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shaz

How do you like your Endings?

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When you've finished a game, do you like to have everything tied up in a neat little package, all questions answered, or do you like some things to be left open, so you can either fill in the blanks yourself, or wait for a sequel to do it for you?

 

Do you like happily-ever-after endings, or are you okay with something sad, as long as it makes sense? What about a bittersweet ending? If it's sad, should there be a glimmer of hope - maybe things will come good in a sequel or a fanfic?

 

If a game ends in a way you don't expect, or is not your preferred ending type, would you regret playing at all? What sort of thing, other than a bad game all-round or a completely unfitting ending, would make you wish you hadn't played?

 

 

For me, I like everything to be cleared up. I don't like questions hanging, unless I KNOW there's going to be a sequel that will likely address them. But bittersweet, with a glimmer of hope, is okay too.

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I like endings that leave a sense of satisfaction. Of course, if it's a chapter game like AV3, I'm fine with loose ends/cliffhangers assuming that they will be wrapped up when the series ends, but if it's a stand-alone game, I want to feel like yes, that was worth it, that's a satisfying story. It doesn't necessary HAVE to be "happy," but it should have a sense that a good story has been told.

 

For example, a game that IMO had a really weak ending was Dreamscape. It didn't have a buildup, it was just kind of, "okay, you've completed the final quest, game over" without any real sense of a story having been told - it just kind of . . . ends.

 

A game that puts real effort into its epilogue gives a better sense that a real story was told. I also like multiple-ending games like AV1 where you can choose the main character's fate.

 

Oh, and like I said, I'm fine with cliffhanger endings in a series game, but sometimes I get annoyed if the sequel that will supposedly wrap up the loose ends takes forever to be released. For example, Eternal Eden (awesome game for the most part) ended with a small cliffhanger bit and I'm STILL waiting for the sequel. (Yes, I understand that there can be unforseen delays in game making, but I think that's all the more reason to plan the releases in series games carefully. The AV3 chapters were released close together, which made it more fun than waiting ages for a new chapter.)

 

What would make me regret playing a game? Hmm, I don't know if I've ever REGRETTED playing a game. I always play the free trial first (except for sequels to games I already love, like the AV games), for one thing, and if a game doesn't grab me after the first hour I usually won't buy it. Even if I buy it and it turns out to be not what I expected I still don't regret PLAYING it. If a game's free trial is boring then I won't waste my money on it, so if I buy a game that means SOMETHING in it has already interested me.

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I don't care if an ending is happy, bittersweet, or pure angst.

 

I care it's well written, has closure, answers questions instead of raising more (especially if it's the end of a trilogy), doesn't mess up the game's universe as we know it, and doesn't pull a deus ex machine out of nowhere.

 

Do I regret playing a game that has a bad ending? Yes. I put in hours of my time into a game that doesn't deliver. It feels like a betrayal to fall in love with the characters and than have a big middle finger be your ending.

 

And for the love of goddess: DO NOT PUT A, "Buy our DLCs!" AS THE LAST SCREEN OF AN ALREADY BAD ENDING. That's just rubbing salt into gaping wounds.

 

Why yes, I'm still bitter over Mass Effect 3 ending. I haven't touched it or any of the ME series since I finished it several months ago.

 

The ending basically amounted to "Nothing you did matter. Everything is screwed." *flips table*

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It's good an ending that lets you thinking like''but what about that'' and that's that. Like when a game is good enough that doesn't need a sequel. I said that based on FFXIII, which I played and it was good enough ending, but then they made a sequel to fill some empty holes of the first, which wasn't needed, yet for us to expect a terrible ending, leading maybe to another sequel.

Sometimes, empty holes are good to make us thinking how that could've ended and to make our mind come up with something very good in order to fill that hole.

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So if a game will have a sequel, and the ending to the first episode has holes, and you like everything to be resolved, would you rather a summary at the end that says "and this and that happened" so you don't have to fill in the blanks, or would you prefer the questions to remain until the sequel comes along to answer them for you?

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I'd rather the ending be shown right there and then, unless there is a reason for hiding the answer until next chapter. Even if I don't like the ending, it's better if I know for sure what happens rather than having everything hanging up in the air.

 

Ditto KTC about Deus Ex Machina and ruining the continuity/setting/universe.

 

Also... I've been told that sometimes stories go in a direction that you don't plan it to, and you mustn't ignore it to enforce a pre-planned thing. I hear that most of the kerfuffle regarding bad endings happens because authors try to force an ending that they had already planned from the start and forced it to happen even though the plot has gone to a direction that makes said ending makes no sense.

