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sfsdfd 11-19-04 04:28 PM

End-game suckitude
I've read a lot of complaints about Halo 2's ending, which apparently leaves a lot to be desired in terms of endgame storyline. It got me thinking that this is <i>hardly</i> the first time an otherwise good game has vastly disappointed those dedicated enough to finish.

Two games I played as a teenager come to mind:
<UL><LI>Time Soldiers was a really neat Ikari Warriors-style game, where you take a bunch of high-tech weaponry into past time periods (Dinosaurs, Ancient Rome, World War II, etc.), and you can upgrade weapons as in Heavy Barrel.
<LI>TNK-3 was a great tank game, where you fought your way through many villages, water levels, etc. Your tank had a machine gun that pointed in the direction of travel, and a separately rotatable turret for firing cannonballs. You fought against foot soldiers, increasingly harder tanks, submarines, etc.</UL>
What do these games have in common? They're both tons of fun, with (for the time) high production values and novel concepts. They also both ended with a "The End" message. :grunt: You reached a certain end point, and the game just <i>stopped.</i>

(Of course, this isn't counting the hundreds of games I've played with no actual ending - either they reach a maximum difficulty and stay there, like Pac-Man, or they roll over and you start playing the first levels again, like Time Pilot.)

What comes to mind for you?

- David Stein

Gideon68 11-19-04 06:28 PM

Alien 3 for the Sega Genesis: "It is Done"

Mopower 11-19-04 06:40 PM

Any football game. "Congrats you have won the Super Bowl!"

GoldenJCJ 11-19-04 07:18 PM

There was a game for the NES called Rampage (I think). It was kinda like Godzilla and King Kong just destroying cities. Me and my brother spent hours (all in one day) playing through literally hundreds of levels and after destroying the final city a small scoll of words saying "The End" comes up. I almost cried.

TheMadMonk 11-19-04 08:27 PM

Well, seeing as I just finished Halo 2 about 3 minutes ago, I gotta list that one.

Drakan: Order of the Flame (pc) was a great game, with a really lame ending.

fumanstan 11-19-04 08:39 PM

Doom 3's ending was pretty bad.

It might be easier to list good/memorable endings.

nickdawgy 11-19-04 10:06 PM

I never finished Doom 3, but you guys are making me glad I didn't. Not anywhere close to finishing Halo 2, I don't think.

xVladx 11-19-04 11:10 PM

I think it's pretty much a given that most arcade-style games (like the two the original poster mentioned) aren't going to have a whole lot in terms of an actual ending. Sure, an abrupt "the end" or "congratulations" isn't a whole lot, but arcade style shooters/beat-em-ups/etc typically only have a short little scene or two as an ending, so it's really not that much of a disappointment, IMO.

Personally, what I find to be more irritating is games that are good up to the end, then have either a lousy final area, last boss, or both. For example:

Eternal Darkness:
I found the majority of the game to be pretty neat, but having the whole last level be that stupid puzzle in the city all over again was just a little too much, especially since most of the rooms offered absolutely no challenge and you just had to spend the time walking through them. Then the last boss, who was built up over the course of the game as having immense magical power (the game even goes as far as to state that he is far better at magic than your current character) ends up just slowly walking after you and whacking you with a staff, with the occasional break to cast the exact same spells you've been casting the whole game, which are all easy to avoid. I did enjoy the idea behind the last battle, with the spirits of previous characters helping out, while the battle between the two super-powerful beings raged on, but the actual fight itself was just lacking.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time:
This one actually had a neat final area, as suddenly not having the dagger made for an interesting change in the gameplay, as the final section had the most demanding platforming by far. However, after all that you had been through, the last boss was a complete letdown. While the Vizier was never established to be as much of a super-powerful being as Pious from ED, I expected more than him just trying to whack me with a stick. I did like the way the plot went at the end of the game, though

The Legend of Zelda, The Wind Waker:
This one isn't nearly as big of a gripe as the previous two, but I never liked the whole "Puppet Ganon" thing. It always seemed a bit out of place. That sort of thing is something I would have expected to see in a Mario game, like a Puppet Bowser or something, but having Ganon do something like that was just a little strange. I did like the final battle for what it was, though, it would just have been nice to have seen what they could have made Ganon look like with the beautiful cell-shading.

The more I've thought of it lately, the more I've realized how much a good last boss fight weighs in on my final opinion of a game. I've found that if the final encounter either is sufficiently difficult, or just looks and feels like a real climactic showdown (or both, preferably), then it'll really boost my opinion of the game. A few games that really have a good endgame sequence:

Serious Sam, the First Encounter:
After fighting your way through a massive courtyard, you come across a large flat desert, and the only thing you see is a huge pyramid on the horizon. With nowhere else to go, you start walking. As soon as you're a short distance away from the temple where the courtyard was, a cutscene takes over, showing a massive four-armed, horned demon rising up. Once he stands at full height, you realize that the tallest spire of the temple that you just spent the last several hours fighting through comes up to about his waist. With a single swing of one of his arms, he completely crushes one of the temple's towers. He then starts stomping towards you as you run towards the pyramid....

While the final battle with him was a little gimmicky (not Quake 1 gimmicky, but same ballpark), it was still a good hard fight, but what really made the last part of the game stand out was that even though this was a game that thrived on excesses, both in size and quantity of both the enemies and the environments, it truly saved the best part for the end, and gave a good "holy crap" moment for the reveal.

