Group: Local Mod
RM Skill: Skilled
Rev Points: 120
Some times ago I was working on a project (now dismissed - or rather, waiting for my current project completion) which was designed to end badly, with the death of every character in the party (this was however related to the plot).
I've seen quite a few RPG with a default (i.e. not optional) bad ending (FFXIII-2 / KH Birth by Sleep - if we can call their ending bad), so I wonder if it's a taboo to make your game ends in a tragic way, or simply players prefer an happy ending to every game they play, since they are playing not to think to their problems...
What's your point about it? Would you play/create a game with a tragic ending (not optional - main ending)?
If so, why?
That's a feature I've never found in a RPG Maker game (excluding maybe survival horror...) If you know some link 'bout that, I'd be pleased to give it a look.
Maybe my project will resurrect, who knows?
"Thorns are the rose's sweetest essence..." -Jens of Zanicuud
I wouldn't mind a tragic ending to a videogame, but I feel like there's two keys to making that kind of ending work.
1) There has to be at least a glimmer of hope or something good that happened because of the players actions. For example, if your game is about the end of the world, then maybe the ending involves the main characters pursuing/fulfilling their final wishes before they die. Tragic, but there's still something worthwhile about going through the painful experience. It doesn't even have to be a "happy" ending, as long as there's SOMETHING good that comes out of it.
2) Especially in videogames, the audience (player) generally goes in with the expectation that there will be a happy ending, or at least not a bad ending. In movies and books, audiences have now accepted tragic endings because enough books and movies have gone against the norm that readers and viewers will at least accept it as a possibility. However, the massive majority of mainstream AAA games have stuck to happy endings, so the average player will never even ponder the possibility of a "bad" ending. I feel like that means, for video games, we need to at least warn the players ahead of time that the ending may be "bad". Unless your goal is to truly shock your player (which is fine), I recommend that you hint at the fact that the ending will be bad beforehand. An example of this is Halo: Reach. Everyone dies, but you know it within the opening seconds of the game. That way when each character death comes, the players are dealing with the emotion of the scene, rather than the shock.
And now, to be a truly pretentious douche about it, I'm going to tell you what I did in MY game.
In my game there's multiple endings, and in two of the eight endings every single character dies. However, the plot is that the world that everyone is living in turns anyone who "causes" someone else's suicide into a monster. The endings where everyone dies involve destroying the world in order to free the people who turned into monsters. It's true that everyone dies, but the main characters die because they got what they want, and the characters spend the last 1/3rd of the game coming to terms with their own death through character focused side-quests and conversations.
"Bad" endings are still good. Romeo and Juliet wouldn't be a classic if everyone lived and there was a wedding at the end. Bad endings just require a lot of care so that the player doesn't feel they wasted their time.
This post has been edited by KD648: Jul 31 2012, 07:16 AM