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Rosewater Park Attendant
 Post subject: Films/stories/games with similar plot twists to SM
     
         
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Missing since: 18 Apr 2009
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Shattered Memories' plot twist amazed me, it's so unique and so baffling, and so daring for a medium known to always play it safe. Sure, SH2 had a pretty immense plot twist, but Shattered Memories' twist changes the entire game and all of reality within it (while other Silent Hills were busy just trying to replicate SH2's). It's one of those wonderful twists which makes the second time around all the more powerful and changes the meaning of every single element of the story once you know.

There have been a lot of epic plot twists which change the entire story this way in film, the Sixth Sense being a classic example, but very few quite as cerebral as this one. Do you know any films/games/stories with similar plot twists you'd like to recommend to fans of the game? Please be sure to use spoiler tags when you get to describing the plot twists, though it'd be nice if you could include enough information about the film to get people interested enough to want to watch the film in question.

I'd like to mention two...


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Shutter Island

After describing the plot of Shattered Memories to my girlfriend, she looked gobsmacked, and said "You HAVE to watch Shutter Island! I can't tell you why because it'll spoil it, but seriously, just watch it!"...

This film has so many resemblances to Shattered Memories that I would suspect that it was an inspiration for the game if it hadn't come out around the same time as it. Leo DiCaprio plays detective in 1954, Edward Daniels, sent to find a missing patient from an institution for the "criminally insane". He took the job because Andrew Laeddis, the arsonist responsible for the death of his wife, is said to be there. As he gets closer to the truth he experiences bizarre dreams and things start to become very weird.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
DiCaprio's character was never a detective. He was the very man he was after, Andrew Laeddis, who has created detective Daniels as a new personality for himself to run away from his past. His wife was mentally ill, and due to Andrew refusing to get her some help, she ended up drowning all three of their children, and Andrew killed her. The institute were under heavy pressure to prove their humanistic approach to mental health care was working so that the powers that be wouldn't enforce lobotomies and other such brutal methods on their patients, so they had staged an elaborate play around Andrew, allowing him, as Edward Daniels, to discover the truth for himself and break out of his fantasy.


The crazy thing is the similarities here. In order to find the truth, Edward has to swim to a lighthouse where he finds a psychiatrist. He has dreams in which his dead wife turns to ash (not ice :P) and crumbles.


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Mulholland Drive

This is a stunning film! David Lynch really works his magic here. This one presents a dramatic plot twist without having to spell it all out to you. Guaranteed it needs repeated viewings to 'get it', but the clues are all there.

Betty (Naomi Watts) has just moved to Hollywood to attempt to start an acting career. She's damn good, and looks to be going far, but when a girl with no memory (Laura Harring) shows up with a purse containing a wedge of cash and a blue key, she turns her focus to helping this girl (whom they dub 'Rita') find out her identity, and the origins of the money and the key. Whenever they get closer to Rita's identity, something odd seems to happen (much like the way the world ices over every time Harry Mason comes close to finding his origin), and there also seem to be mafia-types forcing a director to put actress Camilla Rhodes in a role Betty was after. Betty and 'Rita' fall in love and sleep together, and visit an art house theatre club called 'Silencio' in the middle of the night, where things start to get very strange...

[Reveal] Spoiler:
In club Silencio, a blue box, which matches Rita's key, appears in Betty's possession. When the box is opened, reality returns...

There is no Betty, and Rita was actually the actress, Camilla Rhodes. Betty is really Diane Selwyn, a failed actress struggling to make ends meet, and her fuckbuddy Camilla had been helping out by getting her minor roles in her films. Diane had fallen madly in love with Camilla, though, and Camilla had to sever the intimate ties between them since she was in a relationship with the director of their film. Desperate, distraught and furious, Diane had met a hitman and put a hit on Camilla and the director, the hitman informed her that he would leave a blue key for her to let her know that the deed had been done.

