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StaceyPowers

Worst retcons in video game history?

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World of Warcraft's Legion was oft hailed as the best expansion since The Burning Crusade/Wrath of the Lich King, depending on which you played first (if neither, it was the best expansion period), especially for its story. However, it was apocalyptic to its lore: it was decided and made canon right there and then that your race and culture followed the same lore as everyone else. Trolls were hit the hardest: the Light that previously came from the Loa was just the same Light used by the Draenei, Humans, Dwarves and Gnomes. That Hex Priests (Warlocks) didn't manipulate and bargain with spirits, rather they drew upon the demons beyond the Twisting Nether... like every. Warlock. Ever.

That Sunwalker Paladins of the Tauren had the exact same goals and ideals, as well as drawing power from their god, was the same as the others. Forsaken (sentient undead) Warriors were granted immortality by the Valkyre because of their class hub.

Legion's story works if you disregard the core of how you interface with the game: your class.

6 hours ago, Reality vs Adventure said:

I'm having a hard time understanding what a retcon is even after looking it up. 

It's essentially changing the lore after the fact. One example I use is of Doctor Who: the First Doctor was the grandfather to one of his companions; it was later changed to him being a Time Lord, an alien from the planet Gallifrey, but had kept this a secret from her and went by the name of 'grandfather'. Or in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, we typically know her to be kickass, but in the episode 'Normal Again' she's actually hallucinating all of this, and the real Buffy is in a psychiatric ward for schizophrenia. Creator Joss Whedon left that episode's ambiguity up in the air on purpose, much to the ire of the fanbase. Interestingly, the Buffyverse RPG plays quite well to things that aren't necessarily canon, like the Wishverse (an alternate world where Buffy doesn't get to Sunnydale in time) or Hellworld (where the apocalypse is brought about in Season 5).

Think of it as a correction to what is canon, or what is now "the correct" information in-universe.

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Life is Strange: Before the Storm

 

In the first Life is Strange Rachel Amber was built up big time as this amazing person who touched the hearts and enriched the lives of pretty much everyone she came into contact with.  You spend much of your time trying to discover what happened to her and it's upsetting to say least when you discover what did.

 

Then came the prequal, Before the Storm.  In which you discover the whole backstory that was set up before was practically a lie!  Rachel was a selfish, manipulative bitch you cast by pretty much on her looks and just used people (including Chloe) for own selfish ends all the time.  She fuckin sucks!

 

What makes it even worse is when you look back the original.  Not only did Chloe never realize she was being taken for a ride by the cunt, but she ruined her education and jeopardised her relationships with just about everyone around her in order to do so.  It makes the street smart half of the duo in the original retroactively look like a complete idiot.

Edited by Crazycrab
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1 minute ago, Reality vs Adventure said:

Would that be in the same series only or could it be an entirely different game with a different take on the lore if there is a relation to it? 

It's my understanding a retcon happens within the same series, like the mainline games. A spin-off isn't retcon in and of itself, however if the events of the spin off were canonised and ran contrary to previous lore, it would be a retcon. It's essentially only a retcon if the designers choose it to be, though there's a lot of stigma surrounding it because it's oft controversial.

Going back to my Warcraft example, the Warcraft RPG books are no longer considered canon. That means that in citing Warcraft lore from those books makes for an invalid case. The lore from the Warcraft RTS however is mostly intact going into World of Warcraft, a spin-off that takes place within the RTS games' future.

Another simple example that applies to most of the above (Warcraft, Buffy, and comics) is "nobody dies in [intellectual property]." Illidan Stormrage has the iconic quote of "death was merely a setback"; Buffy died about 3 times during the show; and how many comic book characters have died, only to get better?

One of my favourite comics is Marvel's Ruins which shows the most grotesque ways the supes are transformed by the means they would ordinarily get their powers. Peter Parker developing a highly infectious rash all over his body thanks to an irradiated spider isn't canon or a retcon; him becoming Spiderman remains canon. Marvel explains this by calling Ruins' Earth "Earth-9591", and the Spiderman Earth to be "616". Ruins isn't meant to be a replacement (which is what a retcon would be), rather an alternative or complement.

I wish I could explain it better, so I shall have to link the retroactive continuity (or 'retcon' for short) article on Wikipedia in the hopes that might make things clearer. I hope that helps all the same, and I apologise for going around the houses with an answer.

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22 hours ago, Reality vs Adventure said:

I'm having a hard time understanding what a retcon is even after looking it up. 

A retcon is a literary device in which the form or content of a previously established narrative is changed to fit in line with a newer continuation of the same story. 

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