Facebook Files: What’s Your Favourite Apocalypse?

By Ishaan . October 24, 2010 . 1:01pm


This week, we’re discussing the different post-apocalyptic scenarios in gaming, and which ones stand out to you more than others. Click here for the full discussion.


Steven wrote:

So many games today portray the end of the world in many different ways.


Many different interpretations include but are not limited to; the tiresome Zombie Apocalypse in games like Left 4 Dead, the post-nuclear Apocalypse like in the Fallout series, the robot inhabited and lushly vegetated Apocalypse of Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, the omni-religious Apocalypse as seen in Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne (and other SMT titles), and the Apocalypse that you help initiate as one of the Four Horsemen and subsequently attempt to clean up in Darksiders.


Typically the post-Apocalyptic world of each game plays a major role in the gameplay and story of each game. So I ask you, what was your favorite “end of the world”video game and why? Feel free to discuss anything and everything you liked about the game.


Don wrote:

Before we go any further, I just have to get this out of the way: SPOILERS ALERT!!


The Xenosaga series would have to be the undisputed heavyweight champion of apocalyptic games in my book. Here’s why. In the first episode, within the first five minutes, you see the activation of the Zohar, and the subsequent disappearance of Earth (aka Lost Jerusalem). So already, before you even start playing, within the FIRST cut-scene, one planet is gone. Within the same game, another planet disappears (Ariadne), and a third planet is nearly destroyed (Second Miltia). Keep in mind that this is a trilogy of games.


Patrick wrote:

I haven’t played this game but one of the reasons I wanna play it is because of its visually stunning post-apocalyptic world. I’m really looking forward to having time to play Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. There is something about nature taking over a city (A mixture of natural and man made) that is very pleasing to me.


Andre wrote:

I wasn’t able to finish it but I really enjoyed Metro 2033, I loved it for how it really forced you to conserve ammunition and how things got tense when I was running out of my favorite shotgun ammo and had to rely on my less than trusted pistol against the mutated denizens on the surface and terrorists underground.


Which apocalyptic / post-apocalyptic game worlds do you like? Which one do you think is the most believable or better executed in general than the rest? Have at it!

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  • malek86

    Zombie Apocalypse!

    Well, that or the Great Heat in Baroque. It doesn’t get much more apocalyptic than the earth turned to a wasteland and all humans being mutated into monsters who can’t feel pain.

  • Fragile Dreams. I could only hope the post-apocalyptic world would look like one of those geo rocks.

    I would also like mention a certain Atlus game, at least the first one. I’ll refrain from saying it to not spoil anything ’cause it was really cool how it played out, but if you know me you know what I’m talking about. ;)

    Left 4 Dead, too. It pushes the fantasy of going on a zombie killing (?) spree quite a bite, but I thought it really did show that humanity was on its last legs and these survivors were really, REALLY trying to overcome it.

  • Ereek

    On this site, Nier is a given. Not mentioning Nier is practically a crime.I know a lot of people on Siliconera aren’t fond of WRPGs, but Fallout is nice (despite that fact that people who dislike WRPGs and haven’t tried it always assume it’s a FPS). I think 3, while the weakest story-wise and it doesn’t really fit the lore (which is fine by me), hit the perfect post-apocalyptic note. You still see families in bed together, people who have commit suicide because they have nothing left, people who thought they were safe only to find themselves destroyed by their own mutated family members, and my personal favorite was the family with the sick child who was sending out distress signals through the radio, only to come in and find all of them long dead. Wandering through each new house and area is like exploring a new family’s story. Fallout 1, 2, and NV don’t have the general sense of loneliness, despair, and loss that F3 was able to portray in some of its moments of exploration. Breath of Fire: DQ is another one of my choices,

    I feel the need to mention this simply because I love the game and it is partially relevant, but it doesn’t really do post-apocalyptic well and certainly doesn’t revolve around it: Grandia.

    Skies of Arcadia probably has the most unique view on post-apocalyptic world and gets my vote for “favorite.”

    • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

      I didn’t realize/ dont’ recall Skies of Arcadia was post-apocalyptic world. It’s been a while since I had a Dreamcast. I guess if there’s any indication it would be the first dungeon and the Gigas. I loved that game though… probably because it reminded me so much of Nausicaa and Castle in the Sky.

      • Ereek

        Oh, it’s absolutely post-apocalyptic and is mentioned many, many times through the course of the game. I think you need to replay it! It’s also available on the GameCube if you have a way to play GC games.The empty city of Glacia hits the “creepy post-apocalyptic” feel perfectly.

        In recent years, SoA has hit my top 3 favorite games of all time. I love it so much.

        • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

          Good to see another fan. Now I really need to replay the game.

