Sometimes, there are those stories where you read, see, or hear about a person being wrongfully accused of something they didn’t do. Whether it’s a crime, a dirty trick, or something trivial and meaningless, we’ve all seen or experienced something like this. Well, in The Count of Monte Cristo, the character Edmond Dantés is in this exact scenario, where he is wrongfully accused of being a conspiratist who plans to overthrow the king. He is then taken to prison, locked up, and eventually gets thrown in with the madmen and left to rot. But many video game characters experience wrongful accusations as well.
The first is Mario, the face of Nintendo himself. In Super Mario Sunshine for the Nintendo Gamecube, he arrives in Isle Delfino only to encounter a vandalized airstrip that he proceeds to clean. He is then thrown in jail, accused of spreading the goop all over the island, and sentenced to clean it up and recover the Shine Sprites. While this problem leads to a great platforming game, Mario never put the goop on the island. Heck, he wasn’t even ON THE ISLAND when the stuff was spread all over the place. In fact, it was Shadow Mario who did it, Mario’s new mysterious nemesis that he must conquer. And then Shadow Mario turns out to not even be real, just a — you know what, I probably shouldn’t spoil the game for those who haven’t played it yet. Next character!
Up next is Sonic the Hedgehog, the former heated rival of Mario, and the face of Sega. In the Sega Dreamcast/Nintendo Gamecube game Sonic Adventure 2, he starts the game in government captivity in a helicopter, where he is confused about why he is there in the first place. He then breaks out, attempts to escape the city in the stage City Escape, but is stopped by his own new sinister rival that looks surprisingly similar to him, Shadow the Hedgehog. However, they are completely different colors, Shadow’s spines stick up instead of down, and he had a deeper voice than Sonic, which makes me wonder how literally EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER (except Sonic, apparently the only smart one) thinks Shadow is Sonic. Even Amy Rose, Sonic’s self-proclaimed girlfriend, thinks Shadow is Sonic. You’d think that if you love somebody enough to just start calling yourself thier girlfriend, you’d be able to recognize him! Oh, well. Older games sometimes have more simplistic plots than newer ones. I mean, Sonic can redeem himself, right?
The last character I have is…drum roll please…SONIC THE HEDGEHOG! Yeah, I know, I just used him, and said he’d redeem himself, but this guy gets wrongfully accused not once, but twice! Poor guy…anyway, in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) for the Microsoft Xbox360 and the Sony Playstation 3, Sonic is accused by another new hedgehog, Silver, of being the root of the destruction of the world. He is confronted by him in Soleanna City, while accusations are hurled at him. Confused, he fights Silver (who Amy also mistakes for Sonic…how dumb is she!?), and then escapes from him for the time being. They meet again in the stage Radical Train, where Shadow (now Sonic’s friendly rival – are you confused yet?) assists Sonic in stopping Silver. He then FINALLY takes back the things he said, and the conflict with Silver ends. The major problem I have with this is that Sega used the idea of mistaken identity and false accusations not 5 years before this game. And then this game turned out to be the worst Sonic game ever, and perhaps the worst of all time. And why does every hedgehog get called “Sonic” by another character at some point? But I digress.
The point is, many games, books, movies, and verbal stories use this theme of mistaken identity and false accusations quite often. Most of the time, it creates great stories or fantastic video games, like Sunshine and SA2. But then there are games like Sonic ’06, which are just plain terrible. So remember, if you’re planning to use wrongful accusations in something you’re writing or creating…
…Don’t make it like Sonic ’06.