Unavoidable Bad Endings

Jayden Allen
Jayden Allen

Storyfag thread.

When I played through the Wolfenstein: The New Order, I was disappointed by the ending, where the game commits the unforgivable sin of having the player defeated in a cutscene. I had forgotten about this until Far Cry 5, where both endings show the antagonist victorious over the player, one far more explicit than the other. The secret ending is the best, where the only winning move is not to play and the story is over within minutes.

Then I started thinking about other games where the ending(s) could be considered bad. Not 'games with a bad ending', which can be avoided by making the right choices, but games where reaching the conclusion in any fashion is a lose-lose proposition. Off the top of my head I have
Ultima 8
Fallout
Grand Theft Auto IV (and The Lost and Damned)
Spec Ops: The Line
F.E.A.R. and F.E.A.R. 2
Kane & Lynch
Mafia and Mafia II
Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation (sequels aside; this was the intended ending of the series at the time)
Red Dead Redemption
Bioshock Infinite
Mass Effect 3, arguably

Is it harder to stomach a bad ending in a game than other mediums? I think it is for three reasons.
greater time investment (on average. A two hour film vs games that range from 4-30 hours)
greater emotional investment (trying and failing repeatedly until you finally get to the end, only to see it mostly didn't accomplish anything)
a greater degree of agency, or the feeling of agency (even if a game has a static story, games tend to show the 'in-between' bits that would be left out of movies for time)

Mafia II, F.E.A.R. and RDR are just static stories that the player is mostly an observer to. But even Fallout, a series which prides itself on the amount of player choice, invariably forces the player into a situation where the best outcome leaves the player an exile from their home. There's no speech check or hidden quest to complete or anything. The best you can do is get petty revenge by killing the Overseer. Spec Ops: The Line is the more creative in how it accomplishes its bad endings by presenting the game through an unreliable narrator, but still railroads the player into the infamous white phosphorous scene. But as a counter-argument, you can argue that these games work to establish a tone that should leave the player not expecting anything other than a bittersweet ending, at best.

TL;DR Are there successful examples of mandatory bad endings that don't feel cheap?

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Dominic Harris
Dominic Harris

Unavoidable Bad Endings
this thread

Ethan Cox
Ethan Cox

Nier If you ignore ending E since it's not in-game, but in the artbook instead
American McGee's Alice Since the first game's ending was perfectly fine but then the sequel undoes all the progress Alice made
Third Alice game never ever
Asura's Warth because pay $10 for the real ending :^)
The Darkness II fucking blueball of a cliffhanger
Gravity Daze 2 for Raven since she loses her memories of her childhood, her brother, and her second half Kat
Are all some games I can think of with unavoidable bad endings.

Those are pretty good reasons, I would say the third one, agency, is the most important one. Because even with short games with little story, hence little time and emotional investment, getting the bad ending is always a bummer and provides good motivation to keep trying until you reach the good ending with the examples being newground games, various fan games, and touhou off the top of my head.

Mason Turner
Mason Turner

Shit thread.

Bentley Fisher
Bentley Fisher

Is it harder to stomach a bad ending in a game than other mediums? I think it is for three reasons.
Nice blog, faggot.

Lincoln Moore
Lincoln Moore

WAAA WAAA THE GAME HURT MY FEE FEES
Grow the fuck up.

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Ethan Lee
Ethan Lee

14552653
It's bad enough you got in bed with him, but at least you didn't end up fucking another man in the butthole he poops from (with all the bacteria and worm eggs that entails).

Adam Green
Adam Green

implying that women are any better
3D is PD for a reason.

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Nolan Thompson
Nolan Thompson

Fallout
Bad Ending
I dunno, I always thought that living in a fucking bunker all your life would have been boring as shit. The game didn't even give you any reason to make you think twice about it, like F3 did with the whole intro sequence(One of the few things that game got right). When I think of V13, all it means to me is that one starting area I can come back to get some extra gear/experience if I care that much, or the end game story area in fallout 2, I never think of it as my "Home"

Grayson Perry
Grayson Perry

Holla Forums is not your blog

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Dominic Powell
Dominic Powell

Mafia 2 barely has an ending.

Juan Perry
Juan Perry

him

14552708
/pol/index.html

Mason Green
Mason Green

14552751
/pol/index.html

Mason Adams
Mason Adams

anons getting this butthurt over a thread
Is it really that hard to just post some vidya with canon bad ends? Fucking hell people.

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Justin Harris
Justin Harris

Evoland 2
Entire game is pretty upbeat, then suddenly "oops everything you have done is meaningless haha". Le epic subversion.

Blake Anderson
Blake Anderson

The current timeline

Jacob Green
Jacob Green

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Aiden Reed
Aiden Reed

Shit thread shit replies.