          I barely remember what the plot was other than it ended with Ramirez merging with this death star thing in the end… I do recall there were Egyptian, Asian, and Jungle civilizations… The open-world airship exploration (better than FF), crazy ship battles, and stopping in the middle of sailing to talk to your crew were all memorable elements that I haven’t seen in any J-RPG since…

          Funny the things I do and don’t remember. Good times.

          • Actually, it’s amusing you should say that because I loved the game, but I too, can’t remember what the general plot was except that Ramirez was all pissed that you killed whatever his name was.

            I’m really hoping they’ll just make a PSN version of this, one day, so I can play it again.

          • ForeverFidelis

            Everytime I see the name “Ramirez”, I have a huge urge to shout “DEFEND BURGER TOWN”

        • Pesmerga00

          Yes, I love SOA. If you explore and find all of the discoveries, there are quite a few that point directly to the world being post-apocalyptic.

          =minor spoilers=
          The satellite, water ships, all of the extinct civilizations, etc.

          I had always hoped for a second game (still do). That would delve further into this aspect of the game. (Also the Black Moon Stone needs answers.) :)

  • I prefer the Cake apocalypse mentioned in 8-bit Theater

  • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

    I’m a big fan of post-apocalyptic movies. Twelve Monkeys, A Boy and His Dog, Mad Max, Escape from NY etc… Video games, not as much because a lot of it feels derivative of said movies. Still, my vote goes to the recent Resonance of Fate, which is unique in it’s approach to the setting. It’s like… an apocalypse after an apocalypse.

    Clearly much time has past since whatever event caused humans to migrate into the giant tower of Basel, so the setting isn’t immediately post-apocalyptic. So much time has past, in fact, it could be clearly seen in the game that many areas that once thrived in the tower itself had fallen into disarray and abandon. Towns are few but, along with the understated dungeons, have a very distinctly rusty, industrial aesthetic to them, and do a fine job of conveying living conditions. Seeing the gradual deterioration of the tower, which was built to combat a deteriorating earth, as well as the distant, murky earth itself just below that I never get to explore, really puts me in the shoes of the protagonists. I gradually realized, the more I saw, that the world these characters lived in was hanging by a thread, nearing the end of its days, awaiting either extinction or a miracle to happen. When the final haven of mankind collapses, where is there to go?

    Unfortunately, the richness of the setting is never truly exploited to its potential during the story, and many questions about the world and its workings are left unanswered by the game’s end. As it stands, however, RoF’s lore is fascinating and definitely worth a look.

    • I liked, though, that Resonance of Fate’s story was not a big, end-of-the-world tale, but a more personal one, even if it had you going against the most powerful man in Basel.

      Thinking about it, I think I’d rather see spin-offs than a straight-ahead sequel with that. There’s so much potential in the world they created and I’d love to see other games set in that world with their own personal stories.

      • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

        Yea, the personal story was something rare in J-RPGs… I liked it too. Gave it a very… Cowboy Bebop feel/ pace. It’s just that even then I felt there could have been more to each of their stories, and maybe some chapters that shared more about the world.

        Definitely could be expanded on, but knowing Tri-Ace, they’ll probably make something completely new with a crazy battle system the next time around unless it’s a VP/SO sequel for SE.

        • I just beat it on Friday after putting in almost 104 hours in it. Still have to beat the second playthrough and Neverland, which I’m saving for when I’ve beaten the game the second time.

          • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

            Isn’t the ending the just the most perplexing schtick ever?

          • It is amusing how much clearer the story is once you’re going through a second playthrough. The first time you play, there are a lot of “What? When did he do that?” moments. For a bit I was even convinced all the Rowan scenes were flashbacks to Vashyron’s younger days, since his voice acting sounded really similar to Nolan North’s.

  • Final Fantasy VI is my favorite (see full discussion for details)

    • For me, that completely killed the game for me. I was loving VI up until I suddenly have to roam around with no set narrative, looking for my party members again. It made me lose interest in the game, sadly.

    • Joanna

      FF VI is definitely one of my favourites as well. Part two really broke my heart since you knew how the world before was…

  • Tom_Phoenix

    Even though I haven’t played the game (at least not yet :P), Knights in the Nightmare has a really intriguing premise that one could describe as post-apocalyptic. Essentially, monsters suddenly emerge in a realm and kill everybody. However, a Wisp brings fallen knights back to life and they now have to fight the monsters that killed them. Sounds like a preety cool concept to me.

