Favorite Downer or Bittersweet Endings in Video Games (obvious spoilers)

BrawlMan

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You heard right. We know most games have happy endings, but there are many with bad, sad, or just straight up depressing ends. What's your favorite? Does not matter if the game is old or new.

Here are some of mine.

Radiant Silvergun & Ikaruga. You'd never expect a SHMUP to have a good story of all places. What's even better is that Ikaruga is a sequel to Silvergun. I did not know when first playing Ikaruga. Luckily, I found out thanks to the internet back in 2002. In Radiant Silvergun, the Earth is more or less fucked, even animal life is destroyed. In a fit of rage quit, the final boss, called the Stonelike being, sends you back to 100,000 BC and blows itself up trying take you with him. The two main characters survive thanks to their robot buddy cloning them (but with no memories of being from the future) and the robot goes dead before any of them wake up. They become the Adam & Eve, and the story implies that they're stuck in a Stable Time Loop and this happened many times before. Ikaruga's ending is in a timeline where both player characters (different people this time) are able to stop the Stonelike being by both sacrificing themselves. Treasure may use little dialogue in most of their games, but it's very effective and makes you think when you're having your ass kicked.



Killer7 - "Harman, the world won't change. All it does is turn." - Kun Lan.

Still Suda51's best work in terms of story and twists. Teenage me could not comprehend this at the time, and still blows my mind.


Ninja Warriors Arcade & SNES/SWITCH/PS4 - Who knew that after killing a dictator by self-destructing your robot ninjas that it would lead to a worse dictatorial government than the last guy. Taito tried to make us kids think, but majority of us took some of these lessons for granted. You would not expect an ending like that from an arcade beat-em up from 1987, nor an SNES game from 1994. He who fights monsters indeed. The revolution will not be civilized.

 

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Probably Far Cry 5, 'cause shit's fucked. The canon 'Good' ending is the world is engulfed in Nuclear fire, half your friends died, and you live as a slave or sex slave to Joseph Seed, depending on gender. Bad endings are all manner of you dying, everyone dying, all your friends dying, or you killing all your friends, then becoming a willing servant/sex servant.

So...yeah.

Also 'Oh by the way we infiltrated the Nuclear facilities off screen without your knowledge' is a hell of an ass-pull in the 3rd act. Great game, great story and character, fucked the landing so hard it got pregnant and gave birth to New Dawn.
 

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Drakengard. Giant baby fall from the sky and eat everything, then a giant pregnant women appear, so you and your dragon teleport to modern day japan to do a DDR fight against it. After killing her, jet plane shoot you down and you die. (There's a bunch of other ending, but that's the canon ending in the world of nier).

The canon drakengard ending is that you dragon sacrifice her live to become a seal that prevent the world from ending (the aforementioned giant man eating baby). But it turn out in the sequel that this causes her unspeakable pain, so the main character has to free to do then kill her (and then die along with her). This still start the whole "end of the world" things.
 

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Mega Man 11:
Throughout the game, you see flashbacks to when Doctors Light and Wily were colleagues in university. Though Wily wanted to make the world a better place with his invention, especially for robots, Light protested Wily's avenue of research and he was forced to stop, which was what caused his initial fall into evil. With Wily bringing that invention back, Light has no choice but to use it on Mega Man as well, giving him a chance to fight back. When Wily is defeated, Light says that Mega Man is proof that Wily's invention can be used for good, and that Wily doesn't have to be evil... but Wily rejects Light's offer of friendship and leaves, swearing revenge. It's an unusually downbeat note for the series, and complements the more morally grey story.

--

Devil May Cry 3:
To defeat Arkham and prevent him from using Sparda's sword to take over the human realm, Dante and Vergil team up, only to immediately begin fighting each other over the aforementioned sword. After a vicious battle, Vergil is defeated. He tells Dante to escape from the Demon World while he still can, refusing to join him and throwing himself off a cliff. Though Dante attempts to rescue his brother, Vergil prevents him from doing so and falls into the abyss. Dante has shown moments of melancholy throughout this game's story, but his facade of bravado cracks completely in front of Lady as he claims that his tears are the rain, because "devils never cry". In the previous games, this line is spoken to Trish and Lucia to cheer them up, but this time, he uses it to describe himself, and in a much less uplifting way. However, Lady, who had previously wanted to kill Dante because he was a demon, offers her sympathy: "even a devil may cry when he loses a loved one".
 

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MGS2 - the patriots were right

MGS3 - The Boss

What Remains of Edith Finch

TLOU

The Walking Dead (Season 1)

Shadow of the Colossus

The Last Guardian

Heavenly Sword
 

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Digital Devil Saga 1. After all the hardships and sacrifices the promised land was just another hell.
 

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I have to say One Shot, because even its best ending made me want to cry from how bittersweet it was.

The main protagonist, Niko, is just a child that got randomly brought into another world, and your original two ending options are to convince Niko to save this strange world but never be able to go home and see their parents again, or willingly let the world die but get Niko sent back home.

The final ending at least mixes both endings, where you get to save it and let Niko go back home, but then you also have to say goodbye to Niko. I knew the game was trying to get the player to build a relationship with Niko from the start, but man did it still succeed.

Also Spec Ops: The Line, but I think everyone here already knows that one.
 

