Good Video-Game Endings

Specter Von Baren

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It was similar but TTYD was better. In PM64 it was just Peach's wishes, not the wishes of all Mushroom Kingdom, which isn't nearly as epic or touching.

Gonna have to heavily disagree on SPM being a great game, though. It looks better now when you compare it to the latter dregs of the series, but that doesn't stop it from being vastly inferior to the previous 3 Mario RPGs.
Story wise it's a great game but the gameplay is just too easy and lacks the depth that the first two games had.
 

Drathnoxis

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Story wise it's a great game but the gameplay is just too easy and lacks the depth that the first two games had.
And also visually it looks like the artists banged it out in an afternoon with the shape tool.
 

Specter Von Baren

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Since it was brought up.

Super Mario RPG really did set the standard for a good ending for Mario RPG games. Beating Exor, the baddie that symbolized your goal and the invaders attacking the kingdom, the giant ass sword that fell from the sky in that awesome opening, only to find yourself sucked into a dark, desolate, wasteland. Not only have you not stopped Smithy, you now travel through the heart of their stronghold and get to see just how bad things will get if you don't stop the Smithy Gang.

For the rest of the game leading up to this a boss fight was a special event at the end of an area, now though you go through the factory fighting boss after boss after boss. And on top of that you are now running into mass production copies of all the previous Smithy Gang bosses you fought till now that are just rolling off assembly lines like it's nothing. Now that's something cool; usually reusing old bosses as random mooks is just a resource saving measure but here it emphasizes what the Smithy Gang is, which is machines, robots, and weapons created for war that never stop coming.

Then you finally make it to Smithy and it's a hell of a fight, the presentation and music are just fantastic with the organ music and then once you think you've won, Smithy smashes the floor and you fall into a pit of freakish heads and the true final battle starts against the creepy head changing Smithy.

You finally beat him and get the final star, say a tearful goodbye to Geno, and then the credits roll. Man the music for the credits is great, the way it starts with a slow, heartfelt melody as you see little scenes of what people are doing now that the threat is gone and then the music changes to an upbeat and happy one as the parade starts and you see all the characters from the game in their individual floats and engaging in shenanigans, it's such a good credits sequence that entertained my child self. And then when the parade is over we get one last scene of Geno going up to the sky in star form and the music finishes with the "star recovery" tune you've heard throughout the game.

What a solid ending.

 

Catfood220

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I would say Persona 5 has a good ending. Joker and the Phantom Thieves giving the agents who are tailing them the slip and going on a well-earned holiday after saving the world and getting Joker out of jail.

I am of course talking about the vanilla version of the game. I'm not fond of the Royal ending. There is an bittersweet air of finality in this ending where everyone just kind of goes their own way and Joker just goes back to his folks wherever that is. Seeing as his folks never seem that bothered about him and never get in touch with him, I don't know why he couldn't have stayed in Tokyo with Sojiro who becomes more of a father figure to him and stay with Makoto (or whoever you picked).
 

Terminal Blue

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I liked Planescape: Torment.
Even more than two decades on, I would still rate Planescape: Torment as the best video game story in general. Even though I think the ending is relatively weak compared to the rest of the game, it still more than deserves to be up there. It's one of the few times I think I needed to come back and play a game as an adult because its themes are mature (as in actually mature) enough that there's a lot you miss playing it as a child.

It is a very downer ending, although I actually think they pulled the punch a bit by showing what happens to the Nameless One after his business is resolved. It seems like they wanted to keep the character in play in some form so he could crop up in future D&D materials or stories, but in the context of this self-contained story I think it's a weakness to what should be a very moving resolution.

But I think, as a downer ending, it's totally earned, and the tone is baked into the whole feel of the game. I can't help but feel like a lot of people must have pushed back against the decision to base a game around a character who is a gross zombie man, but it really works in context. You look at the nameless one and immediately know this is not a guy who is having a great time.

Speaking of edgy 90s RPGs though.

Fallout: A Post-Nuclear Role Playing Game

Unlike Planescape: Torment, I don't actually think the original Fallout is as good as people remember in terms of writing and storytelling. It's good, and certainly better than a lot of modern games, but a lot of it hasn't aged well. However, I think a big part of the reason people remember Fallout as this great story driven game is that the ending really, really hits a home run. Everything from the walk down the corridor of revulsion to the end credits is brilliant.

