Game's that you could 'lose'

Valkrex

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Jan 6, 2013
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ZombiU.

The real ending only shows up after the credits where you are trying to escape London via an evacuation at the top of the Tower of London. On the way there hordes of zombies block your path, and this is the kind of zombie game where one zombie can easily kill you in one hit if you aren't careful.


If you die on the way up, game over, no retries, your character is dead and zombi-fied.



There's also a "survival" mode, where you play through the story, but on your first death its game over.
 

Brainwreck

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Dec 2, 2012
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Sp3ratus said:
Planescape: Torment has at least three endings, where you end up failing your quest:
First, there's accepting the throne of the Silent King. Then there's getting killed by that wizard who kidnaps Morte. I don't remember the name, but he's one of the few beings on the Planes, who have the power to permanently kill you. Another being the Lady of Pain, which is a third end.
I always wondered. The Nameless One cannot die, because whenever he does, another dies in his stead (and another shadow is created, doomed to hunt the guy forever).

So how can he die so hard that another person dying instead of him won't even make a difference? Does the cycle end? Does the entire multiverse die, as literally all life is destroyed to resurrect someone that cannot be resurrected? (okay, that's silly)

But that's probably not what the thread is about.

OT: Um. New Vegas, I guess. Joining with Caesar automatically counts as fucking everything up horribly. As does joining with Elijah in Dead Money, plus the story ends quite prematurely and genocidally.
 

Fluffythepoo

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Sep 29, 2011
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Zombie U or anything else with a hardcore mode (diablo, torchlight, etc)... If you die in those games you just die
Also a fun browser game called "one chance", where you get one chance to save the world, and if you screw it up there's no retries, you just get to stare at your dead character knowing that everyone else on the planet is equally dead

I wouldn't consider "bad" or immoral endings to games loosing them though, they're just more realistic plots than riding off into the sunset
 

Naeras

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Mar 1, 2011
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Both of the games I've played through the last two weeks, namely Spec Ops: The Line and XCOM - Enemy Unknown, these things can happen. In XCOM, screwing up will have permanent consequences, and you WILL screw up. Civilians lives can be lost due to tactical failures(or rockets missing their mark *cough*), and the soldiers you care about and remember can be permanently killed. Oh, and if funding gets pulled from the project, which essentially feels more like a bad ending than a "game over", humanity is lost.

As for Spec Ops... well, play the goddamn game. Just do it.
 

Xaio30

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Nov 24, 2010
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Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magic Obscura (aside from having a long name) let you...
...side with the bad guy at the end if you wished, and thus going on a murder spree throughout the world before finally turning on each other.
 

The_Blue_Rider

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Proverbial Jon said:
Heavy Rain - A single mistake can mean the death of someone who would have helped you later on. It might not mean the world ends but it does mean a pretty poor ending if you play badly enough.

Halo Reach seems like an obvious one.
heavy Rain was fucking horrible in the fact that a major character could die, at the very end of the game, due to you failing one input.

It's an input with the goddamn sixaxis, much rage was had that day
 

viranimus

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Nov 20, 2009
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Yes please, And make them difficult so the "win" state is hard to actually achieve. And while your at it, make "fail states" not only possible, but allow the game to explore the actually effects of the state of failure. I would be first in line for that.

(edit: exploring the state of a failed story arc, reminds me so much of the "ruined world" in Final Fantasy 3 for the Snes. The ability to see the long term impacts and devastation wrought from failure. Only difference is instead of getting a second chance, you just have to live with those consequences as best as you can.
 

Signa

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Two come to mind. Cave Story lets you abandon your quest and end the game by running away. Super Paper Mario lets you decline the adventure, and then the game ends.
 

DementedSheep

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Jan 8, 2010
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Well there are plenty where you can be amoral and screw the world up but that's not really a loss.
For game with endings that actually do have your character fail I can think 2 right now. In The Void you have 35 cycles to win the game and if you don't you fall into nightmare. Its also easy to paint yourself in to a corner so it is impossible to win or survive later on without realizing it until several cycles later. I wonder how many actually won in the first play through?

In VTM:B some of the endings result in your death or worse. Though really you should see that coming if you side with the
Kuei-Jin. They aren't exactly subtle about their hatred of vampires

In DA:O you can't really fail the overall ending. You can die but the world is saved and that was more of a choice not you failing but you can screw other people over with decision that's seem well intended especially in the dwarf city.
I'm sure there are more with this but I can't think of them right now.
 