The rest of the film had been the vivid dream of a person overcome with their own guilt. Betty was her dream-self, succeeding in Hollywood, and the dream version of the woman she loved was what she wanted from her, submissive and helpless, in desperate need of her. The dream version of an actress named Camilla Rhodes got her part for any reason but the fact that she was actually better than her, such as mafia-types threatening the director. The money in Rita's purse was the money Diane gave to the hitman, and the blue key was the hitman's signifier.

After her dreams, hallucinations, and overwhelming regret overcome her, Diane takes her own life.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Films/stories/games with similar plot twists to SM
     
         
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*Points to the "Tomato in the Mirror" page on TVTropes*

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Rosewater Park Attendant
 Post subject: Re: Films/stories/games with similar plot twists to SM
     
         
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Well... I meant as in psychological... Shattered Memories' twist is deeper than anything listed on that page, I wanted people to recall films or stories they had seen with similar cerebral twists, not just 'oh my god he was him all along!'

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Films/stories/games with similar plot twists to SM
     
         
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Quote:
Shattered Memories' twist is deeper than anything listed on that page


That's entirely subjective, and anyway, Shattered Memories is listed as an example. The trope is inherently psychological, so your objection doesn't really make any sense beyond a vague "I want better."

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I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


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Rosewater Park Attendant
 Post subject: Re: Films/stories/games with similar plot twists to SM
     
         
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DistantJ wrote:
Well... I meant as in psychological... Shattered Memories' twist is deeper than anything listed on that page,


I really don't agree. I actually think SM's twist is kind of shallow. It doesn't add meaning, it replaces one meaning with another, but what it takes away is greater than what it adds. Shutter Island has a much more interesting twist, IMO.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Films/stories/games with similar plot twists to SM
     
         
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While I disagree with Tillerman, he does drive back the point that the criteria the OP is asking for are entirely arbitrary. Instead of asking for something that can be objectively evaluated such as the Tomato in the Mirror trope, you're essentially asking for "I only want twists that interest me."

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I thought he meant the special powers of her vagina.


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Rosewater Park Attendant
 Post subject: Re: Films/stories/games with similar plot twists to SM
     
         
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Geez guys I am using the word cerebral to mean psychological... I was just looking for people to share stories with similar natured plots, ones which go, say 'into the brain' or whatever. I didn't write all that just to get pedantries thrown at me.

Plot twists similar to Shattered Memories. It's in the TITLE OF THE THREAD. Ones that remind you of it/it reminds you of. I'd happily read about whatever plot twist you wanted to show me but I'm not interested in just a friggin TV tropes page, that's not discussion is it? It'd be like somebody saying "I'd like to discuss games like Silent Hill" and then getting linked to the 'survival horror' section of gamespot.

Thought it'd make a nice discussion. Waste of bloody time.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Films/stories/games with similar plot twists to SM
     
         
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DistantJ wrote:
Geez guys I am using the word cerebral to mean psychological... I was just looking for people to share stories with similar natured plots, ones which go, say 'into the brain' or whatever. I didn't write all that just to get pedantries thrown at me.

Plot twists similar to Shattered Memories. It's in the TITLE OF THE THREAD. Ones that remind you of it/it reminds you of. I'd happily read about whatever plot twist you wanted to show me but I'm not interested in just a friggin TV tropes page, that's not discussion is it? It'd be like somebody saying "I'd like to discuss games like Silent Hill" and then getting linked to the 'survival horror' section of gamespot.

Thought it'd make a nice discussion. Waste of bloody time.


Er... you should probably put more than just "do you know of any other media with this twist?", because that lends itself more to just a list of media, as the TV Tropes page does for you. However, you COULD attempt to discuss anything on the page, you know.

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Woodside Apartments Janitor
 Post subject: Re: Films/stories/games with similar plot twists to SM
     
         
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There are times I find a blind eye is a good friend.

I'm gonna assume anyone reading this will expect SM spoilers, so I'll only tag those that aren't SM-exclusive.