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The Last of Us

I can't really think of another game where I had a bigger knot in my stomach by the end. Joel has become delusional and laid claim over Ellie like she's his comfy blanket, and Ellie's fear that everything has been for nothing has come to pass. And that final 'okay' signifies her accepting the sorry state of the world and of Joel. All thanks to Joel. And the game amplifies this by having you walk through a nice looking wooded area toward what will likely be a peaceful life in Tommy's town. All while Joel is optimistically comparing Ellie to Sarah, forcing his image of Sarah onto her by saying 'I think the two of you would've been good friends. I think you really would've liked her. I know she would've liked you.' And not forgetting the music which laces the whole scene with a sense of betrayal and distrust.
 

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Spec Ops
Walking Dead
Tranistor, Bastion and Pyre
Life is Strange
Dishonored esp Death of the Outsider
Bioshock Infinite
Into the Breach because even if you win, you just have to go back
Various endings of Sunless Sea
Arkham City. Just hearing the police officer questioning 'what happened in there' was a gut punch
Hollow Knight
The real ending of Return of the Obra Dinn
 

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Note that I'm only including games I've finished rather than watched. So no Mass Effect 3 or Walking Dead for instance.

-Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (sort of)

-Gears of War 2/3/5 (all manage it)

-Halo 3/Halo: Reach (as above)

-The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (this)

-Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (all bitter, no sweet)

-Resident Evil: Outbreak (sort of...scrapes in, just like Infinite Warfare)

-Sonic Adventure 2 (course it's bittersweetness that's rendered null later, but meh)

-Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (see above)
 

Neurotic Void Melody

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Aw, these are the best endings. After having recently sat through the overly cheesy ending to Uncharted 2 where everybody speaking in movie cliche language just got too much at that point and closed my stone cold decaying heart off to it all with a particularly sudden intense bitterness towards the moment, can do with prying the organ back open again to something more real and relatable like spiralling despair.
trunkage said:
Spec Ops
Walking Dead
Tranistor, Bastion and Pyre
Life is Strange
Dishonored esp Death of the Outsider
Bioshock Infinite
Into the Breach because even if you win, you just have to go back
Various endings of Sunless Sea
Arkham City. Just hearing the police officer questioning 'what happened in there' was a gut punch
Hollow Knight
The real ending of Return of the Obra Dinn
Of the only ones have played to completion, very much agree there, but do think season 2 of walking dead had its own emotional merits too. Still need to finish Hollow Knight, but am dead set on getting the fullest ending first run which might be contributing to the delay somewhat.

Have recently obtained Frostpunk, which have heard provides many a deflating ending, if that counts.
SOMA. The whole game is a downer ending trying to claw something bittersweet out of the void.
Last Guardian
Wolf Among Us
Unravel
Red dead 2, not quite the game's ending, but you know
Shenm...ahaha, half-assed joke, it's early
 

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leet_x1337 said:
Mega Man 11:
Throughout the game, you see flashbacks to when Doctors Light and Wily were colleagues in university. Though Wily wanted to make the world a better place with his invention, especially for robots, Light protested Wily's avenue of research and he was forced to stop, which was what caused his initial fall into evil. With Wily bringing that invention back, Light has no choice but to use it on Mega Man as well, giving him a chance to fight back. When Wily is defeated, Light says that Mega Man is proof that Wily's invention can be used for good, and that Wily doesn't have to be evil... but Wily rejects Light's offer of friendship and leaves, swearing revenge. It's an unusually downbeat note for the series, and complements the more morally grey story.

--

Devil May Cry 3:
To defeat Arkham and prevent him from using Sparda's sword to take over the human realm, Dante and Vergil team up, only to immediately begin fighting each other over the aforementioned sword. After a vicious battle, Vergil is defeated. He tells Dante to escape from the Demon World while he still can, refusing to join him and throwing himself off a cliff. Though Dante attempts to rescue his brother, Vergil prevents him from doing so and falls into the abyss. Dante has shown moments of melancholy throughout this game's story, but his facade of bravado cracks completely in front of Lady as he claims that his tears are the rain, because "devils never cry". In the previous games, this line is spoken to Trish and Lucia to cheer them up, but this time, he uses it to describe himself, and in a much less uplifting way. However, Lady, who had previously wanted to kill Dante because he was a demon, offers her sympathy: "even a devil may cry when he loses a loved one".
Yes, an excellent ending for Devil May cry 3. I've talked about DMC enough times, so I figured somebody else will pick up on it. Still one of my favorite games, along with DMC5 now. Glad to see another fan.

Hawki said:
Note that I'm only including games I've finished rather than watched. So no Mass Effect 3 or Walking Dead for instance.

-Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (sort of)

-Gears of War 2/3/5 (all manage it)

-Halo 3/Halo: Reach (as above)

-The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (this)

-Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (all bitter, no sweet)

-Resident Evil: Outbreak (sort of...scrapes in, just like Infinite Warfare)

-Sonic Adventure 2 (course it's bittersweetness that's rendered null later, but meh)

-Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (see above)
Sonic adventure 2 still counts and works in my book. Especially when it was meant to be the swan song of the Sega Dreamcast. That ending piano song and the "Rest easy heroes", makes me tear up a little.
 

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trunkage said:
Arkham City. Just hearing the police officer questioning 'what happened in there' was a gut punch
Ah yes, I forgot to list Arkham City. It felt like the perfect ending to BTAS.
 

Casual Shinji

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Tenchu

Rikimaru just fucking dies, just like that, he gets crushed to death in a collapsing cave. The first time I think I played a game where the main character just bites it.

Also, Resident Evil 4, but that's all because of the end credits.
 