Evan Parker
Evan Parker

This board is only for talking about Gatcha shit and AAA games that we totally all hate

Noah Cruz
Noah Cruz

The ending of Persona 2. Seriously. What a fucking cop out. Tatsuya did not deserve that shit.

Nathan Wilson
Nathan Wilson

In Shadow Hearts, the bad ending where Alice dies is canon until the good ending of the second game, where Yuri goes back in time and may possibly change things.

Thomas Brooks
Thomas Brooks

I played through the Wolfenstein: The New Order
I should've stopped reading.
I had forgotten about this until Far Cry 5
I stopped reading here.

Hudson Edwards
Hudson Edwards

Spess Mehreen has you betrayed to the Inquisition by Leandros.

Noah Clark
Noah Clark

wrong on both accounts, this board is only for talking about politics

Blake Kelly
Blake Kelly

Fairly certain the board is being raided by fags who want to shill/push /vgg/ or whatsitcalled.

As for games with a bad ending
War for the Overworld though you technically just switch teams
Deponia 3 (with the sequel being a big middlefinger to the people who cried about wanting to have a good ending)
Barbarossa Campaign of Age of Empires 2 (Barbarossa dies and your final "triumph" is to bury him in Jerusalem. Which historically speaking never happened, but the game takes liberties at that anyway)
The Binding of Isaac (depending on how you interpret the final ending cutscene)
Hotline Miami 2
SOMA (kind of)
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
Yume Nikki

Is it harder to stomach a bad ending in a game than in other mediums?
Not really. Or rather, depends on each individual film/book/vidya/whatever. Plus, at least player characters often can be difficult to associate with because they, mechanically speaking, are just puppets/avatars.

Or to put it differently - I always found third person horror games were scarier than first person ones because the latter have a higher degree of immersion (spoopy skellyton pops into your face!), but the former have an easier time establishing controllable characters as distinct individuals. Seeing you/your avatar killed is one thing, but seeing a distinct character killed with you unable to help him/ having failed to guide him properly somehow gives you that feeling of guilt.

Nathan Davis
Nathan Davis

Fuck you, remake this thread as a general.

Isaiah Martin
Isaiah Martin

The depressing part is that there originally were meant to be two (IIRC) sequels who Space Dad would redeem himself.

Which naturally never happened because THQ fucked up.

Aaron Perez
Aaron Perez

Pretty much every drakengard 1 ending is a bad end.
Ending A has the dragon submit herself to some pretty serious pain just so the world doesn't fuck itself and drakengard 2 has this even more depressing since Caim takes a bunch of years trying to fuck up the seals just so his dragon waifu can have some peace.
Ending B has your whore of a sister getting resurrected as a true 3D womyn who will destroy the entire world, and after you kill her she ends up having a fuckton of clones.
Ending C has you fighting your dragon waifu who turned on you to destroy humanity with her dragon brethren, then after you fuck her up you go and die fighting a billion dragons
Ending D I forgot the specifics, but ending E has you transported to modern day tokyo after fighting a fucking cunt of a boss and then jet fighters shoot you down and impale you on some tower.

Jacob Brown
Jacob Brown

Partially avoidable, but STALKER SOC. The first time I got the "I want to be rich" ending, just because I had sold a heap of guns and had nothing to spend the money on. It really should have given the player choices to select from. I guess that's the zone for you though.

Now playing CoC the unavoidable bad ending is getting headshot by Monolith and instakilled while playing Ironman.

Josiah Hernandez
Josiah Hernandez

spoiler
Haha, gauss rifle time!

Camden Wood
Camden Wood

It's hard for Holla Forums to talk about videogames in general. Every thread is shit up with people who contribute nothing but bitching about etiquette. This board is fucking retarded.

Most of the bad endings you list are annoying because they're just edgy or subversive in intent, so it's got the narrative depth of a teenager's writing. Justified by narrative, any sort of ending would be satisfying.

From what I imagined after playing Mass Effect 1 at release, it could've had the best bad ending. You are fighting extinction incarnate, a force the scale of nature… but then they nerf the bad dudes so you can blast them away with guns. Passed on so many opportunities to examine "victory" and survival from an evolutionary scale.

Carson Lopez
Carson Lopez

Well, user, the issue is that a good ending doesn't necessarily have to be the happy ending. Just consider the Greek tragedies – none of them end on a happy note, and if they did, it would lessen the whole impact and message of the play. In video games, consider Mafia 1, which, in my opinion, featured great writing, with the end neatly tying in to it, forming a conclusion to the moral dilemma MC has been dealing throughout the game (trying to excuse and rationalise what he does for a living, or trying not to give a damn). Had Tommy ended up dying of old age surrounded by loving family, it could feel more satisfying than having him get killed by mobsters, but it would be a much weaker ending over all.

