Bad ending

Bad ending

A bad ending occurs when the player finishes a video game but is not completely successful for some reason, as opposed to a good ending. Generally speaking, in a "bad ending", the player has reached an end-point of the game, and has technically won, but the victory is incomplete, and, in some cases, isn't much of a victory at all. Most bad endings are achieved by being defeated in a certain fight, but some cases are simply glorified Game Over screens. A bad ending is similar to a false ending, although with the latter, the player still continues with the story.


In the arcade version of "Street Fighter Alpha 3", failure to defeat the game's end boss M. Bison at the 10th and final stage results in an ending where the player character is placed in a machine and his/her power is used to destroy a city.

In "Chrono Trigger", losing to the final boss Lavos results in a short scene followed by the Earth being destroyed with the message "But...the future refused to change."

Most games with multiple endings have a simple three-tier structure with at least one bad, neutral and good ending usually depending on the player's dialog choices or items he/she may or may not have collected.

The "Castlevania" games for the Nintendo DS both have multiple endings. In ', the game ends with a bad ending if the player fails to equip a certain accessory when entering a specific room. If the accessory is equipped, however, the game continues, and the good ending will be achieved upon beating the final boss. (The path to these endings is determined by how the player defeats a boss earlier in the game; if the presented boss is defeated, the neutral ending will be attained, but if the player instead enters a mirror and fights an alternate boss, the story continues and the player can potentially earn the bad or good endings.) In ', an alternate ending can be unlocked if the Sanctuary spell is used on a certain boss instead of defeating it.

In "Comix Zone", if you do not save Alisa from drowning in the end, you receive a bad ending.

In "", Col. Bahamut will ask you to join his cause. If the player agrees, the world would be in complete chaos.

In "Fatal Frame II; Crimson Butterfly", the player is given the option of escaping the village without their sister, whom they have spent most of the game protecting. If the player chooses this option, a cut scene will be played but no points will be scored, and it does not count as a true ending.

In "Max Payne", failure to shoot down the mast will result in the helicopter taking off and shooting Max with its miniguns.

In "", if Samus does not fulfill a prophecy at the end of the game, then a scene will play where the planet she is on explodes without showing her escaping, while if she does fulfill said prophesy, an extra boss will appear, with Samus escaping following the boss' defeat.

In "Metal Gear Solid" there is either an ending where the main character's love interest survives (the good ending) or dies (bad ending). Another example is "The Suffering" (and its sequel) which has three endings which can be described as "good", another "bad" and the other neutral (interestingly, in this case all three can be canon).

In "Operation Thunderbolt", if you accidentally kill the pilot, after beating the final boss, you see that you are not able to fly away from the hostile territory.

In several "Sonic" games on Genesis and Game Gear, a bad ending is earned by failing to gain all available Chaos Emeralds, usually resulting in the game ending early due to Sonic not being able to transform for the final boss battle.

The first three games of "Ace Attorney" series also feature bad endings. In the exclusive fifth case of the Nintendo DS version of the first game ('), revealing a crucial piece of evidence prematurely causes the case to end immediately, with dire consequences for Phoenix and his client. The second game (') features a bad ending if the player fails to present a crucial piece of evidence at the last possible cross-examination which drastically changes the outcome of the final case. In the fourth game ("") having a juror vote for a "guilty" verdict triggers the bad ending, and the case end immediately without a real verdict, as the defendant is left to die in her hospital bed.

In "Pikmin", if the player reaches the 30 day limit, Captain Olimar must leave the Pikmin planet, even if he hasn't picked up every spaceship part. If the player leaves the planet without every "key" part, the ending results in Captain Olimar crashing into the planet, only to be turned into a Pikmin.

In "", Mario is asked by the final boss if he will be her servant. If the player gives a positive answer, the game cuts to a game over screen.

In Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon, if Sailor Moon and her 4 party members are unable to defeat the final boss, but subsequently Chibi Moon and her 4 party members are, the "bad" ending will play.

