Adventure Gamers - Forums
Two latest games I played, Primordia and The Cat Lady, featured alternate endings. Both of those games are really good, but this ending gameplay device just seems not to work for me.
It triggers the following from me:
* Finish the game
* If I feel there could be multiple endings, check the walkthrough to confirm (you can feel those things if you have a lot of binary choices at the end, like: let someone live/die)
* Play the other endings
This makes the ending a bit washed up for me, even if one of those is really good. I personally feel that one ending that got all of developer attention would be much better.
I would really like to know what you think about this.
Well… adventures and rpgs are the two genres I can think of in which you make choices (or at least it feels like it). Whether it’s the topic of your conversation or the option to kill someone or let them live. And in spite of the fact that most of the adventures are linear and finally you end up doing the “right” choice, it feels good for me when I sense some freedom in a game. Feeling that something actually depends on me and my choices have consequences and I’m not just going from point A to point B. In that manner multiple endings give you that feeling of consequences and shorten the gap between virtual choices and real ones. Yes, it’s very likely for you to miss the most appropriate and interesting ending but at least you know it’s because of you that things are ending in a certain way. Not to mention that when I see that there’s a lot more undiscovered things I missed in my first playthrough, it’s more likely for me to give it another try.
I’m not a big fan of alternate endings. I prefer if the ending is always the same, but the way I get there can vary. Multiple paths throughout the game to reach the same conclusion is great and it makes me want to replay the game.
generally i like the concept of multiple endings, but i seldom like how its implemented. Resonance is a good example, where one type of ending was just far better than the other, and had i been stuck with one it wouldv diminished the overall experience. In other games you might have to replay the game in order to get that ending that makes things satisfying.. and im not usually willing to immediately play through again.
I get what you are saying. I think my problem is that those games are almost completely linear, right up the very end. And then you get this big confrontation where you have to chose an ending.
yes, it’s needless to say that poorly implemented multiple endings are far worse than one good ending.
But I think Primordia, which you mentioned, succeeded in going a little bit off the linear tracks with the several solutions to certain puzzles. and some actions you did earlier in the game which affect the overall ending. Even side quests which give you nothing more that more depth into the story. I saw 7-8 different endings to the game (i know that they are more) and each of them fitted well and concluded the story nicely.
A perfect example of well implemented multiple endings (and of course it’s an rpg. can’t argue that they are much more suitable for rpgs) was Fallout 1 and 2. At the end you could see the near future of each town you visited based on the way you acted there.
I really enjoyed the multiple endings in Blade Runner. Thought Westwood did that quite well.
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Now that I think of it, I cant really recall a single game with multiple endings that I actually replayed… not from the top of my head anyway. I guess I’m not much of a fan of it either
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Really interesting topic.
When many adventure games are discussed, people often refer to multiple endings as a plus, but I have never really agreed. I always want the “best ending” and I don’t like it when i’m not sure if I got it or not based on (often) arbitrary choices in a game.
I like alternate paths or choices in a game (i.e. blow up Megaton or not in Fallout 3 or different ways into the palace in KQ6, or just different ways of completing puzzles generally) but something like the crow-barred-in mess that gave different endings to Secret Files 3 is just pointless if you ask me.
On the other hand, whilst I really enjoyed Resonance I thought both endings were a bit poor!
I should say that I apply the above to Adventure Games specifically. Whilst it’s not my style of game I have heard that the choices in the Mass Effect series give a good series of varied end games and I can well believe that.
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It depends on how it’s implemented.
If you’re presented with a sudden binary choice at the end (that had no build-up whatsoever), then it’s badly implemented.
If you have plenty of options along the way, that all result in subtle differences that give you different endings (and every one of those endings feels unique and complete if you maintained a somewhat consistent character), then I’ll definitely love having the endings. That’s why I like RPGs so much: being a Goody Two-Shoes or being an evil backstabbing bastard usually provide vastly different game experiences.
Most of the time I prefer to play the game as “myself” as much as possible, and I’ll accept whatever ending that gets me (as long as it’s a ‘complete’ ending).
If there are alternative endings, though, I’ll consider them “bonus content” and will try to see them. They won’t be a part of “my” ending, though.
If a game has “alternative paths” in the middle (like in Fate of Atlantis), then I’ll definitely want to play those, too.
Most of the time alternative endings are fun extras.
I only found out that The Dig had a bad ending YEARS after I first played it. I’d finished it 6 times already by then, and never realised the option was even there. It was only when a friend pointed it out to me that I got to see that ending. I consider it a nice extra.