The master, for example, absolutely shouldn't work. He's barely introduced before you meet him and you can meet him only once, his design is extremely 90s, his gimmick of having multiple voices threatens to veer into goofy or annoying, he talks about the "master race" in a very unsubtle way. But it's all completely nailed in the execution. He's barely present in the story, but he represents and serves as exposition for its most important theme of hope versus despair. His voice acting is standout even in a game with unusually good voice acting for its time. In a franchise full of interesting characters and in particular memorable, complex villains, he's still my favorite character despite having about 7 minutes of dialogue.

I also like how he's set up as a mirror to the other antagonist you have a conversation with at the end of the game, the Overseer. The overseer's betrayal is such a great twist ending and a nice piece of implied character development for the vault dweller despite the fact the vault dweller is basically a player avatar. It's also a classic reference to the coming of age themes of old fantasy. Sometimes the journey changes you so much that you can never really go home again. I think that's such a powerful and personal theme to end this story on after all the big picture stuff about the fate of humanity, and to me it's perfect. Fallout could very easily have gone down as a pretty generic, silly 90s RPG where the main appeal was combat and exploding people in gory ways, but the ending reaches for an emotional depth that makes it way more memorable.
 
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FakeSympathy

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Metal Gear Solid 3
The ending hit super hard. Especially when EVA explains the boss wasn't really a traitor to US, but was forced to complicate her deep-cover. The fact that she was willing to bear the burden both in life and death, and chose to die for peace by her student no less, was emotional as hell. And when Snake saluted to her grave, you bet your ass I also shed a single tear.

Bioshock
For a game that takes in dark, drab, and depressing underwater city, the good ending was rather surprising. I'm actually really glad Jack chose to adopt the girls and give them a chance at living normal lives above the surface. Andrew Ryan said "A man chooses and slave obeys". Well, Jack certain was a man in this situation.

COD: MW3
Before Activision became incredibly lazy with their writings (I'd say somewhere between Ghosts to BO3?), I actually enjoyed campaign of each game. MW3 was no exception. That ending of Price hunting down Makarov, tying him with a wire, crashing through the roof of a building and hanging him was awesome revenge, especially considering how much of an asshole Makarov was. That final cigar lit was a nice touch

Assassin's Creed 3
I find both Connor's and Desmond's ending to be contrast of each other. Desmond's action feels a lot more hopeful, as he ends the apocalypse. Conor's action of supporting the revolution has left his people doomed. In the end, Haytham was kinda right; freedom has led to more mess.

Cyberpunk 2077
Yeah, yeah, laugh at me for liking this hot mess of a game. All the broken promises and disasterous launch aside, I found the story and the ending to be the best things about the game. It asks the philosophical question of freedom of choice and how to live out your life, and who or whatgets to be the driving forceto make those choices.
 

Gordon_4

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DragonAge II.

In most other RPGs we’d have been able to bring about peace no matter what side we picked. Except no. The abuses of Kirkwall’s Circle have been going on for what is clearly decades and no amount of passed charm checks is going to convince people to just chill after Meredith has ordered the Rite of Annulment because one of your buddies blew up the Chantry and killed hundreds of people. These are bells that cannot be un-rung.
 
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thebobmaster

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DragonAge II.

In most other RPGs we’d have been able to bring about peace no matter what side we picked. Except no. The abuses of Kirkwall’s Circle have been going on for what is clearly decades and no amount of passed charm checks is going to convince people to just chill after Meredith has ordered the Rite of Annulment because one of your buddies blew up the Chantry and killed hundreds of people. These are bells that cannot be un-rung.
Dragon Age 2 as a whole was really good at the whole "one guy can make a lot of difference in the right place, but can't fix everything".
 

Terminal Blue

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In most other RPGs we’d have been able to bring about peace no matter what side we picked. Except no. The abuses of Kirkwall’s Circle have been going on for what is clearly decades and no amount of passed charm checks is going to convince people to just chill after Meredith has ordered the Rite of Annulment because one of your buddies blew up the Chantry and killed hundreds of people. These are bells that cannot be un-rung.
Considering Dragon Age: Origins was about as generic as a heroic fantasy story can get, DA2 was surprisingly interesting in that regard even if the execution wasn't always perfect.
 
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meiam

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DragonAge II.