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The Ico games pull off bittersweet the best. Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, The Last Guardian.
Silent Hill 2's Leave and In Water endings go from bittersweet to depressing.
Spec Ops is more downer than "sweet".
BioShock: Infinite and The Last of Us have good downer endings. I think BioShock weighs some more because it toys with the hopefulness of a light adventure story at first. TLoU was depressing from the start. There was little to crush by the end.
 

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The Witcher 3 - Ciri is Empress ending. It's a perfect bittersweet ending. Of the three big endings, it feels right more than even the Ciri witcheress ending. And it probably is, since you get it only if you do everything right + go to Vizima with Ciri after Kaer Morhen battle.

 

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Silentpony said:
Probably Far Cry 5, 'cause shit's fucked. The canon 'Good' ending is the world is engulfed in Nuclear fire, half your friends died, and you live as a slave or sex slave to Joseph Seed, depending on gender. Bad endings are all manner of you dying, everyone dying, all your friends dying, or you killing all your friends, then becoming a willing servant/sex servant.

So...yeah.
That sounds more like a downer ending than a bittersweet ending. 0_0

Casual Shinji said:
Also, Resident Evil 4, but that's all because of the end credits.
You know, going through franchises, I'd expected Resident Evil to be on the list, but I had to struggle to come up with an entry. When you think about it, despite being a horror franchise, Resident Evil tends to have upbeat endings. RE3 arguably comes the closest out of the main installments (of the ones I've played at least) but even then while the news report on Raccoon City is sombre, Jill notably isn't.

As for RE4, I wouldn't call the credits bittersweet. I mean, there is bittersweetness in them, but the credits become more disturbing over time. While we can appreciate the context, the credits, to me, are more of a horror factor than a tragic one given how they're presented. Yet of the main installments I've played, it arguably IS the most bittersweet ending of the lot except for maybe RE3. This, despite being more action-heavy than its predecessors. 0_0

trunkage said:
Bioshock Infinite
Johnny Novgorod said:
BioShock: Infinite
Um, okay...

Infinite for me doesn't generate feelings of bittersweetness. Partly because by this time the game's disappeared up its own arse, but even within the arse, the ending pretty much stops everything bad in the story from happening. At least one Booker is left in existence, and potentially his daughter as well.
 

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Hawki said:
That sounds more like a downer ending than a bittersweet ending. 0_0
To be fair downer endings was a request.
Hawki said:
Casual Shinji said:
trunkage said:
Bioshock Infinite
Johnny Novgorod said:
BioShock: Infinite
Um, okay...

Infinite for me doesn't generate feelings of bittersweetness. Partly because by this time the game's disappeared up its own arse, but even within the arse, the ending pretty much stops everything bad in the story from happening. At least one Booker is left in existence, and potentially his daughter as well.
To be fair I think they mean in the DLC ending Elizabeth, the one from the main story, is tortured to death by Fontaine in Rapture
 

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Hawki said:
You know, going through franchises, I'd expected Resident Evil to be on the list, but I had to struggle to come up with an entry. When you think about it, despite being a horror franchise, Resident Evil tends to have upbeat endings. RE3 arguably comes the closest out of the main installments (of the ones I've played at least) but even then while the news report on Raccoon City is sombre, Jill notably isn't.

As for RE4, I wouldn't call the credits bittersweet. I mean, there is bittersweetness in them, but the credits become more disturbing over time. While we can appreciate the context, the credits, to me, are more of a horror factor than a tragic one given how they're presented. Yet of the main installments I've played, it arguably IS the most bittersweet ending of the lot except for maybe RE3. This, despite being more action-heavy than its predecessors. 0_0

trunkage said:
Bioshock Infinite
Johnny Novgorod said:
BioShock: Infinite
Um, okay...

Infinite for me doesn't generate feelings of bittersweetness. Partly because by this time the game's disappeared up its own arse, but even within the arse, the ending pretty much stops everything bad in the story from happening. At least one Booker is left in existence, and potentially his daughter as well.
Jill isn't exactly happy either. Granted, it depends on the ending, but she's happy to see Barry pick her and Carlos up in the best ending. She and Barry more or less acknowledge what happened to Raccoon City sucked. Barry's "it's time." sums it up. She's a bit more sombre in the standard ending, but I would be a little happy if an old friend save me and another person by chopper.

Resident Evil's bittersweet endings are either from the first RE where only Chris/Jill survive, but those count as bad endings. Steve dying in CV, but most fans won't see that as a bad thing, and the endings for both Revelations games. Rev2 does have good end and bad end, but even the good ending implies some form of Alex Wesker survived in Natalia. But the Revelation games are so convoluted in story and endings, that they might as well be non-canon, as all of the left hanging plot threads are never going to be mentioned in future RE titles. RE7 ditches the plot points and cliffhangers left from those games. RE6 implies that the conspiracy for Neo Umbrella still exists even with Simmons dead.Though once again, 7 seems to drop this in favor of Blue Umbrella. There is RE Gaiden where it's implied that Leon died and the one you've been playing as the entire time is the BOW, but that ending was received so terribly by everyone else, that Capcom declared it non-canon.
 

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
R-Type Command.

Both the endings in it are pretty bitter sweet. For the human one you end up beating the bydo fleet but it ends up grappling your flag ship and pulling it into the wiggling mass. Then with the byod campaign you play the same fleet, just as part of the bydo mass and are trying to get home, only to arrive to fierce opposition from the Space Corp's fleet and discovering that it is no longer your home. So the surviving forces retreat from earth while being harassed the full way out and losing many ships as they head for an uncertain future.
 

