Created By: Koveras on February 19, 2013 Last Edited By: Koveras on March 19, 2013
Troped

Modular Epilogue

A consequence montage of the player’s choices instead of one continuous ending cutscene.

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Trope
Instead of (or in addition to) the big ending cutscene you get to see a collection of largely independent, shorter cutscenes or text snippets describing the consequences of various decisions you made throughout the game.

Can be seen as a subtype of Multiple Endings, as every possible cutscene combination is technically a distinct ending, although the amount of such variations is far beyond anything that traditional ending cutscenes can contain.

Often overlaps with "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue. Compare Alignment-Based Endings and Faction-Specific Endings.

Examples:

Action Adventure
  • During the Normal ending of Cave Story, there's a montage of various places on the island just before it crashes, e.g. Curly Brace's body is shown if you failed to save her. Both the Normal and the Best ending feature a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue over the end credits, with slight changes between them, such as Professor Booster appearing if you saved him, and Pooh Black taking Balrog's place if the latter leaves with you.

Adventure Game
  • Heavy Rain ending is a sequence of short scenes showing the lives of the four main characters and their associates after the Shaun Mars' case--for those who survived it, that is.
  • In the Monty Python's The Meaning of Life video game adaptation, a series of interludes between scenes ask "moral dilemma" questions with Multiple Choice answers. At the end of the game, a woman comes on to tell you your personal, individual Meaning of Life based on your answers.

Platformer
  • The ending of Epic Mickey gets filled in with shots of bosses and important characters behaving friendly and politely if Mickey helped them when he encountered them earlier (with the exception of the Mad Doctor). All of these shots are accompanied with narration from the sorceror Yen Sid that can be interchanged freely but still form a cohesive sentence about people's decisions and how they affect other people.

RPG -- Action
  • The first Marvel Ultimate Alliance had multiple segments in the epilogue for each of the moral choices the player could make during the adventure (protecting a computer that held information about the Legacy Virus, sacrificing Jean Grey or Nightcrawler, getting King Namor's medicine, finding Valkyrie's sword, destroying Galactus' planetary Drills, rescuing Princess Lilandra, and finding the Ultimate Nullifier).

RPG -- Eastern
  • In the Suikoden games, after the ending cutscene you get a short text statement like this for each character you recruited: the text can change depending on who else you recruited and sometimes actions you took within the game.
  • Star Ocean games are will often show different ending scenes per party member depending on their relationships with other characters.
  • In Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword, if certain character pairs max out their Relationship Values via Supports, the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue describes their shared (often romantic) relationship instead of giving them individual endings. Many of these are mutually exclusive, since each character can only get the full A Support with one other character. For example, Eliwood gets one of four endings depending on which (if any) of his love interests he gets an A Support with. The previous installment, Sword of Seals, has the same system, but the only alternate, paired endings are ones with Main Character Roy.
  • The ending of Radiant Historia contains several scenes that must be unlocked by completing optional storylines. The Golden Ending requires that you complete all the major ones. Ironically, the most important of all doesn't seem especially significant until you complete it; the fate of the world hinges on what appears at first to be a simple Fetch Quest.

RPG -- Western
  • This trope seems to be part of the Black Isle/Troika/Obsidian's Signature Style:
    • The endings of Fallout and Fallout 2 are a series of short epilogues detailing the future of the different settlements the player visited, with multiple endings highlighting the player's actions and their moral implications.
    • Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura also has this kind of ending, displaying how the player's actions influenced the fate of certain states and factions of the game world.
    • Troika's adaptation of Temple of Elemental Evil has these as well.
    • Knights of the Old Republic II features an optional pre-ending segmented epilogue in the form of the skippable dialogue with the Final Boss, who shares her prophetic visions with you before dying.
    • At the end of Neverwinter Nights 2, the player is shown what happens to various locations and people who were influenced by the PC's decisions. For the ending itself, though, there are only two options.
    • In Fallout: New Vegas the ending has a "where are they now" segment for each recruitable character (each one has their own sidequest which upgrades them in some way when it's complete) and a segment that reflects your Karma Meter and which faction you sided with in the battle for Hoover Dam. The DLCs all have a similar, self contained, ending for each of them.
  • Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark had one of these explaining where each of your companions and many people you met ended up. Not really a surprise given the amount of cross-pollination between BioWare and Obsidian.
  • Dragon Age: Origins includes a text-only segmented epilogue in addition to the normal ending cutscenes. The Expansion Pack Awakening followed suit, albeit without "normal" cutscenes and just the epilogue.
  • Fallout 3's ending consists of three different consecutive scenes determined, respectively, by whether you sacrificed yourself or chickened out and chose an ally instead, whether you were good, neutral, or evil on the Karma Meter, and whether you infected the Wasteland's water supply.