Of course, Mafia is a linear game with a linear story. In games featuring player choice (especially in RPGs), one would expect an option to get a "good ending" if he puts enough work into it, since he feels he has the power to change things. On the other hand, if the game's setting is particularly dark, or if it rides on some bleak philosophical principles, a happy end could cause a tonal clash. You usually want the happy end to be the one hardest to achieve, as nobody likes having to work harder for a "worse" ending. But what if the happy end would also be a shitty end that doesn't fit the setting as a whole? For example, had Fallout 1 ended with the MC finding a vault with 1,000,000 GECKs and restoring the world to pre-war beauty while reigning as the king of the universe, it would definitely be a happy ending… but it would also be ridiculously shit.

Oliver White
Oliver White

Mass Effect
This is actually a good example of the devs fucking up a great opportunity for a "bad end"
I still think they should have never revealed the not shivans reasoning for wiping out advanced life and made the 2nd game about building up a coalition of the unwilling, and the 3rd about having that coalition get cleanly wiped with the rest of the game a race to get an Ark going to protect what you can

Connor Richardson
Connor Richardson

Pretty much what I had in mind as well, not a "oh shit how do we win" but "oh shit how do we survive". Bad endings are rare though because (((market research))) suggests that normalfags dont like it/wont buy it.

Luis Perry
Luis Perry

Bloodborne. All three endings. Maybe. It's kind of unclear, they may actually all be good endings.

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Wyatt Wood
Wyatt Wood

it's what gave birth to "american happy end". People do not like to see the characters they grew attached to lose, even if it would make for a much better story, so nowadays the bulk of movies and shows and even anime features a happy end. It's the safe path that avoids public outcry.

Nathaniel Jones
Nathaniel Jones

Yeah, pretty much what I was thinking. The longer societies take to stop thinking about military victory and start thinking about genetic preservation, the worse prepared they are. But those that stop advocating military victory would be viewed as traitors, sparking internecine divisions. Then you have the Geth, who could remain an unpredictable wildcard, ect.

The way I would've outlined it, ME1 lays out the threat explicitly (which it essentially accomplished when you speak with Sovereign). ME2 should've built up false hope of a secret death star type way to kill reapers, based on what happened in 1. ME3 should've revealed it was a ruse, and your save game path was permafucked if you didn't smell it coming and side with the genetic preservation cynics.

Tbh, ME1 was a well written game. Maybe there was a someone similar blueprint in preproduction. Who knows.

Normalfags wouldn't see it coming until after they bought game 3. Sell them non-canon DLC where you shoot a proton torpedo into the big evil. See we can be both greedy and not sacrifice storytelling.

Ayden Mitchell
Ayden Mitchell

A super autist lays out how EA had a goddamn goose that lays golden eggs and just shat all over it.

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Joshua Bailey
Joshua Bailey

ME2 dumbed down the ME1 plot all around. Remember, for example, the human supremacyXmultispecies confederacy conflict outlined there? You could even meet a pro-supremacy politician and either punch him or endorse him or something like that, and there a big amount of renegade options was essentially about being racist to aliens and putting humanity first. All that was more or less dropped when ME2 came around, with only some Cerberus lip service about "Yeah, we're racist but, like, not really"

Gavin Myers
Gavin Myers

Ending D has the Seere sacrifice himself, taking advantage that his pact took away his "time" to perma-timestop the grotesqueries. Angelus and Caim get killed getting him to the queen beast, but it's about as close to an actual good ending that game gets.

Henry Walker
Henry Walker

That has been their moneymaking strat for decades
Did the same thing with dragon age where they invest heavily into the pilot episode and then the sequels are cheaply made garbage meant to earn just as much money as the original with less investment.
Same with dead space and others

Dylan Rogers
Dylan Rogers

I wish instead of Andromeda, we got a game that builds on the ending where Shepard refuses the three endings and all life species is wiped out. It would take place during the next cycle with completely new races who believe that humanity and all the other species are like the Protheans.

Jayden Carter
Jayden Carter

Speaking of Far Cry 5 ending.
What if "leave and get possessed into the cult" ending isn't actually about "becoming part of the cult" but "Father" giving you his prophecy and fainting due it later. That's when you get FarCry 1 intro-tier hallucination/fever dream cutscene. And once you wake up your character break vow of silence by telling party that "god's wrath" is actually nukes going off. But what the hell dev team properly incompetent to think of that. Or it's just me getting sudden stroke.