Shattered Memories' twist appeals to me because it isn't just a twist in the narrative, and isn't entirely story based. It has a lot to do with character. For one, we're made aware at the end that we've been playing as someone we're led to believe is Harry. Two, there are endings that show Harry as being nothing like his caring and devoted father self we're shown throughout the entire game.

These kind of character twists are what shock and interest me more than those kind of classic Twilight Zone twists (no offense TZ, I love you, you have many admirable twists, and I was just making a point...please don't remove yourself from my Netflix queue...)

Shutter Island and Mulholland Drive are two good examples of this kind of character based twist I crave.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Shutter Island had those moments that made me constantly think back to Shattered Memories, and inversely. The protagonist is under a delusion, as is the audience, just like in SM. The twist again is character based and couldn't exist without that character having been under a divine and legitimate delusion, just as SM's twist couldn't have. Neither would've been as effective if the audience was just under the influence that non-Character-linked pieces of the narrative were something they weren't.

Mulholland Drive came to mind when I played SM, too. I thought of how
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Betty is so different from her "real" counterpart, Diane. This can be compared to how different fantasy Harry is from his real self, each difference depending on the ending obtained. Unfortunately, only multiple conclusions can be drawn from Diane's story, as her ultimate fate isn't so decidable. Not that Harry's is that much different. It's just, at least you can sort of determine if Cheryl keeps him alive in her naughty delusion. Poor Diane can only end up choosing self-destruction...

Diane's fantasy reminds me of Cheryl's. They're both often cinematic, surreal, suspiciously thought-out at some parts, and involve deus ex machina appearances that save the day. In Diane's fantasy, Rita is saved from her assassination by an improbable and perfectly timed out crash intervention. In SM, Harry's death and ultimate fate is prevented time and time again by him escaping the frozen nightmare world and even Cybil dragging him from a freezing lake like she has a human tracking device and marker planted under his skin or something.

There're others, but the main link I get between MD and SM is the role of the fantasy and how the fantasist places themselves in their dream as the opposite of what they are. Diane imagines herself as a budding actress on a heartening and mysteriously exciting journey towards her dream job with her ultimate idealized vision of a friend/lover by her side, a woman that requires her help and her protection, friendship, and intimacy to recover her own identity.

No doubt Diane would fancy this, just as Cheryl would certainly love putting herself in her own invention in various forms. A sort of Frankenstein hybrid of her and her mother, a mysterious apparition leading her father, and probably most enjoyably as her child self, lost and probably terrified in this strange, morphing world, with nobody but her father to find and rescue her.

Something that always irked me was how people I watched Mulholland Drive with ragged on Watts' perky portrayal of Betty. I mean, just look at how she played Diane! There's a reason she acted that way in Betty form - it's a fantasy, and requires sort of campy, unrealistic portrayals of characters and other elements, especially if they're to stand out in contrast from the harsh reality at the core of the story. Rita's actress, Laura Herring, did this contrast depiction awesomely, too.

God, I love both of those movies. One that reminds me of SM that I didn't love so much is The Hole (2001). I'm talkin' 'bout the one with the British teens that get themselves locked in a bunker, not the newer 2009 movie based on some brothers that find a deep hole in their basement.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
It's about a handful of teens in Britain that play as characters that get mixed and mingled in a plot based on how memories/flashbacks can be deceiving. There are pieces and details of Cheryl's fantasy and SM's gameplay that are so deceiving and cannot be trusted, yet players probably aren't entirely aware of this until the end. Events change, characters appear differently all the sudden. It was neat to watch this kind of idea play out in live action in The Hole.

Something as simple as the teddy bear being left behind in the crashed car at the beginning can imply an idea that greatly misleads the person experiencing the narrative. I saw some of this being played on in The Hole. As you might expect, the twist here is also largely character based, but not handled so well. What is handled well is characters' motives and their effect on the viewer.

The Hole illustrates how believable motives can lead one to believe and trust far more than they should, just as I felt the player was constantly being led to believe a lot that couldn't be trusted, while at the same time the truth was screaming in your face, though you just couldn't recognize those details and imagery as so until the end. Well, unless you caught the ball before you got to the end. You clever thang you.