  • There is none better than Shin Megami Tensei’s. I remember basically reading that it was a “satanic RPG” and I was totally there. What’s funny is that you don’t have to play it that way. The decisions you are given completely give you the option of being somewhat heroic, throughout. Not that I was.In fact, in most games, where you’re given a choice between good and evil, I tend to just go with how I’d be if those situations were real, which just usually happens to put me on the “bad” side in a game like Fallout 3.But definitely Nocturne’s world.That said, Resistance 2, while it won’t be winning any “Charles’ Favorite Games of All Time” Awards, struck a lot of really nice notes with me, especially when you’re in these suburban homes and there are corpses on beds, and cocoons in people’s doghouses. All those little touches really drove what is happening in the story home. I wish more games did stuff like that.

  • Code

    rarr, I’m surprised there hasn’t been the obligatory Chrono Trigger post already owo~! Seriously Chrono Triggers is one of the few games where you end up in a post-apocalyptic world, and then upon reaching it, conclude the that your going to throw safety to the wind and time travel the hell out of the world until it’s all better~! Repercussions? Screw that noise, there’s time travel to be had! God I love that game.

    • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

      Oh snap how could I forget Chrono Trigger? Great battle system, great story, great character design, great sprite-art, great music… The only thing it lacks is nothing. Too bad it doesn’t have nothing, or it wouldn’t have been the perfect J-RPG. :P

      PS. The post apocalyptic world was eerie as hell. In the best way.

  • [The Hunter] Doomrider

    Digital Devil Saga 2. The overall feel of the world is nicely done.Nier. The year is 3000 and something, but it’s the Middle Ages all over again. Also, it’s nice to see the remnants of past (future?wha?) technology and how people talk about the little info they have about said technology (“giant iron cars” and all that).Fallout 3. It’s just really immersive, play it and you will know!Resonance of Fate seems interesting, but I have yet to complete it, so I can’t really comment on it…

    So, out of these 3… Maybe Fallout, because of how well realized it is.

  • Yui

    Personally I found the post-apocalyptic world of Digital Devil Saga to be the one that resonated with me the most, but anything MegaTen defines how a setting in the cataclysmic vein should be done. =D
    Of course, were the world of Breath of Fire truly post-apocalyptic, I’d have to hand that honour to Dragon Quarter for the truly most unique, somber and cruel world I have ever had the privilege of trudging through. =D

    Edit: Boletaria of Demon’s Souls is pretty apocalyptic. Perhaps pre-apocalypse, but damn, it fits. =D

  • Kevin_Levin

    Well I’d have to say

    Final Fantasy VII
    Well, nothing much noteworthy here. Only changes is that the meteor and various “weapons” are terrorizing the world. And the occassional flying dragon wandering the air, that is Ultimate Weapon.

    Final Fantasy VIII
    The Time Compressed world, everything was closed off to you. The towns that were previously accessible became barricaded by a barrier. Your only choice is to either forge your final weapons, defeat Ultimate Weapon (at the Deep Sea Research center) or go straight and challenge Ultimecia’s nightmarish castle.

    Final Fantasy IX
    It was like a merged world (Gaia X Terra). And on Disc 4, or about like 70-98% of the game you couldn’t go back to some towns due to the Iifa tree taking root in some towns.

  • Extra_Life

    Definitely the apocalypse that kicks off Shin Megami Tensei: Lucifer’s Call (Nocturne). What makes this one even better, is that not only do you witness it in begin, you get the to shape the direction it goes.

  • capristrider

    When I think of post-apocalyptic themes, one game instantly comes to mind is the Panzer Dragoon games (especially Saga). I also loved Final Fantasy 7.I’ve also got to mention the Legendary Mad Max trilogy and it MASSIVE influence on Manga, Anime, Video games and straight to video/dvd movies (Van Damme’s CYBORG being the cream of the crop movie). A Wind Named Amnesia/Wind of Amnesia(uk title) is awesome post-apocalyptic anime!Growing up playing Japanese games, I could see in so much post- apocalyptic themes running through them, infact even before started playing video games, I used to have post- apocalyptic dreams (funny eh).Here is a link to Irem previous post-apocalyptic themed output:http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/irem/irem.htm

  • Exkaiser

    Metal Max. What you have is not a post-apocalyptic world that is dead and dying, but one that is recovering and scraping together the remains of the old world. While a crazy computer throws bizarre robots across the world wily-nily.

    Also, Shin Megami Tensei II.

  • RupanIII

    What comes to mind off-hand for me are:FFVII. Loved the feel of Midgar.. those technological/industrial ruins scattered about the slums, but with people trying to go about their lives in spite of their environment. It was a sad, decaying world in many ways, but for me that made it much more interesting and engrossing than some of the newer installments, all super sparkly generic sleek and futuristic.Fallout 1 & 2. imo, these captured the post-apoc vibe and darkness much better than 3. The humor was sharper, the environs richer. There was a sense in 3 that, okay, these guys are trying to imitate the writing and aesthetic of the original, and they’re not doing a terrible job, but it still feels like imitation.

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