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

EvilRoy

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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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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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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.


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.
 

stroopwafel

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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.
 

Zeraki

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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.
 

EvilRoy

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te="Silentpony" post="9.1057693.24327504"]
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".