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For me, as long as the ending makes sense I don't mind it being happy, sad, or bittersweet. Nothing turns me away from a game more than a bad ending.

 

If I know a game is going to be a sequel, then I'm a little more lenient. I won't mind some loop holes too much, as long as they're explained in the sequel.

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As the previous posters had mentioned earlier, I want an ending that makes sense. In other words, relevant questions are answered and major conflicts are resolved (whether badly or not)- and you know what actually happens in the story. As long as conflicts is not resolved by Deus Ex Machina, and the writer don't attempt to cover plot holes with ret-cons.

 

I don't particularly like cliff-hanger endings- even if a sequel is expected (especially when the story is suddenly cut during the climax), because the following chapter would usually have an abrupt/anti-climatic start- and re-reading the plot summary is kinda a hassle.

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@ shaz, I guess it would depend on what kind of holes we're talking about. I assume you mean finished games that will eventually have a sequel (like AV1) instead of chapter games (like AV3). I certainly don't want the sequel to be spoiled. If the sequel DOESN'T take forever to arrive (glares at EE), then I would probably be fine with a few open ends to be resolved in the sequel (like an AP-style ending, for example).

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I sort of get annoyed with Happily Ever after endings when they specifically use these words. No one has a happily ever after, ever. Mostly, I want the endings to actually be happy so that what you did mattered. And I want all the questions answered since it leaves a sense of dissatisfaction for me if everything is not known

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I think it depends of the game I'm playing (or making). I like multiple endings, with % of completations. Like, obtain all items, kill all monsters...like FF or Harvest Moon (ship everything!). You really can't finish them without play hours, discover all things and find hidden paths. But I also like alternative endings like Chrono Trigger, or suspendend finals. Not so suspended. Like... You beat the boss, you are the hero, oooh... you are the hero and you are in peace with your love. There is a cutscene with a new evil (the son/daughter of the firs evil or the evil himself that wakes up from death) or the ending screen with an epic phrase like: the world has gained peace and happyness from here to forever...or not?

 

But the suspended finals must have a second o third game planned. And they have to be good. Not like FFX that become FFX-2 that where... well, suppose you know...

 

If I'm the one that is making the game I tend to plan everything (that's the cause why I never relese anything XD) and multiple endings. But if I like my game and I'm planning to do a sequel, I'll leave this suspended a bit. Or not so suspended, like, I explained a lot, people don't understand that it isn't finished (yay distract people!) and I came up with a sequel. Or, well, it's what I would do anyway, if I would ever release something.

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This is a good topic Shaz.

 

I don't like everything to be explained, because I feel that some mysteries in the games should be just left as that. It's not that I enjoy filling in the blanks (I hate it), it's just that explaining everything seems to 'ruin' the 'perfectioness' of the game imo.

 

About sequels, TTHW had a major cliffhanger (iishenron knows how to keep us hanging), but most of the things has been resolved and hopefully the sequel can answer some of the questions.

 

I'm not really into happily-ever-after endings as most of them seem too unrealistic and done poorly, but if it's pulled off nicely, I won't mind it. I prefer realistic (and sometimes bittersweet) endings because, 1) They leave a nice impression and makes you contented. 2) You'll feel nostalgic about the game after a long time. No sad endings please whether it's written well or not, not even having glimmer of hope can save it, it'll seem like something like

. (Yes I will kick you in the nutsack if you do that.)

 

Just because the ending isn't my preferred type doesn't mean I'll regret playing it. That's silly. There are many factors to the games that makes it enjoyable - gameplay, characters, plots etc etc.

 

I don't think I've ever played a game that I've regretted because of the ending. Usually the ending that sucks has awesome gameplay but weak on the plots so it's kinda expected.

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I'd rather that an ending remains at least partly ambiguous, because if every single little thing is wrapped up completely then it doesn't feel true to life and there isn't anything to really "pull" me back into the world of the game. I think that the main plot should always be resolved, but epilogues where every single character's fate is resolved (like Harry Potter or the end of AV3) really bug me because then I can't imagine any of their fates or anything. I think that the end of AV2 is really good at this: we see Iya and Ean's fates resolved, but we know they have more adventures, and the same for every other character. There are a few remaining mysteries, such as what the heck is going on with the Phoenix Orb or how the civilization was destroyed, or exactly what was going on with Aveyond, but the Snow Queen is defeated and we know that things will be okay, at least for now.

