Created By: Perzyn on March 10, 2012 Last Edited By: bulmabriefs144 on March 12, 2012

Last Minute Ending Choice

Choosing an ending in game with multiple endings by last minute dialogue choice or decision.

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Trope
In games that feature Multiple Endings oftentimes players is given ending chosen on the basis of his decisions and actions throughout the game.

In others you just reach the Endingtron 3000, a mysterious machine that will play one of the endings depending on which button you press. Some games mask it's presence by making a critical decision look like a part of a dialogue with NPC or choice of doors, maybe a path.

This trope is at work whenever an ending of the game hinges on a single choice made by player at the very end of the game. It does not necessairly mean that previous choices have absolutely no bearing on the ending - they may change some details, but the last second decision will be always that one, most deciding factor.

Named after the description of this trope instance in Deus Ex: Human Revolution by Yahtzee

As with all Ending Tropes, beware of spoilers.


Examples:

  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution: Has literal machine allowing you to choose an ending by pushing appropriate button. To a lesser extent original Deus Ex which also made ending depend on one decision made at last level, but executed with set of differing mission targets instead of single dialogue.
  • Mass Effect 3: One of three possible endings (with slight variations depending on War Assets and Galactic Readiness) is chosen by walking toward on of three "devices".
Community Feedback Replies: 14
  • March 11, 2012
    Diask
    Bad Trope Namer, it doesn't say anything about last minute decisions. How about... Last Minute Ending Choice?
  • March 11, 2012
    nman
    Agree about the name. Lazy Susan Endings?
    • Half-Life has two ending scenes, with the player choosing which one at the last second by deciding to jump into a portal.
  • March 11, 2012
    MorganWick
    ^Lolwut? While the name might not strictly meet our modern naming guidelines, it's nice that not every name we create these days has to be overly literal.
  • March 11, 2012
    pokedude10
    ^^ I would agree with Lazy Suzan Endings.
  • March 12, 2012
    BlackDragon
    Wasn't that name taken from the Zero Punctuation review of Deus Ex Human Revolution? I think he called it something like that, anyway.

    As for examples... The Force Unleashed has you choose towards two different endings immediately before the final boss - though, at least your choice also determines WHO the final boss is. I don't remember if the sequel did the same thing or had more choices, mostly since it was so terrible that I deliberately suppressed the memory of ever having played it. ~_~
  • March 12, 2012
    TheChainMan
    In Live A Live, your choice on endings comes from a question the Big Bad does after being defeated. To be fair, you can only get the good ending if you've had every character once in your party as well, but that's not that hard and the average player will do it.
  • March 12, 2012
    Koveras
    • The ending of each route in Tsukihime is mostly decided by the last or second-to-last action choice.
    • Dunno if it counts: The ending of Vampire Bloodlines is determined after you tell the taxi driver which faction HQ to take you to after the Griffith Park. However, your previous decisions in the game may drastically reduce the list of factions that will accept you.
  • March 12, 2012
    GuyIncog
    The Dark Forces Saga's Jedi Academy starts off as though your choices throughout the game will determine whether you get the light or dark ending - Luke Skywalker and Kyle Katarn will even offer different comments in the course of gameplay depending on whether your selected Force powers are mostly light, mostly dark, or an even mix of both. Then at the end of the second-to-last mission, you get a cutscene followed by an onscreen message saying, "attack Rosh to turn to the Dark Side. Deactivate your lightsaber to become a Jedi."
  • March 12, 2012
    Earnest
    These tropes probably desrve a mention since the title uses them: Name Tron and Trope 2000.
  • March 12, 2012
    pawsplay
    The name sounds like it might be a bomb that destroys the entire universe, as in Crisis on Two Earths.
  • March 12, 2012
    captainpat
    Last Minute Ending Choice sounds like the name to go with. Clear and neutral.
  • March 12, 2012
    bulmabriefs144
    Done.
  • March 12, 2012
    JobanGrayskull
    • Mass Effect 3 threw out a pretty huge ending choice that players are still trying to make sense of: destroy the Reapers, take control of the Reapers, or cause the next level of evolution by combining organic and synthetic life forms. No matter what choice is made, the mass relays and Citadel are destroyed, leaving a wide-open end.
  • March 12, 2012
    JobanGrayskull
    Derp. I just read the listed examples and saw that you have this already.
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