Another film I've heard that has good, memory/deceitful twistness that might be similar to SM's twist is Memento. It has Carrie-Anne Moss in it, too, so if you're looking to get your Moss fix until Revelation, or just wanting to see how she is outside of The Matrix (you've seen that, right? :P ), Memento is probably a good go.

Speaking of twists, was I the only one disappointed by Burton's Alice in Wonderland twist? I mean, was it even there? Or did I just watch it wrong, or something.

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Rosewater Park Attendant
 Post subject: Re: Films/stories/games with similar plot twists to SM
     
         
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Missing since: 18 Apr 2009
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Thanks Wonder Boy. Good to see I'm not the only one who thinks Shutter Island and Mulholland Drive are particularly similar to SM. Personally I think MD did the better job of the two (mainly because of the 'Ben Kingsley explains the entire thing to you' scene, I always prefer to be able to interpret things) but both are in my top 10 films.

Yeah, Memento is excellent, I'd recommend it. However I'd give you one piece if information before going into that one to save you the confusion I had. See, Memento is about a guy with no short term memory (this isn't a spoiler, it's the entire premise) - he can remember his past but can't make new memories since his accident, so every 10 minutes or so his memory resets. Like MD and SI, you experience the story the way the character does, meaning you also can't be allowed to remember what just happened, and the way the film achieves this is by giving you the story backwards. Basically it's almost every scene in reverse order (with a couple of 'asides', usually in black and white), so that each time he 'wakes up', so do you, and you have to piece the story together going backwards, each time you realise what he was doing in the last scene and why. Start at the end and end up at the beginning. The plot twist is at the start of the story, therefore, the end of the film.

I tell you this simply because Memento is a far more enjoyable film if you spend your energy following the mystery rather than trying to work out what the heck is going on! Once you know this it's a truly great mystery film!

The Hole sounds cool, I will have to take a look, unfortunately I believe I've had that one spoiled for me already back when it first came out, by some school friends (ahh 2001, seems so long ago!).
[Reveal] Spoiler:
If I'm thinking of the same film, wasn't it something like, one of the characters was a little too into one of the other characters, romantically, and set the whole thing up to bring them together or something?


I don't remember any twists in the recent Alice in Wonderland...

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Cafe5to2 Waitress
 Post subject: Re: Films/stories/games with similar plot twists to SM
     
         
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The game felt like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind to me in many ways. It had that feeling of not being able to tell if your in a dream, and the dream beginning to unravel.

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Cafe5to2 Waitress
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I know a lot of people hated it, but I honestly thought the twist in The Uninvited was pretty effective. I haven't seen the original korean film, but I would like to see it some time. I must say, however, that even these kind of twists are, on the surface, ''it was him all along!'' twists. So I do consider your proposal of disregard to these ''kind'' of twists, rather muddled.


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Rosewater Park Attendant
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How could I possibly have put it more clearly? Everything I've mentioned deals with dreams, the mind, questioning reality, identity and sanity, rather than "OMG IT WAS HIM!"

Monster wrote:
The game felt like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind to me in many ways. It had that feeling of not being able to tell if your in a dream, and the dream beginning to unravel.

Yes! Definitely!! Amazing film and the end parts of SM are very reminiscent of the moments when reality literally falls apart around the characters. Great stuff, thanks!

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Cafe5to2 Waitress
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Quote:
How could I possibly have put it more clearly? Everything I've mentioned deals with dreams, the mind, questioning reality, identity and sanity, rather than "OMG IT WAS HIM!"

I said on the surface.


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Woodside Apartments Janitor
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Monster wrote:
The game felt like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind

FrankRD wrote:
I know a lot of people hated it, but I honestly thought the twist in The Uninvited was pretty effective.

