For Discussion #4: The End

Here at Nightmare Mode, we’ve been thinking of Bastion a lot. Well, okay, I’ve been thinking of Bastion a lot. I can’t put thoughts in other people’s heads. In any case, it’s made me think about endings, and how a good, ten hour game should end.

So, this week’s question is: what’s your favorite ending? Be sure to label spoilers with some white space, or else we’ll all be sad and know the ending to Super Walkaround 3.

If you asked me for my favorite, it would be Persona 3, with Bastion probably placing a strong second. In general, though, games end poorly, which is why I’m always so happy when a game ends with its best foot forward.

Let’s talk about some good endings, then. What games worked the longest for our hearts?


  1. I’ve got a very soft part in my heart for Twilight Princess’ ending. The 40 minute credit/ending sequence may have something to do with that. In fact, it has everything to do with that. That ending wrapped up so many parts (to what I thought was one of the best games in the franchise) in so many touching ways that it’s left a lasting memory that I’ll probably never forget. The finale, involving Midna, brought me to tears that lasted for the entire evening after I finished the game.

    • GT Walsh

      I really enjoyed the ending of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Finding out all of the character’s true intentions really took you by surprise.

  2. Ramunas Jakimavicius

    So, I’d liked expand the question into superlative endings in general.

    As far as satisfying endings go, I of course concur with the choice of Bastion. Definitely one of the more satisfying ends and third acts of recent video game history. I’d also mention Okami. The ending cutscene itself (and the largely Xen Syndrome laced Ark of Yamato) wasn’t that great, but I really like the credits sequence. ( There’s just something very… cohesive about it, and considering that’s it’s a fairly long game with all the optional stuff considered, the credits sequence is a great summary of a great game.

    For sad endings, Klonoa 2 is one of my “favorite” (if that even makes sense). The game is generally very child-friendly and not that dark at all, but I always find the ending (and final melancholic “world” of the game) immensely sad, even to the point where it sometimes makes me be tearful.

    For happy endings, I love Eversion. I mentioned this in Discussion #1, but I’ll mention it again here. By just changing a very small number of things from the “bad ending” (which was quite creepy), Eversion changes the interpretation and makes it “good ending” kind of silly and cheerful. I don’t think I’ve ever seen another game pull this off in the same way, and that uniqueness is one reason Eversion holds a special place in my mind.

    For creepy endings, rather than cite some horror game, I’m going to say LittleBIGPlanet one. See, creepiness is expected in a horror game or a game with dark or depressing themes, but LBP is pretty silly and light-hearted, and that’s why I think it’s ending is creepy. It’s immensely saccharine (certainly out of the regular cuteness of the rest of the game), but there’s something about the wild smiles on all the characters’ faces as they gather around the globe that really creeps me out in a game that otherwise is almost never tense or scary.

    Oddball mention: I Wanna Be the Guy, just because even the ending can prove deadly.

    The Assassin’s Creed series gets a dishonorable mention. Even though the endings themselves can be quite interesting, I hate how a twist ending or cliffhanger is all but certain for every AC game. The predictability definitely takes away from it, and the cliffhanger is just aggravating considering that the resolution to it won’t come until much later when the next game is released. What works for television does not necessarily work for games.

    • GT Walsh

      I agree with the creepiness of LBP. Something felt a little odd about what went down at the end of the game.
      How about the worst ending to a game as well? I’d like to bring to light the character endings on Marvel vs Capcom 3. They looked like they were thrown together in the last hour of the game’s development.

  3. Jonas Jurgens

    In recent memory, I’d say Portal 2. Although it may have been extended for too long, it managed to definitely end the series (hopefully), whilst still having a few loose ends that contained a suffcient amount of hints and allusions to prevent the ending from becoming a desperate last minute info dump. These things Valve can deal with in other games. Also, I never thought singing turrets could make me tear up.

  4. B.M.

    Got to say my favorite all-time ending has got to be from Earthbound. From the way to win the final battle to watching all the pictures that were taken show up during the credits, it was all just so well done. And walking Paula home was easily the best part; one last jaunt around the world until it’s time to say goodbye. It always takes me so long to finally let her go, even after a dozen playthroughs.
    The endings of Personas 3 and 4 are up there as well, along with both Portals.
    I’ll also say that Harvest Moon 64 had a great “ending”. Having your Dad show up and comment on your farm and how well you’ve done, followed by all your friends showing up for the party. I’ll never forget watching my brother only having six people show up for his, then popping in my save and get the whole town. He was soooooo sad.