In most other RPGs we’d have been able to bring about peace no matter what side we picked. Except no. The abuses of Kirkwall’s Circle have been going on for what is clearly decades and no amount of passed charm checks is going to convince people to just chill after Meredith has ordered the Rite of Annulment because one of your buddies blew up the Chantry and killed hundreds of people. These are bells that cannot be un-rung.
Maybe if they tried to have one ending it could work, but I mostly remember the ending where no matter who you side with it all come to the same and all the stupid mage still use blood magic to turn into a giant bloob for no reason. I think the ending to the second act is better (although DA:I shit over it if you turn the thief in).
 
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Terminal Blue

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Maybe if they tried to have one ending it could work, but I mostly remember the ending where no matter who you side with it all come to the same and all the stupid mage still use blood magic to turn into a giant bloob for no reason.
Basically, Orsino randomly turning into a harvester happened because EA stepped in and demanded another boss fight at the last minute, and the developers had no idea what to do.

Dragon Age 2 was rushed out extremely hard. Noone expected Origins to do as well as it did and EA basically decided they wanted a sequel out immediately to capitalize on it. The result was that the game was kind of cobbled together from whatever they had, hence a lot of the problems.

It's a pity because I remember some of the early interviews about the Dragon Age franchise, and the ideas they had for it sounded kind of interesting. It seemed like the idea was to have a series with games set quite a long time apart rather than a directly continuing story, with the events of previous games becoming part of the history of the world in subsequent games. Honestly, that sounds cool and I wish they'd done it, but I don't think EA would ever have tolerated anything so creatively risky.
 
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Gordon_4

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Maybe if they tried to have one ending it could work, but I mostly remember the ending where no matter who you side with it all come to the same and all the stupid mage still use blood magic to turn into a giant bloob for no reason. I think the ending to the second act is better (although DA:I shit over it if you turn the thief in).
Well, yeah. That’s kind of the point. By the point everything has boiled over the mages are already under penalty of death - and ironically you save more of them if you side with the Templars - so resorting to the forbidden magics is a no-brainer; might as well go down swinging.

Plus there is plenty of evidence that Kirkwall has a blood mage problem and it’s theorised that because the Tevinter Imperium did so much blood sacrifice there that the Veil has thinned considerably compared to Ferelden. And because of that the Templars crack down harder which makes more mages rebel etc ad infiniteum. Problem is, this stuff is hidden in a bunch of the codex entries so unless you read them it can just seem absurd.
 
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immortalfrieza

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DragonAge II.

In most other RPGs we’d have been able to bring about peace no matter what side we picked. Except no. The abuses of Kirkwall’s Circle have been going on for what is clearly decades and no amount of passed charm checks is going to convince people to just chill after Meredith has ordered the Rite of Annulment because one of your buddies blew up the Chantry and killed hundreds of people. These are bells that cannot be un-rung.
Made all the more effective because Origins had a "get a perfect ending" option to the resolution of nearly everything in the game, not the least of which being the "nobody dies to kill the Archdemon" ending which subsequently built up your expectations. If the player is paying attention to the whole situation at all the setup was well done. Your buddy did what he did because something drastic needed to happen to force the conflict. Otherwise things were just going to keep on getting worse and worse for the Mages until the Templars dominated them completely, if not wiped them out in their cribs whenever they could. The entire situation was blatantly unfair to the Mages and would've resulted in open conflict eventually, just with the Mages in a far worse position than they already were.

Of course, then after getting this war going Inquisition royally screwed the pooch by NOT centering the game around said Mage/Templar conflict and instead brought out these out of nowhere "Breaches" that all but throws what should have been a vastly important conflict to the wayside with the Mage/Templar conflict treated as largely just a footnote. I guess we can blame EA for this, like we can blame them for nearly everything they get their mitts on.
 
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Gordon_4

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Made all the more effective because Origins had a "get a perfect ending" option to the resolution of nearly everything in the game, not the least of which being the "nobody dies to kill the Archdemon" ending which subsequently built up your expectations. If the player is paying attention to the whole situation at all the setup was well done. Your buddy did what he did because something drastic needed to happen to force the conflict. Otherwise things were just going to keep on getting worse and worse for the Mages until the Templars dominated them completely, if not wiped them out in their cribs whenever they could. The entire situation was blatantly unfair to the Mages and would've resulted in open conflict eventually, just with the Mages in a far worse position than they already were.

