Scientific experimentation has brought us revolutionary technology like penicillin, airplanes and nuclear power. In the realm of video games, however, messing around in the lab is a shortcut to disaster. Here are ten instances where scientists in video games decided to screw with things when they shouldn’t, and as a result pretty much doomed humanity.
Pokémon might be a kids game, but who says its crazy scientists aren’t as crazy as the rest? Mewtwo is a genetically modified clone of Mew, a small but super powerful Pokémon. Only Mewtwo is bigger and considerably more moody and diabolical than the original. Mewtwo realizes that people in the Pokémon world enjoy enslaving his species and using them as participants in sick, gladiatorial battles for amusement. Consequentially he uses his powerful psychic abilities to break free from the lab where he was created, and then does what any renegade, angsty villain does: run away to an abandoned island and plot his revenge.
Project Origin (F.E.A.R)
Meet Alma Wade. When she was a little girl scientists began experimenting on her, hoping to use her psychic powers to create an army of super soldiers. They put her into a coma, locked her away, impregnated her when she was a teenager, took her children and then pretty much killed her. Understandably, poor little Alma was pretty pissed off about this unfortunate turn of events, and decided something as trivial as death couldn’t prevent her from getting revenge. So, she went on a bloody, murderous rampage in a quest to be reunited with her children, killing boat loads of scientists and Special Forces soldiers in the process.
The Plague (World of Warcraft)
Interestingly, this is an experiment that actually went exactly as planned. Well, for certain people at least. Sylvanas Windrunner thought her Forsaken scientists were inventing something that would defeat Arthas and his Scourge minions. What she didn’t know was that her advisor Varimathras had betrayed her and created the plague to end all plagues. Hundreds of Alliance and Horde soldiers died when they were poisoned by the Forsaken’s plague at the Wrathgate, and Varimathras launched a coup in the Undercity. Though Sylvanas and Thrall defeated Varimathras, the tentative peace between the Alliance and Horde was threatened and only a timely intervention by Jaina Proudmoore prevented all-out war.
Chronosphere (Red Alert)
If there’s one thing we’ve learned about time travel it’s that, unless you’re doing it in a DeLorean, chances are the results aren’t going to be as awesome as you think. In Red Alert the Allies thought that going back in time and killing Hitler would prevent World War II. It did do that, but all that meant was that Stalin and his legions of Communist cronies were now able to kick every single ass in Europe. Moral of the lesson? Time travel is unpredictable and Communists are evil bastards.
Robot Hitler et al (Wolfenstein series)
Say what you will about the Nazis, but they were inventive when it came to waging war. Not only were they responsible for some of the earliest jet technology in existence, but they also put Adolf Hitler in a Gatling gun-equipped robot, created robot Nazi soldiers, and experimented with the occult to summon demons from hell. Take a wild guess which of those are actually historically factual. Anyway, these demons that the Nazis summon were pretty bad news. The Nazis thought they’d help them win the war, but turned out they were more interested in turning humanity into zombie slaves. Go figure, huh?
Metal Gear (Metal Gear Solid)
Despite being originally conceived as a deterrent to prevent the Communists from nuking freedom loving, apple pie-eating Americans, the mobile nuclear warhead-equipped battle tank known as Metal Gear has never done anyone any favors. The government made a new Metal Gear, only for terrorists to steal the damn thing within hours and the next thing you know they’re holding the world hostage. It’s happened in practically every Metal Gear game and people still haven’t figured out that maybe having such an ungodly powerful piece of machinery just lying around the place probably isn’t the hottest of ideas.
Artificial Intelligence (System Shock & Portal)
Playing God almost always yields unfavorable results, so when scientists get their nerdy heads together to create sentient artificial intelligence, the consequences are predictably lethal. In System Shock, the AI SHODAN was designed to control a space station. Instead, it tried to destroy humanity and ascend to godhood. Oops. GLaDOS of Portal was engineered to be an AI research assistant, but before the Aperture scientists could install her morality core, she turned on her creators and flooded the lab with a deadly neurotoxin, killing them. Dang.
Progenitor Virus (Resident Evil)
Originally developed by Dr. Edward Ashford to help the handicapped, the Progenitor virus was instead engineered by the Umbrella Corporation to become the ultimate biological weapon. Of course, things didn’t go exactly as planned. Things spiraled out of control when everyone in Raccoon City got turned into freaking zombies. In later games the virus continued to evolve, either granting people superhuman abilities or causing them to go batshit crazy and sprout head tentacles or something.
Jenova Project (Final Fantasy VII)
The Jenova Project was actually a pretty good idea; take a bunch of elite soldiers, infuse them with Mako, inject them with the cells of a genocidal alien, and then sit back satisfied that you’ve created the most badass breed of killing machines ever. Then Sephiroth happened. Despite being the Shinra’s Corporation’s perfect soldier, their poster boy for the SOLIDER program sort of ruined things when he went nuts. He burnt down an entire village and then set about trying to crash a meteor into the planet so that he could become God (OK, are we ever going to have a list without Sephiroth in it? – Ed).
Black Mesa (Half-Life)
When Gordon Freeman woke up, ate his cereal and took the tram to work at the Black Mesa research lab, he probably didn’t think the experiment he was working on would accidentally open a rift gate into an alternate dimension and damn the entire human race. But that’s what happens when you dick around with science without really knowing what you’re doing. At first, the inter-dimensional portal only allowed the minions of Xen to enter into Black Mesa and murder everyone who didn’t shoot lasers out of their eyes. But then the Combine came in through the portals and destroyed humanity in, like, two seconds. Afterwards, they forced humans to live in ghettos while they chilled out. That was until they got bored and started killing and beating up more people just to be complete assholes.