How could I forget these! I hardly mildly enjoyed The Uninvited. The original, A Tale of Two Sisters, is far superior and depicts the twists far better visually and emotionally. Not to mention, the soundtrack is unbelievable. I recommend it 100% if you liked TU. While the original's version gets me excited even on subsequent viewings, the remake's version is forgettable at best, offering little emotional impact, not even making a small ripple in even's SM's twist revelation scene.

However, those are both excellent examples of films with similar feels and themes, and twists, to SM.

DistantJ wrote:
I tell you this simply because Memento is a far more enjoyable film if you spend your energy following the mystery rather than trying to work out what the heck is going on!

Absolutely. This is what I usually do the first viewing of these kinds of movies - enjoy and enjoy some more. Then, I dissect it heavier the second time 'round. Usually, I can't help but go in with my mind's psychological calculator salivating the first viewing, so it's hard for me to just relax and watch.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Quote:
If I'm thinking of the same film, wasn't it something like, one of the characters was a little too into one of the other characters, romantically, and set the whole thing up to bring them together or something?

Pretty much. The twist isn't very imaginative, but the way the story is played out over the timeline is interesting. Plus, what I'm interested in here is that it shows similar events in different versions, much like SM shows a lot of the same events and characters differently depending on how the player moves through the world.
DistantJ wrote:
I don't remember any twists in the recent Alice in Wonderland...

[Reveal] Spoiler:
There was this whole thing where she realized that her dreams about Wonderland weren't dreams, but memories, confirming she is the real Alice. (sigh) As if we were given any reason to believe she wasn't.

I don't even understand why I spoilered that.
DistantJ wrote:
rather than "OMG IT WAS HIM!"

This is true. There are a lot of stories out there with twists that could be filed under, "Who Dun It/The Truth About So-and-So Twists", but very few are done well that have premises, stories and such based on psychological concepts, dreams, memories, identity...that also don't have to be stretched too far to legitimately compare to Shattered Memories.

Speaking of identity. Identity was actually a good movie that comes to mind when comparing and contrasting twists similar to SM's.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
What, with the whole idea of characters in that movie being an extension of the psychopathic man's own identity from the film Identity, it brings me directly to Cheryl and her own manifested puppets trotting around in her mind's arena/stage.

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Historical Society Historian
 Post subject: Re: Films/stories/games with similar plot twists to SM
     
         
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DistantJ wrote:
Geez guys I am using the word cerebral to mean psychological... I was just looking for people to share stories with similar natured plots, ones which go, say 'into the brain' or whatever. I didn't write all that just to get pedantries thrown at me.

Plot twists similar to Shattered Memories. It's in the TITLE OF THE THREAD. Ones that remind you of it/it reminds you of. I'd happily read about whatever plot twist you wanted to show me but I'm not interested in just a friggin TV tropes page, that's not discussion is it? It'd be like somebody saying "I'd like to discuss games like Silent Hill" and then getting linked to the 'survival horror' section of gamespot.

Thought it'd make a nice discussion. Waste of bloody time.


SHF:

How long have you been on this forum for? Of course we are going to pick this apart, were are like vultures and unfortunately your thread is the decaying carcass we wish to tear into and devour.

But I am not like the other vultures here, in fact, I am the graceous dove that shows understanding and compassion.

What I am saying is that you shouldn't take shit to heart. I think this topic is intelligent and you shouldn't let Aura Twilight piss on your parade so easily.
Coooo...Cooo.....
I am a dove, man. a dove

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Rosewater Park Attendant
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wonder's boy wrote:
Speaking of identity. Identity was actually a good movie that comes to mind when comparing and contrasting twists similar to SM's.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
What, with the whole idea of characters in that movie being an extension of the psychopathic man's own identity from the film Identity, it brings me directly to Cheryl and her own manifested puppets trotting around in her mind's arena/stage.


Another great film! I forgot about that one. You are awesome. You on Twitter or anything??

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Woodside Apartments Janitor
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Aww, you. You're awesome as well, and also a pretty cool guy.

I'm not on Twitter, I'm afraid. I am on Facebook now 'an then, though.

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