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Dark Souls:

The whole game is fairly bittersweet, but the realization of what the game was about that hit me when I met the final boss was surprisingly visceral. The sudden realization that you are only perpetuating a cycle (or ending it, but most people don't get that the first time) that the last douche couldn't even pull off properly, and he was king shit of fuck mountain. It barely feels like a victory knowing that you're just setting up the world for failure.
 

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EvilRoy said:
Dark Souls:

The whole game is fairly bittersweet, but the realization of what the game was about that hit me when I met the final boss was surprisingly visceral. The sudden realization that you are only perpetuating a cycle (or ending it, but most people don't get that the first time) that the last douche couldn't even pull off properly, and he was king shit of fuck mountain. It barely feels like a victory knowing that you're just setting up the world for failure.
Well I mean Dark Souls lore. Its either all a joke, doesn't really happen, its all a cycle, nothing matters, time doesn't matter, everyone comes back from the dead, etc...its all nonsense.
 

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CoCage said:
Jill isn't exactly happy either. Granted, it depends on the ending, but she's happy to see Barry pick her and Carlos up in the best ending. She and Barry more or less acknowledge what happened to Raccoon City sucked. Barry's "it's time." sums it up. She's a bit more sombre in the standard ending, but I would be a little happy if an old friend save me and another person by chopper.
If that was the very last shot of RE3, it would probably count. If the very last shot was the news report, it would definitely count. However, neither of those are the final endings. What IS the ending is the credits which uses a tune that's slightly upbeat, slightly melencholy. And it's not the only RE game to do so - see the rock music that ends RE2 for instance.

Resident Evil's bittersweet endings are either from the first RE where only Chris/Jill survive, but those count as bad endings.
Hence why I didn't include them.

Steve dying in CV, but most fans won't see that as a bad thing,
Even if I didn't like Steve, his death could have a bittersweet ending. However, the ending of C: V is triumphant, with Chris and Claire flying off under the Antarctic sun with heroic music blaring.

and the endings for both Revelations games. Rev2 does have good end and bad end, but even the good ending implies some form of Alex Wesker survived in Natalia. But the Revelation games are so convoluted in story and endings, that they might as well be non-canon, as all of the left hanging plot threads are never going to be mentioned in future RE titles. RE7 ditches the plot points and cliffhangers left from those games. RE6 implies that the conspiracy for Neo Umbrella still exists even with Simmons dead.Though once again, 7 seems to drop this in favor of Blue Umbrella.
Can't comment on any of that I'm afraid - haven't played those installments.

There is RE Gaiden where it's implied that Leon died and the one you've been playing as the entire time is the BOW, but that ending was received so terribly by everyone else, that Capcom declared it non-canon.
Well, that, and I wouldn't call it bittersweet, more "to be continued?" Bittersweet might be if only Barry and Lucia survived and reflected on Leon dying...which I never considered to be the case anyway. My interpretation was that Leon was still alive and would turn up to confront the imposter or something. Course that never happened though, and in a break of form for me, I actually don't mind that.
 

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Adding to the bittersweet list, Final Fantasy X.

Silentpony said:
To be fair downer endings was a request.
...fuck!

Okay, downer endings. Not including "bad endings," I can nominate:

-Half-Life 2: Episode 2 (of course, the real downer was lack of continuation I guess, but whatever)

-Killzone 2 (you could argue that this is a "to be continued" ending, but I'd argue it fits "downer" as well because by the end of the game, thanks to Rico, every ISA grunt has now died for nothing)

-StarCraft: Brood War (the downer of all downers)

-Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne (specifically the Arthas ending, not the Horde mini-campaign ending)

-Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War (though did that demon plot point ever get addressed?)
 

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Hawki said:
-Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War (though did that demon plot point ever get addressed?)
Didn't they deal with the daemon in the second DLC of Dawn of War 2? He corrupted one of your buddies
 

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Hawki said:
CoCage said:
Jill isn't exactly happy either. Granted, it depends on the ending, but she's happy to see Barry pick her and Carlos up in the best ending. She and Barry more or less acknowledge what happened to Raccoon City sucked. Barry's "it's time." sums it up. She's a bit more sombre in the standard ending, but I would be a little happy if an old friend save me and another person by chopper.
If that was the very last shot of RE3, it would probably count. If the very last shot was the news report, it would definitely count. However, neither of those are the final endings. What IS the ending is the credits which uses a tune that's slightly upbeat, slightly melencholy. And it's not the only RE game to do so - see the rock music that ends RE2 for instance.

Resident Evil's bittersweet endings are either from the first RE where only Chris/Jill survive, but those count as bad endings.
Hence why I didn't include them.

Steve dying in CV, but most fans won't see that as a bad thing,
Even if I didn't like Steve, his death could have a bittersweet ending. However, the ending of C: V is triumphant, with Chris and Claire flying off under the Antarctic sun with heroic music blaring.

and the endings for both Revelations games. Rev2 does have good end and bad end, but even the good ending implies some form of Alex Wesker survived in Natalia. But the Revelation games are so convoluted in story and endings, that they might as well be non-canon, as all of the left hanging plot threads are never going to be mentioned in future RE titles. RE7 ditches the plot points and cliffhangers left from those games. RE6 implies that the conspiracy for Neo Umbrella still exists even with Simmons dead.Though once again, 7 seems to drop this in favor of Blue Umbrella.
Can't comment on any of that I'm afraid - haven't played those installments.

