(In response to this post.)
MY BODY WASN’T READY.
But seriously, my opinion of the matter has been from the beginning that Dark’s been pulling the strings all along. Mark and the other Egos have just been marching to His drum. They equally manipulated by Him.
And getting shot in the “vanilla” ending was simply a calculated risk for Him. A Xanatos Gambit because, being injured briefly and playing dead makes Mark and us think we won.
Dark’s willing to suffer the minor inconvenience of a gunshot wound (which would be quite fatal for us) to further His plans, if necessary. Even Mark’s brave show of rebellion by mocking Him in the Dark vs. Anti vid serves only as a minor annoyance, a fly buzzing in Dark’s ear. His plans will go on without a hitch, no matter what happens; plans within plans that, regardless of our choices, all lead us to the same destination.
He is the chessmaster, after all. The master of manipulation. And He’s got His fingers on the pulse of how the fans react and feel about what happens with Mark.
We don’t know the specifics of His plans, because He doesn’t want us to. But we do know it involves control of us. Control of the channel and of Mark is simply a means to an end. And we know that because He wanted to tell us, to give us the illusion that we can fight Him, that we can choose to stand with Mark against Him.
We never had a choice. In the “vanilla” ending, we were warned that Dark was down but not out. That brief distortion was our warning that He was still there, watching us, learning more about us in order to manipulate us more effectively. A warning we received yet again with “Don’t Play This Game.”
Dark is far smarter than we give Him credit for. We should stop assuming we know anything about Him, because…
WELL, DARK, I UNDERSTAND YOU’RE AN ASSHOLE. DOES THAT COUNT?