Of course, then after getting this war going Inquisition royally screwed the pooch by NOT centering the game around said Mage/Templar conflict and instead brought out these out of nowhere "Breaches" that all but throws what should have been a vastly important conflict to the wayside with the Mage/Templar conflict treated as largely just a footnote. I guess we can blame EA for this, like we can blame them for nearly everything they get their mitts on.
Probably, but I still think there was merit to the inclusion of Corypheus as the main villain since as a character concept having him just be a DLC villain was a waste. But it shouldn’t have been at the expense of the central plot being the Mage/Templar war. I guess an issue is that both sides would run out of people pretty quickly since they’re factions within nations. Like okay the Templars and Mages are fighting, but Orlais, the Free Marches and Ferelden all have standing regular armies that would in theory outnumber both factions very readily and out logistic them. And the Templars seem limited to foot infantry and archers; they have no mounted cavalry, no siege engines and very few strong holds to project from

Shit I gave that more thought than it deserved.
 

immortalfrieza

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Probably, but I still think there was merit to the inclusion of Corypheus as the main villain since as a character concept having him just be a DLC villain was a waste. But it shouldn’t have been at the expense of the central plot being the Mage/Templar war. I guess an issue is that both sides would run out of people pretty quickly since they’re factions within nations. Like okay the Templars and Mages are fighting, but Orlais, the Free Marches and Ferelden all have standing regular armies that would in theory outnumber both factions very readily and out logistic them. And the Templars seem limited to foot infantry and archers; they have no mounted cavalry, no siege engines and very few strong holds to project from
If you go by what Origins and 2 established sure, but in Inquisition they could've easily made Templars and Mages each comparable in power as a whole to nations, gave them things like mounted cavalry and siege engines and such. In fact Mages could've served as siege engines very easily. The real problem came down to Inquisition just trying to brush aside the plot point so they could get to the plot they wanted to tell. The plot already has Corypheus as the Man behind the Man with the Grey Wardens as it is, but they could've just as easily placed him as playing both factions against each other or thrown the Grey Wardens into the mix in some fashion. Corypheus could've been used as a major player and still had the story focus around the Mage/Templar conflict.

They could've even saved Corypheus as the main villain in another future game with roughly the same plot when the Mage/Templar conflict was dealt with. Really, it's just a matter of using the set pieces and following the events before effectively, something the writers clearly failed to do.
 

Schadrach

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Or you simply will yourself to stop existing. I need to replay that game some time.
That was the ending I got. Skips the cinematic. To be fair, I'd accidentally willed Adahn into existing before that, because Outer Planes. The way I see it, will yourself not to be is the only good ending, because it's the only one where you'll ever find peace.

AI: The Somnium Files - AI has fun characters and complex mysteries both of which pay off magnificently. The game wraps everything up extremely well with an exciting shootout with a serial killer in an abandoned building, and then has a big ol' dance number out of nowhere with the entire cast during the ending credits. It's the perfect ending to a game with a delicious mix of serious and silly. I love it.
I've been meaning to play this one, it and Death End Re;Quest have been sitting on my "to play" list for a long time.

Ghost Trick - Ghost Trick is marvelous. Another game with a masterful weaving together of mysteries. There are not many games that can tie plot threads together as well as Ghost Trick does (and most of them are on this list), and Ghost Trick does is with timing that is near perfection. The revelations and character shifts all happen at times that feel appropriate and are perfect dramatically. The final sequence elevates the gameplay in just the right ways, and wrap things up in a happy ending, that works great.
I'll admit I didn't predict the twist in that one, despite being reminded of a central important clue every time you meet a new ghost character.
 
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Dalisclock

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One of the best twist endings in an arcade brawler.

I remember playing that game as a kid but never getting very far. I never thought about it until now but Arcade games got wierd.
-Lady Ninja with long hair that can't move faster then a walk.....check
-Robot ape guys....check
-Most soldiers only get a knife....check.
-Mafia Snipers....check
-The military shells their own base....check.
-Guys with flame breath.....check
-Tanks that get bored and wander off after you knife them enough.....check.

I mean, the list goes on but yeah, best not to think too hard about arcade games.

Actually, it was made in the 80's so that tracks.
 
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