There is RE Gaiden where it's implied that Leon died and the one you've been playing as the entire time is the BOW, but that ending was received so terribly by everyone else, that Capcom declared it non-canon.
Well, that, and I wouldn't call it bittersweet, more "to be continued?" Bittersweet might be if only Barry and Lucia survived and reflected on Leon dying...which I never considered to be the case anyway. My interpretation was that Leon was still alive and would turn up to confront the imposter or something. Course that never happened though, and in a break of form for me, I actually don't mind that.
Hard to consider Gaiden a "to be continued" when the ending implies Leon is dead. Yes, it's TBC for Barry and the little girl, but once again, even Capcom realized how dumb of an idea it was. This wasn't first time Capcom toyed with idea of killing off Leon. In Code Veronica, he was going to be partnered with Clair again, and he was supposed to die later in the story. Capcom and the writers realized how bad of an idea it was. Hence why Steve looks similar to Leon in the original release, albeit, younger and more bratty.

As far as the Revelation games, just play 2. When you get the good ending, just pretend the implied plot point of form of Alex Wesker surviving in Natalia. It's stupid and adds nothing to ever be followed up on. RE6, well...that's up to you. All I have to say is find a co-op partner to suffer with you.
 

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leet_x1337 said:
Mega Man 11:
Throughout the game, you see flashbacks to when Doctors Light and Wily were colleagues in university. Though Wily wanted to make the world a better place with his invention, especially for robots, Light protested Wily's avenue of research and he was forced to stop, which was what caused his initial fall into evil. With Wily bringing that invention back, Light has no choice but to use it on Mega Man as well, giving him a chance to fight back. When Wily is defeated, Light says that Mega Man is proof that Wily's invention can be used for good, and that Wily doesn't have to be evil... but Wily rejects Light's offer of friendship and leaves, swearing revenge. It's an unusually downbeat note for the series, and complements the more morally grey story.
I liked that one too, but obviously we know Wily could never repent for real. That would end the series. Even if he ever did he'd still have to face jail time for all the destruction he's caused over 11 games plus the X series, all just to prove his superiority to Dr. Light. Even in the cartoony Megaman-verse, such a redemption without penance would likely leave a bad taste in many mouths.

Shadow Hearts: Covenant. This whole time Karin Koenig has been in a triangle with Alice, only to find out when she's sent back in time that she's actually destined to be Yuri's mother, Anne. Also some stuff in the next game doesn't suggest much in the way of good things happening to Yuri in the interim, but whatever. Bittersweet.

Final Fantasy X. Speaking of sacrifices... the cost of permanently expelling Sin is so crushingly high that not even Yuna would have paid it had she known. Still worth it, but that doesn't make it hurt any less. I don't think any other in the series comes close, except maybe Final Fantasy Tactics.
 

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Hawki said:
-Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War (though did that demon plot point ever get addressed?)
Didn't they deal with the daemon in the second DLC of Dawn of War 2? He corrupted one of your buddies
Not really. Kyras, Chapter master and chief librarian, was corrupted(by Khorne of all Gods?) and turned into a fuck-ton huge daemon prince and was hammered by Gabriel Angelos so hard he turned into a Forge world model. But its not specifically the same daemon from the puzzlebox Gabriel hammered in the first game.


Hawki said:
-StarCraft: Brood War (the downer of all downers)
You wanted a downer from Starcraft, try Heart of the Swarm. We spend the entire Wings of Liberty campaign trying to un-Zerg Kerrigan, we succeed, Jim and her get together, and boom! Heart of the Swarm she volunteers to be re-Zerged again and completely breaks Jim and just turns out yeah she's the bad guy. Always was. Go fuck yourself happy ending.
 

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This the Police Franchise is a long series of Downers fitting of a Eastern European Game

In the first one, Boyd fails at nearly everything. He fails to hold hisposition, he helped either a sleazy old crusty rapist of mayor keep his position or helped a faux progressive entrepeneur with plenty of skeletons in the closet and his wife had passed away months ago, leaving him with nothing

In the sequel, Jack is on the run and Lily, his deputy ends up being so incompetent that she struck a deal with corrupt colonel to bring down Jack as the relaionship between her and Jack break down. Ultimately Lily and a former close confidant of Jack is killed and Jack drops all premises of being a good cop

In Rebel Cops, everything the good honst cops of Ripton was for nothing when theyget ambushed by Jack and was killed and Jack takes over Ripton PD. Jake Duvall, the son of the man who was your backup in TiTP2 also dies in vain.
 

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Silentpony said:
trunkage said:
Hawki said:
-Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War (though did that demon plot point ever get addressed?)
Didn't they deal with the daemon in the second DLC of Dawn of War 2? He corrupted one of your buddies
Not really. Kyras, Chapter master and chief librarian, was corrupted(by Khorne of all Gods?) and turned into a fuck-ton huge daemon prince and was hammered by Gabriel Angelos so hard he turned into a Forge world model. But its not specifically the same daemon from the puzzlebox Gabriel hammered in the first game.
I totally thought that was the same daemon, and then the second DLC dealt with the corrupted, completing the circle. I clearly don't remember the villains well. But then, I'm prejudice. One daemon looks like the same as the rest to me.
 

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Silentpony said:
EvilRoy said:
Dark Souls:

The whole game is fairly bittersweet, but the realization of what the game was about that hit me when I met the final boss was surprisingly visceral. The sudden realization that you are only perpetuating a cycle (or ending it, but most people don't get that the first time) that the last douche couldn't even pull off properly, and he was king shit of fuck mountain. It barely feels like a victory knowing that you're just setting up the world for failure.
Well I mean Dark Souls lore. Its either all a joke, doesn't really happen, its all a cycle, nothing matters, time doesn't matter, everyone comes back from the dead, etc...its all nonsense.
I wouldn't say nonsense, I like it a lot but the world is already a lost cause so nothing is at stake. It's like the melancholy of a funeral dirge. If the question was ''which game is the most melancholical/romantic'' Dark Souls would take the cake by a country mile. Though, I'd say the third game is the epitome of this since it grinds both past, present and future into dust. It's at the same time sensitive for the implications and deliberately dispassionate in it's delivery. That really puts it in a league of it's own that is unmatched in popular culture.
 