From the point where you get seperated from Yorda onward, the game goes from "very atmospheric and beautiful" to "even moreso". From waking up on the swinging cages over the ocean with the ongoing storm, to gaining the sword with the mysterious glowing runes on it, to "fighting" the spirits of all the previous horned children, to the final battle with the Queen, it was truly a great experience.

The final two rooms, especially, are my favorite. I always loved the fact that the end of the game takes place practically exactly where you start. And even though the final battle isn't all that involved, the effects combined with the music (for a game with about five or so instances of music, total, including the title screen) just made the skin tingle.

Brain Stew 11-19-04 11:12 PM

I don't think any video game has ever had a satisfying ending.

MasterofDVD 11-19-04 11:21 PM

I was able to prepare myself for the crappy Halo 2 ending. I honestly didn't enjoy the story at all and just treated the single player game as if it were a number of training levels used to prepare me for multiplayer.

Psi-Ops was a pretty good game but the ending was crap. I want a sequel but I hope it has a better ending.

BizRodian 11-19-04 11:33 PM

System Shock 2.

The last part of the game was very obviously rushed to completion. The final boss battle is pathetic. A shame, since the game rules in so many other ways.

spainlinx0 11-20-04 12:13 AM

Originally posted by Brain Stew
I don't think any video game has ever had a satisfying ending.
I liked Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.

Lastblade 11-20-04 12:28 AM

Metal Gear Solid 2 suffers the exact opposite. Completely unnecessarily long and drawn out ridiculously stupid ending that makes no sense whatsoever. Yah, that game gives you some philosophical BS after making you play with an idiotic whiner through the whole game. Thanks Kojima.

kgrogers1979 11-20-04 12:56 AM

Fable has the worst ending ever in my opinion. The final boss was a complete joke, and the ending was like 3 seconds long.

jaeufraser 11-20-04 01:15 AM

I never liked the ending for the old Atari game Pitfall.

ChrisKnudsen 11-20-04 01:39 AM

Friday the 13th

kgrogers1979 11-20-04 01:42 AM

Originally posted by jaeufraser
I never liked the ending for the old Atari game Pitfall.
Pitfall never ended. Once you got to the last screen with the gold bar, it would cycle back to the first screen and start over. Just about all the old Atari games did that. That kept recycling over and over until you lost all your lives.

thegame370 11-20-04 04:33 AM

It almost makes no sense to list old school games cuz they almost all ended with "The End" or "Thank you for Playing" screens so ill leave those out. But recent wack endings ive seen are:

Onimusha 3: Demon Siege- What a way to end a trilogy, even the extra CG scene at the end of the credits was dull.

Silent Hill 3: While the game wasn't all that itself i kinda enjoyed it and was dissapointed with the ending. I dont like when games give just a quick scene at the end just like any other scene through out the whole entire game.

Fable: I loved this game and enjoyed every single second of it except for the actual ending. Now granted you can have i think like 4 possible endings, but there all pretty much the same. I think like the game itself, they should of went all out as well, end it big, totally epic! Sometimes i think they spend too much time with the main story on games and are tired by the ending, so they give you half-ass ones.

Castlevania: LOI- Man, same as the NES endings, only in CG, BOO!!

Manhunt: Awesome game but didnt go out with a bang.

And almost all of the Resident Evil games piss me off with the endings as well. Always some mansion or some kind of facility being blown up, hope RE4 is different.

jaeufraser 11-20-04 04:35 AM

Originally posted by kgrogers1979
Pitfall never ended. Once you got to the last screen with the gold bar, it would cycle back to the first screen and start over. Just about all the old Atari games did that. That kept recycling over and over until you lost all your lives.
Ha maybe I should have put one of -wink- these after that.

glassdragon 11-20-04 08:07 AM

I've got to add HalfLife 2 ... Wasn't as good as i thought it should be.. Kinda crappy anyways

oh and i liked the close to 45 minute ending to Final Fantasy 8

Giantrobo 11-20-04 08:44 AM

Anyone who's played the <b>Legacy of Kain/Soul Reaver</b> series knows about the notorious "non-ending-endings". :mad:
Even the last one "DEFIANCE", which supposedly is the end of the series, was left with a "what's next/where do we go from here?" type ending.

I rarely finish video games but this series is one of the few I actually stuck with to the end.

sfsdfd 11-20-04 04:35 PM

Originally posted by Giantrobo
Anyone who's played the <b>Legacy of Kain/Soul Reaver</b> series knows about the notorious "non-ending-endings". :mad:
Hmm - did you play the first one (Blood Omen?) That had quite a good ending - two, actually. I mean, it was short, but conclusive.

- David Stein

jrbrangi 11-20-04 07:31 PM

Shenmue....................1&2 god damn to be continued

Giantrobo 11-20-04 07:37 PM

Originally posted by sfsdfd
Hmm - did you play the first one (Blood Omen?) That had quite a good ending - two, actually. I mean, it was short, but conclusive.

- David Stein

Really? Cool.

ClownFace666 11-20-04 11:10 PM

Most games have very dull endings.

It's extremely annoying to me to spend so much time beating a game. When you get to the end, it's really lame. You think, huh? I spent this time for this?

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