Now that God Eater 3 is coming out I thought it was time to go back and play some of my old monster hunting games instead and I was reminded of the cute story part I was at in Toukiden 2.
The start of the game has you defending a town from a demon attack alongside your demon slaying force until you get sucked into a time portal and lose your memories from before that battle. You appear in the middle of nowhere and are taken in by a nearby village of demon slayers who help you realize you’ve teleported several years into the future. The only thing you remember is how to fight, but you learn that your commander from that battle survived and now works at the demon slayer HQ.
So you’ve got this goal throughout the game that you need to somehow meet up with this commander and in the meantime you help the village with their troubles. Eventually you get word that the commander is coming down to the village to get status reports, saving you the trouble and going to him. Finally, you’re going to get some answers on who you are and what’s going on.
The commander comes and recognizes you, saying he thought you were dead and that you don’t look like you’ve aged a day since he last saw you. You repeatedly try to initiate a conversation about your amnesia but the commander seems to brush you off every time. Eventually you manage to meet him one on one and you explain to him how you don’t remember anything. The commanders reaction is like “Okay, so what?” And you’re emphasizing, “No, really, I don’t know who I am,” and the commander again is like “yeah, I got it already!”
Because, you see, before you were sucked into a time portal, became an amnesiac, and appeared in the middle of nowhere, your real identity was an amnesiac who was found by the commander in the middle of nowhere.
I found that story beat to be really cute. It subverts your expectations of the typical plot flow, where you were expecting some sort of revelation but instead got a re-iteration of the same mystery. But it still provides a path forward for the game’s story, because now you know that whatever has happened to you is something that’s happened to you before (who knows how many times) and instead of just trying to restore your memory there’s now a deeper meaning to discovering who you really are.