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23 Endings
Game Over: Find Yourself in Vice: Project Doom
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 20, 2017   |   Episode 20 (Show Archive)  

   
Welcome to the twentieth episode of 23 Endings: The Early Years, the show where we put old school video game endings into proper context. Today we're investigating the BEDA Corporation in Vice: Project Doom on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Can a cliffhanger ending still be satisfying? Find out when you watch this brand new episode of 23 Endings: The Early Years!


It all starts normal enough: There's a maniac on the loose in Area D on route 246 and Hart is first on the scene. Instead of finding the usual gang member or vigilante, he discovers the body of what appears to be some sort of monster. His fingers were twisted and looked more like claws than a human hand. There was also a gun on the scene that didn't look like anything Hart had seen before. Something is definitely not right here, so he calls for backup and has fellow Vice agent Christy send the body to forensics for a full test.

As it turns out, Christy isn't the only woman in Hart's life. After he gets done fighting through the city, the detective comes face-to-face with Sophia, who claims to know Christy. Before Hart has a chance to verify who she is, Sophia starts explaining what they found on the monster's body. Apparently there's this substance they are calling the "stuff" that has been linked to a guy named Kim Ron, which sends our hero to the Chinatown district.

Hey, remember that gun that was picked up back at the initial crime scene? Well, it turns out to be a military-issued weapon. And the dirt found on his shoe appears to be native to South Central America. Christy suggests heading down to a small town named Ricardo to further the investigation, which is exactly what Hart does.

It's here where he'll end up fighting through the caves, past a forest and even up a waterfall. And if that wasn't enough, Hart also goes on a first-person shooting spree in this factory. It all ends with him fighting this weird tank thing that kind of looks like the Starship Enterprise with wheels.

He eventually locates a man named Reese, who Hart thought died in a previous mission. His face is completely covered with circuitry and computer parts, suggesting that somebody with a lot of money and resources have been using him to test their horrible experiments. Reese can barely construct a sentence, but does reveal that whoever did this to him also abducted "the girl," because that's what happens in an 8-bit action game.

So which girl was captured? We don't know, but Hart doesn't seem that concerned. Even when he tracks down one of the people responsible for the abduction, he completely fails to ask who was taken. Was it Christy? Sophia? Some new girl we haven't met yet?

Thankfully, this question is answered when Hart stumbles across Sophia. In the middle of South Central America. Underground in some sort of secret factory. It makes no sense why she's there, but the game isn't worried about that. Sophia informs us that Christy was captured by guys in bio-tech uniforms, which all points to the evil BEDA Corporation.

On the way to exposing this company, Hart comes face-to-face with giant monster that throws fireballs. But hold on a second, this isn't a monster -- it's Christy! That's right, the monster turns into Christy, who then dies in Hart's arms. And just when it seemed like things couldn't get any worse for our detective, he stumbles across a lifeless body being stored in some sort of capsule. Even more troubling is the fact that this lifeless body looks almost exactly like Hart.

Confused and angry, the detective hits the streets in order to locate the BEDA Corporation. He ends up fighting through a giant mansion before finding the shadowy head of this evil company. Who is the guy pulling all the strings? Surprise, it's another guy that looks exactly like Hart. He then turns into a giant alien and they fight. Here's what happens next.

Well, that was an ominous ending. Sure, we defeat the guy running BEDA, but we learn that Hart is probably wrapped up in this whole thing and could go bad at any time. And worse yet, that lifeless body in the capsule wakes up. Clearly this is all going to come to a head in the sequel, where Hart gets to the bottom of this mystery and has to fight himself in a couple different ways. What a great setup.

Unfortunately, there is no sequel. Vice: Project Doom failed to drum up the same amount of interest as Ninja Gaiden and simply ended here, on something of a precarious note. The truth is, I'm okay with that. Not every game has to be wrapped up at the end, and I like imagining what might happen next. What I don't like is this final shot of Hart. This is a guy who has looked badass in every one of his poses, only to go out with this awkward angle that accentuate his large chin, nose and receding hairline. Not cool, Sammy. Not cool.
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