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Xenoblade II: Legend of Torna.

Technically the heroes do win but the ending immediately kicks every single one of them to the curb pretty hard. Some die, some are forever traumatized, some get corrupted and some get kidnapped and experimented upon.
 

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Drawn To Life: The Next Chapter. That ending song gets me every time, it applies to me too well. It's also the only "It was all a dream" ending that I'm ok with because everything did actually happen, what's happening is meant to be tragic rather than a message of "Wake up and go back to the real world" like so many of these endings are.
 

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stroopwafel said:
Silentpony said:
EvilRoy said:
Dark Souls:

The whole game is fairly bittersweet, but the realization of what the game was about that hit me when I met the final boss was surprisingly visceral. The sudden realization that you are only perpetuating a cycle (or ending it, but most people don't get that the first time) that the last douche couldn't even pull off properly, and he was king shit of fuck mountain. It barely feels like a victory knowing that you're just setting up the world for failure.
Well I mean Dark Souls lore. Its either all a joke, doesn't really happen, its all a cycle, nothing matters, time doesn't matter, everyone comes back from the dead, etc...its all nonsense.
I wouldn't say nonsense, I like it a lot but the world is already a lost cause so nothing is at stake. It's like the melancholy of a funeral dirge. If the question was ''which game is the most melancholical/romantic'' Dark Souls would take the cake by a country mile. Though, I'd say the third game is the epitome of this since it grinds both past, present and future into dust. It's at the same time sensitive for the implications and deliberately dispassionate in it's delivery. That really puts it in a league of it's own that is unmatched in popular culture.
There is something sublime about how the games roll with "The end has come and there's nothing you can do about it". Even the cycles, which Dark Souls 2 added to the lore, Dark Souls 3 concluded that each cycle was only delaying the inevitable because the universe is truely spent and eventually entropy wins.

Which is somehow still less depressing then watching the news.
 

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The Darkness. The writers and voice actors did a phenomenal job of bringing Jackie and Jenny?s relationship to life, and this ending says SO much in such a simple. tender and moving way. It was the only time a game made me actually cry.

 

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CoCage said:
Hard to consider Gaiden a "to be continued" when the ending implies Leon is dead. Yes, it's TBC for Barry and the little girl, but once again, even Capcom realized how dumb of an idea it was.
Even if I agreed that the implication was that Leon was dead, as you said, that leaves Barry and Lucia. It's very much "TBC" for them.

Silentpony said:
You wanted a downer from Starcraft, try Heart of the Swarm. We spend the entire Wings of Liberty campaign trying to un-Zerg Kerrigan, we succeed, Jim and her get together, and boom! Heart of the Swarm she volunteers to be re-Zerged again and completely breaks Jim and just turns out yeah she's the bad guy. Always was. Go fuck yourself happy ending.
That's a, um, interesting approach at looking at HotS. The Kerrigan there isn't the same one as in BW - certainly not in terms of personality, psyche, or anything like that.

Even if you disagree with the character arc, Brood War ends with "everything is terrible, and it's likely going to get a lot more terrible." HotS ends with Kerrigan having made peace with herself, the potential for the Dominion to be rebuilt, and the looming threat of Amon. There's some bittersweetness there, but it's hardly a downer.
 

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Not many people usually bring these up, but the first 5 Mega Man X games all have very bittersweet/downer endings.

X1 has X wrestling with the choice he made to fight while dealing with the death of Zero.

X2 is probably the only game in the bunch that actually has a happy ending. Zero is back, but X still hates that his life has become this war.

X3 has ghosts from X and Zero's past return and begins the foreshadowing of their eventual clash, while Dr. Doppler sacrifices himself to atone for helping Sigma.

Repliforce's coup and Double's betrayal shakes X and causes him to fear that he will one day become a Maverick as well. The game ends with X begging Zero to kill him if that is ever the case.

Meanwhile Zero is forced to kill his friend, girlfriend and Repliforce's General who were all manipulated by Sigma. The game ends with Zero feeling powerless for not being able to save anyone.


X5 is soul crushing because no matter what ending you get it's a bad one. X and Zero finally have their ultimate battle, with Zero possibly being a Maverick. In all endings Zero sacrifices himself, in one ending X's memory of Zero is erased. On top of that the world has gone through a near extinction level event.

The series really should have ended with X5 as it was originally planned. The future sequels just really take a lot of the impact away from the first 5.
 

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Zeraki said:
Not many people usually bring these up, but the first 5 Mega Man X games all have very bittersweet/downer endings.

X1 has X wrestling with the choice he made to fight while dealing with the death of Zero.

X2 is probably the only game in the bunch that actually has a happy ending. Zero is back, but X still hates that his life has become this war.

X3 has ghosts from X and Zero's past return and begins the foreshadowing of their eventual clash, while Dr. Doppler sacrifices himself to atone for helping Sigma.

Repliforce's coup and Double's betrayal shakes X and causes him to fear that he will one day become a Maverick as well. The game ends with X begging Zero to kill him if that is ever the case.