 

I also prefer bittersweet endings to everything else. I don't want all of my characters to die and the world to end, but the characters should lose something in order to save the world, or maybe the world needs to lose something in order to be saved. A little more grey instead of black and white is always welcome. A sad ending can work as well, with or without a sequel, but it has to be done right and not come out of the blue completely. A full-on, everyone's happy type happily-ever-after is probably the worst for me. I get the idea of escapism, but if up until then I'm really into the story, that just kind of pulls me out. I'm going to bring up the ending of AV2 again, because I think that it does well in this area too: AV2 has a really bittersweet ending. The two elves return home, probably to live forever, and almost certainly never see their friends again. The two worlds are split apart, maybe forever. The ice city is basically destroyed (which is confirmed in AV3). Aveyond is still not restored (although there is hope that it will be). But it still has a "happy" ending. I think it was done really well.

 

And I don't think the ending has ever made me regret playing a game. The ending is not what makes something good, although it can definitely make it better or worse. The ending is important, but I really don't think it's crucial.

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I would rather everything is cleared up, unless it's supposed to be a rhetorical piece. So basically, it's not okay to have a mystery story which doesn't reveal the culprit and motives and so on, but in a story that's basically an abstract piece about how people commit murders, there's no need for there to be an overarching villain or something.

 

And I like beautiful endings. Endings that make sense and leave a memorable feeling in your heart. If an ending has to be sad to fulfill that, I won't mind it.

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@iPink: You're looking too much into the story of Aveyond. Sometimes those things happen just because 1) It's not important, and 2) there's no time to go into that. Which is exactly what Aveyond's charm is: A lot of things is up in the air for speculation, and sometimes it's the fans' own imaginations that make the story seem deeper than it really is. It's cool and all, if you're not thinking too hard. But if you want to get really technical...

-------------------------------

So. Pairings factor quite a bit into how happy I am with the ending. Even if romance ain't the main focus, if romance/pairing is there, I want it to be sensible. A "given" pairing is perfectly fine and dandy, but at least have some character arc so they're interesting! Ean and Iya in AV2 are not interesting. What changes is only that they gain magic powers.

A twist pairing that makes no sense is not a twist. It's trolling.

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But troll pairings can make the ending better. Case in point, Stella and Edward along with Mel and Lars the whatever. It made the ending much better

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EsmeAmelia wrote:

No, it didn't. (bites her tongue in an attempt to resist shouting, "Stella/Ed forever!")

 

Corrected for you! For Stella/Ed fans, that being canon was a moment that made the ending better

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Some really interesting discussion going on here. Thanks for your input everyone (don't stop now).

 

I was also wondering about pairings, so I'll create a new topic for that, 'cause I don't want this one derailed to that subject - I want to hear more on endings here :)

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@theone: Seconded to the max :evil:

 

To avoid troll-endings, though, it's probably a good idea to know exactly where the game is heading. If an unexpected plot development happen (this happens too many times to me :S), that has to be taken into account. Also if you know you want to put a twist in the ending, make sure the clues are there so the twist don't seem like it came out of nowhere. See Quirell and Snape in HP and Philosopher's Stone.

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@d_a: I agree with you that it's not "deep" and that these things create the illusion of more depth than there is, but that's what any story is. The fact that we don't learn the answers to everything, even if there aren't really any answers, is a good thing. I think that, in general, AV3 struggled with that a bit more. There were still some really nice touches (Ashara's Tomb and the random, mostly unexplained giant crab, for instance), but it didn't have that same lived-in feel. Which is irrelevant to the ending, but I think that AV2's ending is the best for kind of the same reason, in that it feels like real life, a little bit. AV2 had a ton of problems (mostly with boring characters), but I think it's the only Aveyond game, Ahriman's Prophecy included, that really nails the ending. :)

 

Oh, and when you bring up Snape and Quirrell, are you saying that's a good example or a bad example? Because cases can very well be made for both sides. (I think it's well done, because it all makes sense in retrospect, but if you think of the book as a mystery rather than whatever ill-defined genre the series is then it kind of drops the ball on not giving quite enough clues to figure it out beforehand.)

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I like to have everything tied up, but if the sequel clears that up, I'm fine with that as well. Just so long as I eventually learn the information.

 

I like happy endings, and sad endings make me sad, but I'd be okay with one. Glimmers of hope would be fine, but not needed. I should say that I adore bittersweet endings, however. I would much rather have one of those then an entirely sad ending.