In "Red Steel", you are presented with a choice after defeating Tokai, protect Tokai or let Otori kill Tokai. If you let Otori kill Tokai, Otori and Mariko succumb to the Komori poison and Scott and Miyu will escape on their own.

In "Streets of Rage" game on the Genesis, a bad ending is earned on the final level by a two player coop game. The last boss will ask both players if they want to join him. If the two players entered conflicting answers, the players will be forced to fight each other and the victor will get the chance to beat the boss and become the crime lord himself.

In "Streets of Rage 3", if you let the timer expire and defeat Robot Y, the bombs go off and destroy the city. Another bad ending is if you let the chief die and take on an alternate final stage.

The Silent Hill series is notorious for its endings, at least one always being bad, one being always good, and one neutral (The UFO endings) or of some different degrees of good and bad.

In Star Fox 64, if the player reaches Venom from Bolse rather than from Area 6, the player will go through a level known as Venom 1 which ends with a battle against the final boss, Andross. However, it is only a robotic copy and after the credits, the real Andross shows up and delivers his laugh, suggesting that he still alive.

In Sexy Parodius, failure to defeat the boss of the bonus level quickly enough results in the death of Takosuke.

In , there are two endings that can be received by destroying all or near-most of Cyberdyne Systems near the end of the game. The good ending (No equipment intact) says "John Connor is alive. Cyberdyne is destroyed. Your future is what you make of it." The bad ending (At least 1 Equipment Intact) says the same as the good one, except the last two lines say "But Cyberdyne Research will continue. Judgment Day still could happen."

In Earthworm Jim, if the player completes the game in "Practice" difficulty, the game ends up with a weird and bizarre 5-minute speech about worms, which goes wrong and totally out of shape. This ending is only available in the Special Editions for Sega CD and Windows 95.

Time-based bad endings

Some bad endings may trigger if the player takes too long to finish the game. For example, "Shenmue" and "Shenmue II" start on specific dates in game time, and the player character, Ryo Hazuki, has a certain amount of game-months to complete the game (for example, "Shenmue II" starts on February 23, 1987 and the player has until July 31, 1987 in game time to finish). Failure to do so would mean the antagonist of the series, Lan Di, returns for the Phoenix Mirror and kills the player's character. Or, in "", when the 72 game hour timer ends, the moon crashes into the earth. Similarly, the Bungie game Pathways into Darkness for Macintosh has six (or, as is rumored, seven) different endings, depending on how fast the player completes the game and whether they manage to perform key actions. In addition to dying without completing the game, failing to finish within the five game-day time limit (thus being destroyed when the game's main antagonist awakens), and reaching the goal of the game but not coming away alive (thus reaching the 'neutral' ending in which the world is saved, even if the protagonist is killed), the player can:
* Escape the pyramid in which the game is set, but forget to detonate the nuclear device that will bring victory (bad);
* Escape the pyramid, but set the device to detonate after time runs out (bad);
* Detonate the device and escape the pyramid, but fail to collect the radio beacon that will call in the extraction team and be killed in the blast (neutral);
* Detonate the device, escape the pyramid, and collect the radio beacon, but get out too late for the extraction team to rescue the player (neutral);
* Detonate the device and fail to collect the beacon, but escape the pyramid early enough to escape on foot (good);
* Detonate the device, collect the beacon, and escape the pyramid on time (the 'perfect' ending).(Due to Bungie's repeated use of 'sevens' in their games, players have long suspected the existence of a seventh ending. The most likely candidate for the title is a scenario in which the player detonates the device, escapes the pyramid, collects the radio beacon, and is picked up by the extraction team, but fails to reach minimum safe distance with them - the manual states that it takes ten minutes for the team to rescue the player "and" another ten to reach safety.) [ [ Discussion of multiple endings on the Pathways into Darkness site] ]

ee also

* Game Over
* Multiple endings


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