Meanwhile Zero is forced to kill his friend, girlfriend and Repliforce's General who were all manipulated by Sigma. The game ends with Zero feeling powerless for not being able to save anyone.


X5 is soul crushing because no matter what ending you get it's a bad one. X and Zero finally have their ultimate battle, with Zero possibly being a Maverick. In all endings Zero sacrifices himself, in one ending X's memory of Zero is erased. On top of that the world has gone through a near extinction level event.

The series really should have ended with X5 as it was originally planned. The future sequels just really take a lot of the impact away from the first 5.

You can still ignore X6-8 by playing the Mega Man Zero games. Even the Zero series acts as is no other games after X5 happened. You can definitely thank Keiji Inafune for that one, as he has made it clear that he hates the X games post 5. I hate X6 and above because they're so inconsequential. Hell, a majority of fans pretend the rest of the X games never happened.
 

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CoCage said:
I guess on that note we should bring up the Zero series too?

The finale of Megaman Zero 4 ends with the orbital attack satellite, Ragnarok, being made by the main villain of the series, Weil, to fall into the atmosphere on a collision course with the only part of the planet that's not a wasteland anymore. Zero sacrifices himself to kill Weil so that his body, which is fused with the core of the Ragnarok satellite, will explode and destroy enough of the satellite that it will burn up in the atmosphere.

We then get a scene of people celebrating that they've been saved while Ciel runs off to be alone to cry and mourn the loss of Zero while we see pieces of Ragnarok falling in the background like shooting stars in a night sky. The game ends with us seeing Zero's helmet partially destroyed in the wasteland somewhere.

So much was lost to get to this point that despite the great hope we have that reploids and humans can live together finally and bring back life to the world the ending is still very bittersweet, and not just because of the loss of Zero but the loss of everyone else too to get here like X and the Guardians (Who were killed OFFSCREEN) and so many other reploids and humans.

Heck, the entire Megaman series could be seen as a downer ending since Megaman Legends shows that true humans no longer exist and everyone left is a reploid, humans eventually WERE replaced by robots.
 

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EvilRoy said:
Dark Souls:

The whole game is fairly bittersweet, but the realization of what the game was about that hit me when I met the final boss was surprisingly visceral. The sudden realization that you are only perpetuating a cycle (or ending it, but most people don't get that the first time) that the last douche couldn't even pull off properly, and he was king shit of fuck mountain. It barely feels like a victory knowing that you're just setting up the world for failure.
Well I mean Dark Souls lore. Its either all a joke, doesn't really happen, its all a cycle, nothing matters, time doesn't matter, everyone comes back from the dead, etc...its all nonsense.[/quote]

Too true, but I'm thinking more of my experience with playing the first games without really thinking about how the sequels effected that outlook. I don't even really count DS2 just on the basis of "wut".
 

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Silentpony said:
Probably Far Cry 5, 'cause shit's fucked. The canon 'Good' ending is the world is engulfed in Nuclear fire, half your friends died, and you live as a slave or sex slave to Joseph Seed, depending on gender. Bad endings are all manner of you dying, everyone dying, all your friends dying, or you killing all your friends, then becoming a willing servant/sex servant.

So...yeah.

Also 'Oh by the way we infiltrated the Nuclear facilities off screen without your knowledge' is a hell of an ass-pull in the 3rd act. Great game, great story and character, fucked the landing so hard it got pregnant and gave birth to New Dawn.
I loved the fucking ending. Far Cry until now has been such a power fantasy to have the game just punch you in the gut and say "Fuck you, your struggles were all in vain", had me laughing.

Obvious answers of Telltale's The Walking Dead seasons 1 & 2, honorable mention to Mass Effect 3 as well. That damn music can hit you hard.
 

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Elfgore said:
Silentpony said:
Probably Far Cry 5, 'cause shit's fucked. The canon 'Good' ending is the world is engulfed in Nuclear fire, half your friends died, and you live as a slave or sex slave to Joseph Seed, depending on gender. Bad endings are all manner of you dying, everyone dying, all your friends dying, or you killing all your friends, then becoming a willing servant/sex servant.

So...yeah.

Also 'Oh by the way we infiltrated the Nuclear facilities off screen without your knowledge' is a hell of an ass-pull in the 3rd act. Great game, great story and character, fucked the landing so hard it got pregnant and gave birth to New Dawn.
I loved the fucking ending. Far Cry until now has been such a power fantasy to have the game just punch you in the gut and say "Fuck you, your struggles were all in vain", had me laughing.

Obvious answers of Telltale's The Walking Dead seasons 1 & 2, honorable mention to Mass Effect 3 as well. That damn music can hit you hard.
Far Cry has plenty of downer endings before 5. Hell, the only straight up unambiguous good endings are from Far Cry 1, Instincts (Evolution not so much), and one of the secret endings from 4 you can achieve early in the game. This is nothing new.
 

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CoCage said:
Far Cry has plenty of downer endings before 5. Hell, the only straight up unambiguous good endings are from Far Cry 1, Instincts (Evolution not so much), and one of the secret endings from 4 you can achieve early in the game. This is nothing new.
I'd argue to the extent of it, it was. Far Cry 3 ends with you defeating the pirates & mercenaries, though if Jason decides to walk away is up to you. Far Cry 4 is kinda a better example. As you replace one despot with either a religious or immoral despot. Either way you defeat the bad guy. Far Cry 5 has zero endings in which you defeat the bad guy. No matter what his power is still there. None of the possible three endings can be called good. Unlike the others.
 