Cooper Cook
Cooper Cook

So what, you pussy? Since when does victory always have to be achievable, especially when it makes no sense?

FarCry5 is the perfect example - how the fuck do you, a police officer, stop nuclear armageddon?
Should the milita you gathered matter? No, you could have the entire chinese army and it won't do you squat against nukes.
The player actually survives, which itself is a victory

Benjamin Butler
Benjamin Butler

Your family is dead.
your mom's a whore
I thought she was dead?

Colton Miller
Colton Miller

What about

you're dead.
live with it.

Alexander James
Alexander James

Well, he said he likes an ending where the protagonist comes out for the worse like a Pyrrhic victory or victorious bad guy ending so long as it follows a well-crafted arc that feels natural.

But, if a game has a thin story like "Aliens invade; that's bad; go blow 'em up" then it should not end with "In spite of Alpha Bravo Charlie Rico Squad's best efforts: the aliens impregnated every baby in the world and everybody will be an alien-human hybrid slave 20 years from now and there's nothing you can do about it." unless it comes off as funny

Leo Murphy
Leo Murphy

That sounds like the tagline for some comedy about a zombie or something.

Xavier James
Xavier James

Resident evil revelations 2.
No matter what you do, the villain always wins.

Grayson Morris
Grayson Morris

Far Cry 5
/out/index.html

Adrian Richardson
Adrian Richardson

Using retard pepe
even ironically

Jaxon Jenkins
Jaxon Jenkins

(1) and done
talks explicitly about Far Cry 5 and how its endings were a big selling point
I smell a shill.

Eli Brown
Eli Brown

That should be its endings which were a big selling point.

Jeremiah Turner
Jeremiah Turner

Isn't Halo just a series of bad endings?
Also, Haunting ground had some interesting bad endings.

Josiah Nguyen
Josiah Nguyen

implying I played FC5
Nothing I saw about the game instilled me with confidence, especially when it's coming from Ubisoft. I watched the endings on YouTube after reading >>14545015 and it got me thinking. (It's worth noting that there are people in the YouTube comments bemoaning the endings for being a no-win deal.)

I'm not against bad endings as a whole, I just believe they're harder to pull off in a video game. Other mediums are a time investment. Games are an investment of time AND effort, which makes bad endings riskier. You're not just taking satisfaction away from the characters, but the player to an extent that changes from game to game. Wolfenstein is an example of doing it wrong because it accomplishes its ending by taking all freedom from the player at the last minute, despite having a surprising amount of choice for a big dumb FPS.

An ending like that would absolutely clash with Fallout's tone and themes, but it also an exaggeration. My point was more that a game with choice and player freedom at the core of its design philosophy ultimately negates that in favor of a downer ending. There's nothing you can do in Fallout, no skill you've spent in-game weeks/months honing or favor you can call in after a difficult and optional questline, that allows you an outcome oven a modicum better than being an exile from your home.

One thing that might have worked was having a difficult way of getting players back into the vault and then having an ending based on karma. Evil players kill the Overseer and take his place, then keep a tight grip on things to prevent anyone from leaving when things start going bad. Neutral players have a PTSD situation that causes them to leave the vault of their own accord. Good players become Overseer after some time and open up the vault to trade (possibly outside citizenship, not sure). All of these give a slightly better outcome while still keeping in check (I think, at least) with the themes of Fallout.

Samuel Taylor
Samuel Taylor

Far Cry 2. You either blow yourself up with the bridge you were trying to demo, or you survive the ordeal, but are presumed to kill yourself because of all the fucked up shit you've done.

Nathaniel Price
Nathaniel Price

14555026
wew
Looks like your birth had a canon bad ending.

Noah Thomas
Noah Thomas

finding a vault with 1,000,000 GECKs and restoring the world to pre-war beauty
What, with 1,000,000 boxes of seeds, basic power supplies, and copies of the library of congress?

Jackson Green
Jackson Green

The Binding of Isaac (depending on how you interpret the final ending cutscene)
What's to fucking interpret? This babby ded.

Dylan James
Dylan James

/cuckchan/index.html

William Ramirez
William Ramirez

His name is Apu, faggot

Ryder James
Ryder James

Fuck all y'all. I like bad endings in games, movies, books, etc.

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Dylan Davis
Dylan Davis

ending another than MC gets saves certain area from destruction, saves the princess or overthrows muh beeg bad govehrmunt is bad ending
Get fucked you shit taste babies who can't handle story that doesn't end with you killing the dragon, saving the kingdom and marrying the princess

Joshua Price
Joshua Price

I don't need to see your home. I've been there and it sucks.

James Wright
James Wright

Half-Life
Zen was a fucking chore to get through and you're rewarded with a shitty "le open ending"