When Endings Go Bad

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When Endings Go Bad

Why are videogames so scared of unhappy endings?

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I guess people just like to enjoy seeing the happy ending come from the fruits of their effort. Then you have games like Left 4 Dead where they don't really tell you if the rescue took, based on the first three campaigns it's safe to say it didn't. I've never really played a game that had a really bad ending so it's hard to judge.

I guess he forgot "GTA 4". A complete downer by no doubt at all.

Mother 3 had a downer ending, but only if you didn't know about the hidden dialogue at the end.

Well, it would kind of piss gamers off after all the hard work, i mean, what if Dead Space ended in Isaac being killed by the giant monster?

Drakengard 1. ALL OF THE ENDINGS, they where either bittersweet or just total downers.

Cliff_m85:
I guess he forgot "GTA 4". A complete downer by no doubt at all.

And people bitched about it.
Constantly.

Video game developers know their target audience, clearly.

Maybe writers grow attached to their characters so they don't want to kill them off... I dunno.

What about Far Cry 2?

The game ends with you...

I love both bad and happy endings, they just need to be done properly. Games where you get killed as an ending don't really do it for me. I mean, games like Silent Hill 2 did the endings well, if the ending is bad, I want to see the protaganist emotionally crushed and broken.

If it's happy, I want there to be a none-cheese happiness. Let me think...

Me no know...

KH's ending was a weird one, it made me cry, but not because I was sad or happy, I'm not sure what it was...oh man...

I dont know I guess working at something for 10 hours to finally destroy the evil demon and rescue your princess only to have a small rock that fell off the castle hit you in the head make you lose your balance and then hurtle 100 feet into fiery molten lava might be a downer.

In the since of something not being a hilarious joke I really wouldnt mind if something ended badly. Hell I have played plenty of games with unhappy endings. Not necessarily "unhappy" in the sense that you didnt win but the sense that your screwed. Sure the giant monster thing is dead and all the peoples are happy but what if he said something or did something that changed you or your character forever. MGS2 did that for me the ending was such a downer I mean sure we "won" but really no one truly succeeded. No one is happy they didnt go out and have a beer and dance on their enemies corpses. They woke up the next morning and continued their hellish struggle.

So really it all depends on the context that you look at. Fable one had an equally bad ending everyone is dead except you. Congratulations you survived I hope you can look at your digital wife the same way. I guess if you were evil then that wouldnt matter. But even if you were evil your still alone there really arent any more heroes out there that could relate to you. I guess you could go home to your wife who you ignored since you married her early on and has left you. So you are alone sitting in an empty house with nobody at all. The end you won the fight but did you really get anything out of it except for the ability to kill people?

So to finish what started out as something short and stupid and turned into a wall of text most games have a feel good ending but there are a lot of games with a "good" ending but if you sit down and really try to get into your characters mind is there really a good ending for them or just all the people you fought for?

Wing Commander,

Silent Hill 2 has several classic soul crushing endings, in fact I don't think there's a single ending that isn't a bit of a downer... okay... except for the "Dog" ending I guess.

Similarly Shadow Hearts 1/2 and 3 all have Downer Endings that are quite satisfying.

What about Oregon Trail? Even if you make it past the snakebites, drowning, starvation, measles, typhoid, and of course dysentery, you still wind up in Oregon.

How much more of a downer do you want?

Small, independent devs can afford to make art but the big players - that is, the guys who fill the shelves at GameStop - have to make money.

That's interesting, I would've thought it'd be the other way around. Where the small indie guys have to follow the status quo as nobody would buy their stuff otherwise, but the big guys could make what ever they wanted and people would buy it just 'cause they've put their name on it. Kinda like if you slapped a Calvin Klein logo on a bag of shit people would still probably buy it.

I'd love to see more Tragedy's in gaming but I shudder to think of the massive fail a large developer would bring to any really good tragic story. I think the bottom line is that large companies are designed around mass market and not the long tail. Tragedies are very very long tail these days.

The heroic ending of Freespace 2 springs to mind here so does the real downer ending of Divinity 2: Ego Draconis (Spoiler).

I'm sure people wouldn't care about the ending of games from the Call Of Duty series. They can end them however they want.

Didn't the last Prince of Persia end with a not-happy epilogue? Well, alright, not really a downer, but at least a 'humanity will always know darkness because of its own weaknesses' message, which is funny because it's true. But also depressing.

