it is, here.
7. 'Metal Gear Solid' - Raiden Rescuing Sunny from The Patriots
There's a significant time skip in between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Metal Gear Solid 4. The last time we saw our heroes, Solid Snake and Raiden, they were ready and raring to go rescue Olga's daughter, Sunny, who had been taken hostage by the Illuminati-esque group calling themselves The Patriots.
By the time Metal Gear Solid 4 rolls around, this has all happened off screen. As it turns out, Snake never accompanied Raiden on this particular mission, as his accelerated aging had begun to creep up on him. Raiden infiltrated Area 51, where Sunny was being held, and managed to get her out - but not without consequence. Raiden lost most of his body in the process, and was forced to become a cyborg in order to continue living.
The next time we see Raiden, he looks nothing like his old human self. Hints are dropped throughout the game as to what exactly went down in Raiden's fateful mission; he mentions that a Dr. Madnar saved his life, and even goes to visit him again during a portion of the main game. For being such a huge part of the story, it's a bit frustrating that we see almost none of it for ourselves. Incidentally, Metal Gear Rising was originally intended to cover this portion of the Metal Gear lore, but was later retooled to take place after Metal Gear Solid 4 instead. What a shame.
6. 'Zelda: Majora's Mask' - The Fierce Deity Mask
Majora's Mask is a game that thrives on its mysterious atmosphere. Much like the more modern Souls games, much of its story is put together organically through exploring the world, and from bits and pieces of dialogue from NPCs. However, some aspects of Termina remain thoroughly unexplored.
The masks that Link receives throughout the game all grant him the likeness of a pre-existing person. The Deku Mask is the Deku Butler's son, the Goron Mask is the hero Darmani, and the Zora Mask is the guitarist Mikau. The most powerful transformative mask in the game, ominously named The Fierce Deity mask, transforms Link into an adult-aged, silver haired warrior who looks startlingly similar to our hero's own adult form from Ocarina of Time.
It's interesting to note that the world of Termina has a parallel personality to almost every person Link met in Hyrule during Ocarina, but Link himself is conspicuously absent. Could this "Fierce Deity" be Termina's parallel version of The Hero of Time? As there's virtually no information on the mask in the game, we'll likely never know who it's meant to represent, but it is fun to think about.
5. 'Destiny' - The Traveler
Even if you haven't played Destiny, you've probably seen The Traveler before. It's at the front and center of the game's marketing - the giant white orb in the sky that appears on the game's logo and in much of its concept art. However, the game itself does not seem to do much with the mystery of The Traveler. What we know is that it first appeared on Mars, allowing humanity to reach a sort of Golden Age. It then sacrificed itself to save humankind at the collapse of the age, and it now hangs low over the Earth, its origins and true purpose remaining largely unexplored. Perhaps Destiny 2 will answer some of these questions?
4. 'Mega Man X/Zero' - The Elf Wars
Part of the plot of the Mega Man Zero series is uncovering Zero's missing memories. As he slowly pieces them back together over the course of the first three games, we learn about what happened in between the end of the X series and the beginning of the Zero series.
After The Maverick Wars of the Mega Man X series came to an end, a man by the name of Dr. Weil rose up and instigated another conflict, which would later come to be called The Elf Wars. X and Zero fought together with other maverick hunters of their time to end the conflict, ultimately resulting in Zero being placed in stasis as seen at the beginning of Mega Man Zero 1.
While The Elf Wars and its repercussions form the backbone of the Zero series' narrative, we never get so much as a flashback as to what happened during that time. The closest we've ever gotten to seeing the actual event is in the Archie Comics, which, for one brief but glorious panel, showed us X and Zero in the midst of the conflict. It would sure be nice to see a game about The Elf Wars someday.
3. 'Castlevania' - The Battle of 1999
Julius Belmont, the last successor of the heroic Belmont clan, defeats Dracula for good in 1999 by sealing him inside of a solar eclipse. Castlevania is sealed along with him, and Julius, deeply affected by the arduous battle, loses his memory. This sounds awesome, right? Well, we never got to see this battle. It's mentioned in passing in a few of the Castlevania games - Aria of Sorrow and Dawn of Sorrow feature an older Julius, and Portrait of Ruin hints at the battle that is to come, but the climactic conflict itself is never shown on screen. Seeing a young Julius finish off Dracula for the last time is near the top of my list of "things I want to see that I probably never will."
2. 'Half-life' - G-man
The G-man is one of the most enigmatic figures in gaming. First appearing sporadically throughout Half-life and its expansions, the G-man slowly reveals that he is much more than he initially appears to be. He has knowledge of the alien Combine that no normal man should have, and is able to stop time and place people in stasis, awakening them when he feels the time is right to use them for his own mysterious agenda. It's strongly implied that this "G-man" isn't human, as, along with his clearly supernatural powers, his manner of speaking is forced and unnatural.
It's likely the G-man had great plans for our hero Gordon Freeman, but it's largely up in the air as to whether or not we'll ever see the conclusion to his story. Was he fighting against the Combine? Or did he have a more sinister agenda? Perhaps we'll never know.
1. 'Suikoden' - The Finale in Harmonia
The Suikoden series thrives on its world building. Each entry is very compartmentalized, taking place in a single nation in an otherwise vast and sprawling world. In this way, the series is very similar to the admittedly more popular Elder Scrolls.
Throughout the first five installments, each game mentions the land of Harmonia, a theocratic nation whose leader hasn't been seen in years, and that functions as the world's primary superpower. The overarching narrative of the series seemed to be slowly building up to a finale in the Kingdom of Harmonia, complete with answers to many of the series' grand mysteries: what is the story behind the mysterious conflict between the black knights Pesmerga and Yuber, the missing High Priest, and the nature of the True Runes? However, as the last Suikoden game released in 2007, it's looking highly unlikely that we'll ever see Harmonia at this point.
Would you like to see any of these plot points further explored? What aspects of a game's story would you like to see more of?