Community Feedback Replies: 30
  • February 19, 2013
    Ryusui
    Isn't this just Ending Montage?

    EDIT: Huh, we don't have a trope for that? Heh. I think this might be more than just a video game trope, then. :3
  • February 19, 2013
    Koveras
    We don't have a page for that, it seems.

    And I would like to keep this YKTTW video game-only, because it's intended as a Multiple Endings subtype. The key part here is that the ending reflects the various decisions the player made throughout the game and changes if they chose differently. It's not just about the montage.
  • February 19, 2013
    Irrisia
    I'll let you decide if it counts-

    In the Suikoden games, after the ending cutscene you get a short text statement like this for each character you recruited: the text can change depending on who else you recruited and sometimes actions you took within the game.
  • February 19, 2013
    StarSword
    Frequently combined with Where Are They Now Epilogue.

    Western RPG:
  • February 19, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In Monty Pythons The Meaning Of Life the videogame a series of interludes between scenes ask "moral dilemma" questions with Multiple Choice answers. At the end of the game, a woman comes on to tell you your personal, individual Meaning of Life based on your answers.
  • February 19, 2013
    ZombieAladdin
    Platformer: The ending of Epic Mickey gets filled in with shots of bosses and important characters behaving friendly and politely if Mickey helped them when he encountered them earlier (with the exception of the Mad Doctor). All of these shots are accompanied with narration from the sorceror Yen Sid that can be interchanged freely but still form a cohesive sentence about people's decisions and how they affect other people.
  • February 19, 2013
    Koveras
    @Irrisia: Definitely counts.
  • February 20, 2013
    DRCEQ
    • Fall Out 3's ending gives three different scenes that determines:
      • A: Whether you sacrificed yourself or chickened out and chose an ally instead.
      • B: Whether you were good, neutral, or evil on the Karma Meter.
      • and C: if you infected the Wasteland's water supply or not.
  • February 20, 2013
    MrRuano
    The first Marvel Ultimate Alliance had multiple segments in the epilogue for each of the moral choices the player could make during the adventure:
    • A: Whether you protected a computer that held information about the Legacy Virus
    • B: Whether you chose to sacrifice Jean Grey or Nightcrawler.
    • C: Whether or not you chose to get King Namor's medicine.
    • D: If you found Valkyrie's sword.
    • E: Whether or not you destroyed Galactus' planetary Drills
    • and F: If you found the Ultimate Nullifyer.
  • February 22, 2013
    MetaFour
    • Cave Story. During the Normal ending, there's a montage of various places on the island just before the island crashes. If you failed to save Curly Brace, her body can be seen in one of those shots. Both the Normal and the Best ending feature a Where Are They Now Epilogue over the end credits, with slight but significant changes between them. For example, if you saved Professor Booster, he shows up at Jenka's house. And if Balrog leaves the island with you, then Pooh Black takes his place in the scene at the hospital.
  • February 22, 2013
    SpitefulFox
    • Star Ocean games are will often show different ending scenes per party member depending on their relationships with other characters.
  • February 26, 2013
    Koveras
    Bumping for examples and hats.
  • February 26, 2013
    Ironeye
    I vaguely recall the ending montages of Fire Emblem games changing if you got high enough Relationship Values between certain characters. If no one else knows that well, I'll do some research.
  • February 26, 2013
    Ironeye
    Alright, I can at least confirm the one case I was somewhat familiar with.