Proverbial Jon

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Nov 10, 2009
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The_Blue_Rider said:
Proverbial Jon said:
Heavy Rain - A single mistake can mean the death of someone who would have helped you later on. It might not mean the world ends but it does mean a pretty poor ending if you play badly enough.

Halo Reach seems like an obvious one.
heavy Rain was fucking horrible in the fact that a major character could die, at the very end of the game, due to you failing one input.

It's an input with the goddamn sixaxis, much rage was had that day
I feel your pain. Those damn prompts were tricky not because you couldn't react quick enough but because half the time what they wanted you to do with your hands was... inhuman.

I was always waiting by the console reset button when I failed an important prompt; that game autosaves like a *****.

Xaio30 said:
Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magic Obscura (aside from having a long name) let you...
...side with the bad guy at the end if you wished, and thus going on a murder spree throughout the world before finally turning on each other.
That sounds awesome! All games should have an option like that at the end!
 

kyogen

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Feb 22, 2011
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Roguelikes have consequences. Individual characters are usually lost completely when they die. Even when characters aren't, most items and progress through the dungeon are gone.

Most arcade games encourage failure so players keep feeding them coins.

Nier has a wonderful collection of four downer endings, but they don't constitute failure outright. That's just the way the game is designed. The last one is the best.
 

CarlsonAndPeeters

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Mar 18, 2009
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So since people have already said Spec Ops, I'll throw out a silly one: Shadow Complex

About midway through the game you can get back to your car. If you hit the action button, you get in the car and drive off, saying, "Well there are lots of fish in the sea" or something like that, abandoning your girlfriend and not stopping the bad guys. Then the game drops you back at the car and you have to keep going.
 

Shocksplicer

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Apr 10, 2011
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If you're counting any game where you can get an ending where you don't beat the bad guys, how about Alpha Protocol?
In one ending you join the evil Halbech corporation and help rule the world.
In another you take over for yourself...
 

DoPo

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Jan 30, 2012
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Xaio30 said:
Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magic Obscura (aside from having a long name) let you...
...side with the bad guy at the end if you wished, and thus going on a murder spree throughout the world before finally turning on each other.
*sniff* I'm so happy when I see somebody mention Arcanum before I get to do it ;) <- that's a tear and a smile

Proverbial Jon said:
That sounds awesome! All games should have an option like that at the end!
actually you could do it earlier than the end. Around...well, more than 3/4th of the game, though but definitely before the end. Or you could still wait till the end. Basically, you first are targeted by assassins on behalf of the big bad because he has a cult that wants to see him return (he was exiled) and once you do track down the cult and confront them, you could just go "Well, actually, let's stop with this 'killing me' bullshit - I wanna join". Something you can consistently do in the game, actually - you can consistently deny you're the "chosen one" whenever anybody tells you that. It's quite good to have dialogue choices including "Yes, I'll do it because it's right!", "I just want to kill everybody", and "I just want to stop people trying to kill me - forget the stupid prophesy!".

If you don't join the cult, you still end up facing and talking with the big bad, talk to them, decide that he's correct. He's one of the few bad guys I've seen that actually makes sense with his "I will kill everything" motive.

DementedSheep said:
In VTM:B some of the endings result in your death or worse. Though really you should see that coming if you side with the
Kuei-Jin. They aren't exactly subtle about their hatred of vampires
Well, same goes for

LaCroix. I mean, he's lying through his teeth and it shows. The only reason I see to side with him is to just see what his plan is. I also do it when I play a Ventrue - just seems appropriate.
 

jklinders

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Sep 21, 2010
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Best example of straight up failing I can remember is the first Fallout. Take too long or rat your vault out and you get some creepy ass endings.
 

Vivi22

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Aug 22, 2010
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Not many people will be familiar with it, but Way of the Samurai is definitely one. Dying would mean the game ended, and there were multiple endings, and even small variations on those multiple endings based on who you help and who you fight in the game. You can join any faction or none and basically play through however you choose. It's also a pretty short game so it wasn't a big hindrance if you screwed up.

Hell, one of the ways to end the game involved walking right out of town and leaving everyone to their problems. You could leave town at any time, even within the first few seconds of the game starting.
 

Paladin2905

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Sep 1, 2011
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Nobody bring up Wing Commander 3 yet? Lose enough missions and you actually have to play through the rest of the campaign as humanity loses and gets slaughtered.
 

EHKOS

Madness to my Methods
Feb 28, 2010
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Singularity is a sub-par shooter, but you can side with the bad guy in that. Seriously, most of the game was just walking around, you didn't get to shoot as much as you wanted.