 

"If a game ends in a way you don't expect, or is not your preferred ending type, would you regret playing at all?" This one is easy to answer, considering I really did not like GoN's ending whatsoever. As long as the rest of the game is good, I will not regret playing it if I hated the ending, though I will be rather disappointed. After a while I'll just pretend the ending didn't happen, and will go write a fanfic or rant with a friend to fix things in my head. Unless, of course, the ending I didn't like is constantly referenced/will be elaborated upon later. In which case, goshdarnit, it better be fixed! XD

 

As long as the ending's well-done, even if I don't like it, I'll probably be able to deal after a fair deal of moping. XD

 

I can't think of something that would make me wish I didn't play a game, other then totally unfitting or bad ending or bad game all around. So, nope, nothing there.

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I thought of something else. Every time I play AV1, I save right before the final battle with Ahriman and then I choose to join Ahriman before loading the save and battling him. I don't know why, but I like seeing the evil ending. Not because I want it to be canon or anything, but because I think it's kind of cool (for lack of a better word) to have that option.

 

In other words, in games with multiple endings, I think it's cool to have an "evil ending" available.

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@iPink:

I think that, in general, AV3 ... nails the ending.

I totally lost you there. What lived in feel? That random giant crab is something that I consider "it happens just because" and needs no explanation. So is Ashera's Tomb. What's your point in bringing them up? Questioning them would be like questioning the existence of that Fairy Tale village, or the wind tower, or the walking spoons in AV2, or the Militant Squirells. You generally don't question them because they're irrelevant.

 

The faux-depth IS what makes Aveyond fun. Playing speculations is always fun. It's only when you get down and dirty with the technicalities, it's bad. AV2 is the worst when it comes down to it. Other than Ean and Iya, the party members are only in it for the lulz. Ava doesn't contribute anything other than the ship. Nick is only in it to get a "life lesson". With the majority of the characters having no real investment in the main quest, why am I supposed to care?

 

Also, just what exactly makes the AV2 ending any different or more realistic than the others? AP has a sequel hook, i.e Ahriman being on the loose. AV1 ends properly. The team split up, goes to wherever, and Rhen goes to whichever option you chose. Same with AV2. Party split, goes to wherever, and Ean goes to whatever you chose for him. AV3 is also the same, except that with the option of Eddie marrying Mel or Stella can change their fates. Galahad, Te'ijal, and Ulf aren't affected.

 

AV3 was great, until the forced continuation. We all know - or at least quite a lot of us knows - that AV3 originally ends with GON. Amanda then decided to extend it with TLO and TDP afterwards. The extra chapters wasn't fused to the existing story properly, causing the second half of the story to feel like it's pastede on yey. And yes, a lot of us would agree that TDP has a messy plot and doesn't end well, but you can't exactly compare it to the other AVs that are made in one go.

 

HP example: good twist. Once Quirell is revealed, if you backtrack and look at any instances where something bad happens because of him, it does make sense. Harry's jinxed broom: Hermione crashes into Quirell in her rush to cast a spell on Snape, breaking his eye-contact and stopping the spell. Troll in the dungeon: What is Quirell doing there in the first place that he encountered the troll? So on and so forth. The whole Heptitus-is-controlling-Ishtar just came out of nowhere.

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The whole Heptitus-is-controlling-Ishtar just came out of nowhere.

 

It is actually lampshaded once by the Oracle, who said that Ishtar is as much as a prisoner as Iya is- implying Mind Rape. Also if you look back, Heptitus is the only nymph who didn't actually give her 'blessing' (you have to steal it from her). However, the connection is really weak, that despite the given implications, I can't say the plot twist is well written.

 

Anyway, although I think the story line of AV2 is quite boring/linear, the plot is most well presented. What usually bugs me about Aveyond series is that, most of the time, there's a Big Bad planning to destroy or take over the world- but nobody except the main characters even cares. And even then, most of your party members only joins you for petty reasons like "wanting an adventure" or things like that. And the endings... well, I don't particularly enjoy the Happily Ever After endings AV series is so fond of. I mean, you seriously think after an epic battle with the big bad, you can just go home and act like nothing happens? What about the destruction that was caused? No reformations of the broken cities and scattered people caused by the conflicts?

 

At least all of these are avoided in AV 2. We see Uthar and Ella gathering an army to fight against Ishtar- and the battle did happen. After the battle, they actually stayed to help rebuild/stabilize the city, instead of simply heading home and leave Shaenlir without a ruler. Also, if you interact with the citizens, you'd find out from their dialogue that some of them were affected by the battle.

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