Memory loss can play a major role in telling a good story, especially because the character and the audience can travel the journey together to unravel the mystery. Video games are no exception, and many titles have managed to take advantage of the amnesia element in order to provide a more interactive and engaging experience.
Most of the time, amnesia is designed to confuse players from the first moment, but other games have taken a different path. Some introduce characters with memory loss into an already established story, in order to add more to the narrative. The best uses of amnesic characters in video games have come to become legends in their own right.
Nei (Phantasy Star II)
Amnesia characters were written relatively light in the 16-bit era, and RPGs like Fantastic Star II could only go so far within the limits of technology to tell the story. Nei’s character plays a pivotal role in the overall story, though her true origins aren’t revealed until very late in the game.
Nei was very close to the main protagonist Rolf, an agent working for the central government of the planet Mota. She has a limited understanding of her own past, with pieces filled in by various people along the way. She ends up learning the whole truth about her origins when she discovers her sister Neifirst, a genetic experiment born from the same program as her.
Jason Fly (XIII)
Menacing spy video games featuring protagonists with amnesia have become popular with Jason bourne, corn XIII also wanted a piece of the action. The video game adaptation put players in the shoes of Jason Fly, a man who wakes up after surviving a gunshot wound, only to learn he is wanted by the FBI for murdering a sitting US president. .
The story unfolds throughout the game stages in the shadow of the cells where Jason must use all the tricks of the trade to stay one step ahead of his pursuers. The story is built on an epic level where XIII must prevent a coup by an obscure organization and come to terms with his true identity.
Mia (Resident Evil VII)
Mia’s character forced Resident Evil VII players to literally beware of every person in the game, thanks to a terrifying and biting introductory sequence. After missing for three years under mysterious circumstances, she is finally found by her husband Ethan inside the creepy Baker house, where she was imprisoned.
Mia oscillates between a normal woman and a terrifying monster of superhuman strength. Later, it is learned that Mia lost many of her memories regarding her participation in a top secret bioweapon that managed to break loose, and her participation in the story made her one of the best characters in Resident Evil VII.
Conrad B. Hart (Flashback: The Quest for Identity)
Conrad Hart was the amnesiac protagonist of the classic 16-bit era video game Go back, who tried to mix cinematic quality with a side-scrolling platform formula. He becomes the target of a group of aliens seeking to destroy Earth in 2142, and they decide to erase his memories in order to take care of him.
Thankfully, Conrad has saved all of his memories on a holocube, and his innate skills combined with his training allow him to survive a jump in a jungle environment, paving the way for some recovery. The story is woven over 7 individual levels before Conrad manages to save the day and fall into cryogenic sleep.
Terra (Final Fantasy VI)
Final Fantasy VI runs one of the best-written stories in the franchise, thanks to characters like Terra. She awakens from telepathic slavery to find herself on the run from a ruthless empire, which sets her on a quest to reclaim her lost memories and find out who she really is.
Over the course of the game, Terra undergoes a major transformation in her character, moving from a potential love interest in the character of Locke to a young woman with a very important goal in life. She is likable, lovable, and she is learning to overcome the crippling fear of her true identity and use it for the good of others.
Cloud Strife (Final Fantasy VII)
Technically, Cloud isn’t an amnesiac in the strict sense, but his fractured and semi-fabricated memories put him in the same overall class. Severe trauma contributed to his condition, aided by years of experimentation at the hands of the mad scientist Hojo. After Sephiroth went rogue, Cloud’s memories were messed up.
To compensate, Cloud basically devised a series of false memories based on stories told by Zack’s character. It was hard for him to tell the difference between what was real and what wasn’t, and even when the dust settled, Cloud’s memories were far from mended. The name “Cloud” was a reference to his psyche and fractured memories, which is one of the many Cloud Strife facts that many fans are unaware of.
Daniel (Amnesia: The Dark Descent)
This survival horror game brings yet another amnesiac protagonist into the mix, this time in the form of Daniel, a man exploring a creepy castle filled with many vicious puzzles and monsters. As usual, her missing memories are revealed as the game progresses, until the final reveal.
While his amnesia is reversed, players should keep an eye on Daniel’s sanity level, which can be negatively affected if not maintained. This will manifest as distorted vision, audible heartbeat, and even hallucinations. It’s one of the few games that combines both memory and sanity in one package.
Geralt (the witcher)
It took two video games before popular character Geralt of Rivia managed to tinker with his missing memories, but it’s been a tough road to get there. Geralt loses his memory before the first witcher game and slowly begins to repair them during the events of the second. He started with amnesia at the gates of Kaer Morhen, where wizards receive their training.
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The circumstances in which Geralt regained his memories are still being debated, despite what happened in The Witcher 2. Much of the story is left open to interpretation, and nothing is ever quite as it seems to be in the realm of witcher franchise.
Nilin (remember me)
Nilin Cartier-Wells was a memory hunter in the distant future, who used her skills to steal the downloadable memories of others for personal use. Her memories are erased following an operation where she uses revolutionary memory technology to convince a target to commit suicide.
Throughout the story, Nilin ends up working with a group of freedom fighters known as the Errors in order to reclaim his memories, while working to destroy the very technology that so many humans rely on. to purge unpleasant memories from their consciousness.
Darth Revan (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic)
No other video game character is more famous for going through an amnesia attack than Revan, from the classic Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. This ancient Jedi fell to the dark side of the Force after waging a grueling and costly war and believed he could unify the galaxy by putting it under his own hand.
The Jedi stripped him of his memories, which set him on a quest to fulfill his own destiny. As the game progressed, players were shocked to learn that the immensely powerful Sith Lord Darth Revan was in fact the main character in the game, which turned the whole story upside down and raised the stakes to a huge degree.
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