Probably everyone here must be familiar with the Greek Myth of Pandora's box. In the most popular version, Pandora receives a box from the gods, that warn her to never open it. Pandora goes and opens it anyway, her curiosity allowing all that is evil escape the box and plague the world with all the evils, like despair and fear. The only thing that remained in the box is hope, that humanity kept. it is interesting how this tale is similar with Eve's tale and how she disobeyed god and ate a forbidden fruit, costing her and Adam paradise.
It is an interesting tale, warning humanity to leave some things alone. And in fact, one driving point that many games have taken before. think about it: how many games have you played that main plot is the antagonist trying to do something that nature, gods or basic common sense, that would damn all the world and now it is your job to close that box and expel the antagonist from 'paradise'?
It is an interesting dilemma. Humanity always strive to do better, to improve, but at the same time fear the consequences of improving and what could happen if they go too far. In searching for immortality, we could create undead hordes. In searching for perfection, we could create heartless monsters. In searching for divinity, we could destroy creation itself. The fear of advancing while striving to do it.
Meanwhile, many times the heroes use the exact same mechanism the antagonists search for, sometimes with similar intents. They fight against the immortality seeker because they fear death. They perfect themselves with training, equipment, sometimes even with alterations of themselves because they need to defeat monsters that are changed creatures themselves. They try to fight a god-like opponent because they fear he will destroy the world the previous gods created.
This kind of duality is really interesting. To gain hope, we need the worst evils to exist. To gain knowledge, we must open hand of the bliss of ignorance. In many games, the only difference between heroes and villains is whom you control. Many times, the villains have the same desires than your character(s) have and are just more eager to make it happen.
I don't remember by now any game were the heroes motivations (except maybe by Shadows of the Colossus
) ended up doing more harm than good. this is something interesting that more games would do great in exploring. What if you are in the wrong side? If what you seek for will ended up releasing monsters and destroying the world? If the box you open and the fruit you eat would be better left unopened and uneaten?
We like to assume that the side we are with is always the right side. But we all fear to discover that we have being in the wrong one all along. This is a kind of fear that is very real, very human, and that I wish was more explored. Because there is no more difficult question than this.
What if I was wrong?