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Elfgore said:
CoCage said:
Far Cry has plenty of downer endings before 5. Hell, the only straight up unambiguous good endings are from Far Cry 1, Instincts (Evolution not so much), and one of the secret endings from 4 you can achieve early in the game. This is nothing new.
I'd argue to the extent of it, it was. Far Cry 3 ends with you defeating the pirates & mercenaries, though if Jason decides to walk away is up to you. Far Cry 4 is kinda a better example. As you replace one despot with either a religious or immoral despot. Either way you defeat the bad guy. Far Cry 5 has zero endings in which you defeat the bad guy. No matter what his power is still there. None of the possible three endings can be called good. Unlike the others.
Interestingly, I'd consider the "Jason stays on the island" to be the real ending considering just how well it completes his descent into madness that seems to characterize the islands inhabitants so much. He's given the option to betray and execute his friends for the ultimate power fantasy, to live a life of murder and without rules on a tropical island with the bonus of getting to bang an exotic, dangerous hot girl....who promptly kills him once the sex is finished, because if you hadn't noticed before she's fucking crazy and murdering your friends for sex with a crazy lady ends just as well as you could imagine.

That and the other ending feels very truncated with "I went home but don't think I can adjust".
 

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Elfgore said:
CoCage said:
Far Cry has plenty of downer endings before 5. Hell, the only straight up unambiguous good endings are from Far Cry 1, Instincts (Evolution not so much), and one of the secret endings from 4 you can achieve early in the game. This is nothing new.
I'd argue to the extent of it, it was. Far Cry 3 ends with you defeating the pirates & mercenaries, though if Jason decides to walk away is up to you. Far Cry 4 is kinda a better example. As you replace one despot with either a religious or immoral despot. Either way you defeat the bad guy. Far Cry 5 has zero endings in which you defeat the bad guy. No matter what his power is still there. None of the possible three endings can be called good. Unlike the others.
Check the two endings for Far Cry 2. It's a no win situation for everyone. Not even The Jackal.
 

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Dalisclock said:
Elfgore said:
CoCage said:
Far Cry has plenty of downer endings before 5. Hell, the only straight up unambiguous good endings are from Far Cry 1, Instincts (Evolution not so much), and one of the secret endings from 4 you can achieve early in the game. This is nothing new.
I'd argue to the extent of it, it was. Far Cry 3 ends with you defeating the pirates & mercenaries, though if Jason decides to walk away is up to you. Far Cry 4 is kinda a better example. As you replace one despot with either a religious or immoral despot. Either way you defeat the bad guy. Far Cry 5 has zero endings in which you defeat the bad guy. No matter what his power is still there. None of the possible three endings can be called good. Unlike the others.
Interestingly, I'd consider the "Jason stays on the island" to be the real ending considering just how well it completes his descent into madness that seems to characterize the islands inhabitants so much. He's given the option to betray and execute his friends for the ultimate power fantasy, to live a life of murder and without rules on a tropical island with the bonus of getting to bang an exotic, dangerous hot girl....who promptly kills him once the sex is finished, because if you hadn't noticed before she's fucking crazy and murdering your friends for sex with a crazy lady ends just as well as you could imagine.

That and the other ending feels very truncated with "I went home but don't think I can adjust".
This sounds pretty familiar to Noah Caldwell-Gervais's critique on YouTube about this game. I'd recommend it! Seems up your alley.
 

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Dalisclock said:
Interestingly, I'd consider the "Jason stays on the island" to be the real ending considering just how well it completes his descent into madness that seems to characterize the islands inhabitants so much.
I think there's two levels on which the final choice operates.

Firstly, I don't think the narrative paints the islanders as crazy. Even if we dismiss the actual magic and mysticism as just drugs, they still have a way of life and a culture which is obviously working out for them. They're generally presented to us as noble savages, as people who can offer a kind of meaning and realness which the modern, civilised world has lost. I mean, imagine Jason going home and going back to photocopying or flipping burgers. The island gave him a purpose and a chance to express a part of his nature which his own civilised society was never going to tolerate.

One of the people who worked on the game described the story as "anti-Avatar", James Cameron's Avatar being another noble savage/white saviour narrative. The ending is clever (or cleverish, there's a lot of things wrong with the game's weird messaging and politics which kind of prevent me praising it too highly for having some woke anti-colonial message) because it subverts expectations. We've seen this kind of story before, we know it ends with Jason being heralded as some kind of saviour and superior being, combining the best qualities of civilisation and savagery. Instead, Jason dies, because he is still an outsider. He is just another outsider wanting to control and rule this society to satisfy the inadequacies of his own civilised life. Maybe achieving that should not be something which is narratively assumed.

Secondly, there's a meta level to this because the player is put into the role of Jason. The player is playing this game to escape their civilized life, to murder virtual people and to generally indulge fantasies which would be horrific to ever act on in reality. The player will likely end up identifying with Jason because they have similar motivations, they're both enjoying the power fantasy.

I think it says a lot that the game can present you with a choice to murder your character's friends simply because they stand in the way of your power fantasy and have that appear reasonable. Escapism or not, I'm not sure that's something a player should ever be allowed to feel entirely comfortable with, so I sort of enjoyed it on that level too.
 

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I think there should have been a middle ending in Far cry 3 where you had saved your friend and killed the shaman priest girl but then just replace her as the head of the islander and stayed on the island (a kind of ultimate power fantasy). Cause I agree the leave the island ending just doesn't work with the rest of the game, but I ended up picking it cause I didn't see any reason why Jason would kill all his friend and never liked the shaman women (plus it was kinda obvious she was going to kill you if you stayed).