Topic: Stanley Parable, bad/good endings and storytelling in games

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If you haven't played Stanley Parable, you might have trouble understanding my point.
If you have played Stanley Parable, this post is heavily based on what the "countdown" ending made me think.

Today, I played Golden Sun (GBA, Wii U Virtual Console).

At the start of the game, I'm asked questions several yes/no questions. Most choices don't matter - at least not at the start. But then, when it's blatantly obvious that saying "yes" is a very very bad idea, I can answer "no" as many times as I want, but can't continue until I say "yes".

I'm starting to think Space Quest might've been right with the instant deaths. Well, only partially correct. How often has the player been able to make a mistake and then keep going on until they fail in their mission, whatever it was? I'm thinking of leaving home in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and something I hear to have been in Space Quest 4.

In HGttG you could've missed picking up an item from the home right before Earth was demolished, and only several hours later would you come to a situation where you couldn't continue without that one item. (Or so I've heard - I've never played the game myself.)

Or, in SQ4, picking an item that cannot be dropped without killing yourself and the player can't progress past a certain point with it either. Again - this is only hearsay.

An ending is an ending, even if it's essentially "Game Over, you failed and the world was destroyed".

Contra Hardcorps on Genesis had a few different endings, including what I understood to be "bad". See

How much should game storylines allow for "bad" endings to happen? Would it be okay to forget to do one thing at the start of the game, which results in the endgame being about saving those who can still be saved (eventually to no avail) or about leading an assault on the enemy stronghold?

"The review score of 6 becomes a 9 when looked at another angle. And vice versa." -me?


How about failing to beat the final boss in chrono trigger?

A cutscene plays where the world ends and people die and it zooms out and shows a picture of a grey earth with the words: But the future refused to change

Edited on by Maelstrom

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Not quite what I had meant (but what I said), if the game really ends at that point (I haven't played CT to that point).

If the player makes a mistake at N hours into the game, should the game allow the game to progress along a storybranch that has no "happy" endings for several more hours? I think this would make a curious experiment in "scripted plotline"-games (my own term). I think that in strategy games (RTS and turn-based alike), the players can make early mistakes that will make it 100% certain that they'll lose the game, even if it at first doesn't look like it.

I don't know if it would work. One could say that it's the journey that's more important than the goal, but I'd think many would feel let down if they did everything they could (at the end) and the game still ended in a bad fashion.

An example from Gabriel Knight 1:
When taking the elevator down, if you don't leave one item for Mosely so that he can follow you, you can't survive the sacrifice scene a little later, I think. Non-spoiler version: if you don't do one action, then maybe half an hour later you're in a situation that you cannot win. The game didn't warn of not doing it, and I think it didn't hint at what the player did wrong upon this unfortunate ending either.

"The review score of 6 becomes a 9 when looked at another angle. And vice versa." -me?


How about the Bad ending that was in the patch for Mass Effect 3's ending.

The first ending gave you three different options to choose from, even if all of the endings are sort of similar in that shepard dies.

Destruction(Red)- You emit a sort of EMP shockwave that kills all robotic life on the Planet earth but stops all the reapers.

Control(Blue)- Shepard takes control of reapers and flies them off of earth to god knows where.

Synthesis- everyone becomes techno organic.

refusal- Tell the space kid to screw off.[/spoiler]

So the endings differ to various degrees depending on how high or low your EMS number is (points you accumulate in the game to detrime how ready you are for the climax of the series).

For example in the Destroy ending if your EMS is too low the EMP wave kills everything on earth and destorys the Mass Relays as well, crippling galatic society as we know it.

Also before the climax you do a run toward a portable Mass relay and once you get to it a reaper beam fires on you and you flip to it to get to the citidel. If your EMS is low eough than the two party members who are with you are vaporized.

The refusal ending you get from either shooting the Space kid or refusing his choices in the dialouge with shepard giving a rousing speech on how Humanity and all the other races have come this far and nothing will stop them from winning.

You get this as the ending

Though I think it could have done without the scene on the snowy planet.


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