    In Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword, if certain character pairs max out their Relationship Values via Supports, the Where Are They Now Epilogue describes their shared (often romantic) relationship instead of giving them individual endings. Many of these are mutually exclusive, since each character can only get the full A Support with one other character. For example, Eliwood gets one of four endings depending on which (if any) of his love interests he gets an A Support with. The previous installment, Sword of Seals, has the same system, but the only alternate, paired endings are ones with Main Character Roy.
  • February 28, 2013
    StarSword
    Western RPG:
    • Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark had one of these explaining where each of your companions and many people you met ended up. Not really a surprise given the amount of cross-pollination between Bio Ware and Obsidian.
  • February 28, 2013
    Bisected8
    • In Fallout New Vegas the ending has a "where are they now" segment for each recruitable character (each one has their own sidequest which upgrades them in some way when it's complete) and a segment that reflects your Karma Meter and which faction you sided with in the battle for Hoover Dam. The DLCs all have a similar, self contained, ending for each of them.
  • February 28, 2013
    Stratadrake
    This is not an actual Sub Trope to Multiple Endings -- but it can overlap. Example in point being Epic Mickey (the game only has one ending, but segments of it will remind the player of their choices along the way).

    We're also going to need a better title.
  • February 28, 2013
    Koveras
    It is a type of Multiple Endings in the sense that the ending cutscene changes depending on your actions throughout the game. Even the Epic Mickey example, if I understood it correctly, has different variations in the ending cutscene, technically making every possible combination a different ending.

    I picked the term "segmented endings" from the Multiple Endings page, but I am open to suggestions. What do you propose?
  • March 15, 2013
    Koveras
    Bumping my last Multiple Endings subtrope for title suggestions, examples, and hats.
  • March 15, 2013
    MarqFJA
    I suggest Modular Ending, since it's basically an ending with a modular design.
  • March 15, 2013
    Koveras
    That works but I am not quite happy with how it sounds... What do you think of Aggregate Ending?
  • March 16, 2013
    Ryusui
    Consequence Montage Ending? What Did You Do Ending?

    Also, about the Cave Story thing..."slight" and "significant" are pretty nearly antonyms. Which one is it?
  • March 16, 2013
    Koveras
    "Montage" doesn't quite imply variability and What Did You Do Ending sounds more about reviewing your actions than show you their consequences...

    On a different track of thought: How about replacing "Ending" with "Epilogue" because it's really more about epilogue than immediate ending in most examples? Modular Epilogue, for instance?
  • March 16, 2013
    Desertopa
    • The ending of Radiant Historia contains several scenes that must be unlocked by completing optional storylines. The Golden Ending requires that you complete all the major ones. Ironically, the most important of all doesn't seem especially significant until you complete it; the fate of the world hinges on what appears at first to be a simple Fetch Quest.
  • March 17, 2013
    Koveras
    I've changed the Laconic because the previous one didn't quite explain where I wanted this to go.
  • March 18, 2013
    Koveras
    Bump.
  • March 18, 2013
    Ryusui
    Modular Epilogue? Sounds good to me.
  • March 18, 2013
    Koveras
    Then I think it's settled. :) Now only to get two remaining hats...
  • March 18, 2013
    MarqFJA
    It's not always a case of Multiple Endings, as the first line of the current description implies.

    And take note that you don't necessarily need five hats to launch, unless the draft proves to be controversial due to lots of flaws, ambiguities, or other issues.
  • March 18, 2013
    Koveras
    Rewrote the first paragraph to explain the relation to Multiple Endings clearer.

    As for hats, I know that I don't need five hats, I just prefer to have them unless the YKTTW is really old and obscure.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=1gaoqrnsbjekydwvpsw6blap&trope=ModularEpilogue