I liked the ending to the Witcher because it managed to be both happy and sad. You beat the end 'boss' hurray! But then you wonder not only if you backed the right side, but also if maybe in the long run you lost.

Out of all the games that he mentioned, I'm surprised he didn't mention The Darkness. That ending was a big downer, but I was satisfied by the ending.

I can think of one game that has a downer ending: Yume Nikki. Then again, it's a freeware game, so making a profit off of it obviously wasn't an issue. Oh, and then there's Metal Gear Solid 3. My god, MGS3.

Really, you mostly see downer endings alongside bittersweet or even happy ones; being able to go back and "fix" the mistake(s) you may have made in a bad ending can let you have said bad ending without leaving players disappointed for too long (unless they have trouble getting a good/the best ending, anyway). [/apologizes if that didn't make sense]

Call of Duty 4 springs to mind immediately.

I know Wing Commander has already been brought up, but it is an excellent example of appropriate sad endings. Each game had both a happy and a sad ending. The sad ending did not just occur because you died. Instead it was the punishment for failing too many missions, either by running from the enemy or ejecting and getting rescued by friendly forces. In Wing Commander getting the sad ending was in part a choice. You could choose to refly the mission 100 times until you got it right, or you could choose to fail a mission just to see what would happen. Forcing a sad ending on a player robs them of their choice and pulls gaming closer to the non interactive entertainment mediums.

What about the first Tenchu. It ended with one of the two main characters(Rikimaru)getting crushed by a boulder.

It's a book but Star Wars: Republic Commando: Order 66, has a bad ending in both senses. It was just unnessecary tragedy. I have nothing against tragedy as long as it makes sense though but it just didn't in this case.

And as a previous poster stated, Far Cry 2 had a sad ending.

Most games though don't, because most people don't want some soul crushing ending. They want to see the good guy come out on top. In several cases is it just stupid and corny but I'm sure some would consider it a cop out if in the end the main character just died or something.

C'mon Andy, Diablo 1?

FF7 isn't exactly nice after all you go through. Beast Busters or Space Gun in the arcade.

In fact a number of games (FAKK 2 etc.) lead you having taking out the first boss only to find out there's an even bigger boss, IN THE SEQUEL!

Possibly not a downer ending, but the original Unreal had a similar "You've won, now you drift in space".

For the ultimate in bad endings though, my personal fave, I Have No Mouth But I Must Scream

It depends on how you look at things, even Left 4 Dead isn't exactly upbeat.

PedroSteckecilo:
Silent Hill 2 has several classic soul crushing endings, in fact I don't think there's a single ending that isn't a bit of a downer... okay... except for the "Dog" ending I guess.

Similarly Shadow Hearts 1/2 and 3 all have Downer Endings that are quite satisfying.

I was going to say this Shadow hearts 2 in particular was a very moving ending. Bittersweet at best I suppose

scnj:
Call of Duty 4 springs to mind immediately.

spot on.. i went around for ages trying to shoot that bloody helicopter down.. damn them!

If I spent a lot of time on a game only to find that my character is just killed off and everything goes to hell, that's annoying. It's like in KOTOR, where I spent a lot of time running around the galaxy fixing things, and got the good ending, and then played KOTOR 2 and found that everything went to hell anyway. That was kind of annoying.

I actually like "downer endings"

Not to the degree where I prefer them to happy ones. I dunno I just like both and don't see the problems or why everyone lashes out when a game ends on a "downer." Especially when that could always happen in a realistic situation

Although I will admit, my idea of a "downer ending" isn't the character just dying. That usually comes off as a cheap move to create some sense of emotion which doesn't always work. Except Fallout 3, I think that was the only character death ending I actually liked.

Well, a problem with some downer endings (especially ones that end in player death) is that they seem somewhat arbitrary. If the entire time you're playing the point is to avoid death, it seems odd that the last cutscene can do you in every time.

The reason is because after spending x amount of hours playing, you want the game to end well, or in most cases tie in the next sequel

The ending of the Doom shareware version (episode 1) was a big downer. I was a kid, I had no idea what shareware was and my english wasn't that good yet. I thought I had finished the game and was pretty astounded of it actually killing me off so mercilessly after having gone through all that pain and hordes of demons.

You know, what most of the games with great tragic endings have already been brought up.

The Darkness being the prime example of a tragic ending that you know is coming a mile away and you still just accept it.

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