Once in a blood red moon, a series will come out where, to the naked eye, the books are not related at all. It’s not until halfway through a series, or occasionally even later in the series, that a ribbon will come along and connect all of the books and make the reader have an “ah ha” or light bulb moment, which looks something like this:
This isn’t just something that happens with book series, it happens in video games as well. Sometimes, they (the developers and writers) never write a narrative that connects the games. This isn’t a common plot move in video games, but it is something that happens. Just as with a book, when the narrative is over, the reader/player may feel unsatisfied with the ending and feel that they are left with a huge cliffhanger. Then, something wonderful may happen in the world of video games, the developer will release downloadable content (DLC) for the game that usually adds another portion of the story and even some extra items to play with. This year, this exact thing happened with one of 2013’s best games, Bioshock Infinite; and not only did the DLC add extra story play, but it tied together the most recent game with the very first game of the series.
I recently played and beat the DLC content for the game. I won’t reveal any spoilers in case there are people that have not played the game that might be interested, but I will say that when I finished the DLC, my jaw dropped and I stared at the TV while all of the credits played. It was exciting for me as a gamer who enjoys the series because the first Bioshock game was, well, the weakest in the series. That’s not a bad thing, it just means that the game series kept improving as new games were released. The fact that they were able to release DLC for their newest and best game and connect it to their first and oldest game in the series was amazing and something that I did not expect but thoroughly appreciated. The DLC took gamers back to Rapture, the underwater city that was the setting for the first two games, and it combined it with the new weapons and advancements gamers got in Bioshock Infinite. Not only that, but in the second part of the DLC, gamers got to play as Elizabeth instead of Booker, a lovely and welcomed change. The surprise ending in the DLC went along with the series’ surprise ending in the game itself. It answered so many questions that were around in the first game but that no one expected an answer to or a correlation with. It was just beautiful.
One book series in particular that has done this exact same thing is the Demonata series by Darren Shan. The way the books in his series worked was that the first book was about the main character (it was a great book by the way), then the second book was about someone totally different. The third book went back to focusing on the main character from the first, then the fourth book was about another new character. The fifth book and the rest of the series focus on the main character from the first book. As the series progresses, the other two characters and their story are intertwined with the main story we began with and it all makes sense.
This can be a very tricky and risky move to make with narratives, novel or video game. It’s easy to have one book/game compared to another from its writing and this may prevent people from continuing to read/play in the series. However, it’s also possible that the opposite will happen, and it will create a huge fan base that stays with the book/game until the end. There’s a 50/50 chance, just like most things, of success. Regardless, readers and gamers alike love when story lines come together in a nice bow, even if it isn’t right away.