I also heard something about a “boulevard of broken dreams” ending to Tex Murphy: Pandora Directive, that sounds like something that’s worth replaying a game for…
I’m all for alternative endings, as long as they have meaning. Having a sudden random binary choice at the very end of a game won’t be to my liking.
Whilst it’s not my style of game I have heard that the choices in the Mass Effect series give a good series of varied end games and I can well believe that.
Actually, the choices you make in the Mass Effect series have no impact on the very last decision you have to make. You just get presented with four options (and four different endings) that are the same no matter what path you took.
What IS important is that, throughout the entire third game, nearly EVERY mission differs based on your choices in Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2 (with some squad members dying or living, or simply not being there and having a replacement). THAT’s where the real importance lies.
Of course, since the final decision (and endings) don’t really reflect the choices you made, the ending got a LOT of flack. Even the updated endings (which provided a lot more closure).
Still an absolutely superb series, though. ME1 being awesome, ME2 being one of the best games of all time imo, and ME3 being awesome too.
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I was thinking about this earlier this week.
I don’t really like alternative endings myself. I have several problems with them as they are most of the time. The biggest is that the endings are often only dependent on one single choice, most often at the end. For the whole game, the developers made you walk their path, made you follow their story, but at the end, you can choose between several options. It doesn’t mesh with how the rest of the game played out, but it also feels like a cop out, not having to write a single definitive ending that might rub people the wrong way.
I can hardly remember a case where this method really satisfied me as well. Most of the time it only makes me curious about what the other endings are and whether I missed the “best ending” and only got a decent one. It also makes the ending feel less definitive. I prefer how they handled it in The Walking Dead, where everybody reaches the same conclusion, but there are still some minor variables, such as asking Clementine to kill you. If there had been several widely varying endings, I wouldn’t have cared as much for the ending as I did now. Now it had impact, instead of me wondering “what if”. As happened with Primordia the other day. In the end, it turned out that I actually preferred my first ending, but I couldn’t stand not knowing what might have been and watched the others. Knowing that there are alternative realities out there where Horatio lives happily ever after with Crispin and Clarity diminishes mine where Horatio erases his memory again because he lost everything and wants to forget. There are a couple of really unsatisfying endings in there as well, that would never have been picked if the developer had to include only one ending, but people might end up with them now.
I also don’t mind a bit of additional information for solving extra puzzles or doing some extra stuff, but only if it’s not really crucial for the plot (doesn’t contain twists etc.).
I like multiple endings. In Obsidian, both endings, based on the last choice, were excellent. In Titanic: Adventure Out of Time there were 8 endings, depending on what you did with certain items throughout the game. I played at least 3 of them and will eventually get to the rest, just to see what happens.
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Having thought about this for a while, I realised I don’t really care about the ending, story-wise. The ending for me is getting to the end of the game. It’s more about me than the characters. The satisfaction is in the achievement, finding out what happens does very little for me. Once I’ve finished a game or passed the final puzzle I forget about it almost immediately. Maybe it’s because I’ve never really been into TV or movies that much.
I find games with alternate paths and one ending like Quest for Glory much more interesting.
I really like multiple paths, especially “story paths” (The Pandora Directive, The Walking Dead). But having a completely linear game and then just one big choice at the end to unlock a couple of endings just feels cheap to me. And I feel that it weakens the story, by encouraging the player to treat the story as a game rather than committing to a narrative path and a consistent set of choices for the character. For instance, at the end of Primordia, I just restored multiple times to try to get all the endings, but as a result the story feels muddled in my head and I’m not sure who “my” Horatio is.
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I really like multiple paths, especially “story paths” (The Pandora Directive, The Walking Dead). But having a completely linear game and then just one big choice at the end to unlock a couple of endings just feels cheap to me.
I agree here, paricularly The Pandora Directive (haven’t played, and won’t, TWD) but one game that pulled off a single choice/twin endings was Black Dahlia.
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Interesting topic, i am somewhat ambivalent on the subject.
On one side, i really like when you have some freedom in a game, and you are not just following a narrow path designed by the developers.
I also thought that TWD dead would really have benefited with multiple endings, instead of just some minor differences based on your choises. But TWD is special because it is all about the player making different decisions.
On the other side, i can’t recall a single game where i thought multiple endings added something to the game. In fact i fell they quite often detract from the game, simply because you know there are other endings, and the ending you end up with feel less final, and i cant help wondering if the story could have ended better.
I think i prefer my freedom in adventure games to me more the kind of beign able to work on many things i parralel, to work on different puzzles at the same time, to visit different places and talk to different people in the order i chose, rather then following a narrow path. Multiple solutions to puzzles would also be nice.
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