Alignment-Based Endings
When a game's ending is based on moral choice.


(permanent link) added: 2013-02-19 12:02:38 sponsor: Koveras (last reply: 2013-02-26 02:27:57)

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A subtrope of Multiple Endings, where said endings can be mapped onto the Good vs. Evil, Order Versus Chaos, occasionally Neutrality, or some other form of Character Alignment. Which ending you get is usually either based on your Karma Meter standing at the end of the game, or follows from a Last-Second Ending Choice.

Often results in No Canon for the Wicked if the evil ending is retroactively declared non-canon. Compare Faction-Specific Endings and Segmented Endings.

Examples:

Star Wars
Since all of Star Wars media are deeply rooted in the franchise-spanning Light vs. Dark Side of the Force dichotomy, it gets its own section. Also notably, the Dark Side endings are NEVER canon.

  • In Dark Forces 2: Jedi Knight, the ending is determined by a hidden Karma Meter. In Jedi Academy, you instead explicitly choose your side in the penultimate story mission.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic, the player is free to choose the ending, although the ultimate decision takes place shortly before The Very Definitely Final Dungeon. In the sequel, by contrast, the ending you get depends on your alignment in the endgame.
  • Both The Force Unleashed and its sequel feature Light and Dark side endings.
  • The class-specific campaigns in Star Wars: The Old Republic are mostly linear but the player's moral choices alter them cosmetically. Also, while the Light Side path is canon for Republic characters, the Dark Side is this for the Empire classes, e.g. the Sith Inquisitor is referred as Darth Nox (a Dark Side title) rather than Darth Imperius (Light Side) in the later canon materials.

Action Adventure
  • In Infamous, Cole's actions effects the story's endings. He can either be good, or he can be evil. The choices are rather obvious as to whether they're good or evil, though.
  • Enclave features two campaigns, Light and Dark, and accordingly a good and an evil ending.

Adventure Game

Fighting Game
  • In BlazBlue, each characters ending can be effected by their decisions, such as if Hakumen gets too confident and tries to beat Terumi alone, the ending may change.

First-Person Shooter
  • In Bioshock, you get different endings depending on how many Little Sisters you killed, if at all.

RPG -- Eastern

RPG -- Western

Real-Time Strategy
  • Dawn of War II Chaos Rising has multiple endings depending on the corruption of your squads (which fills in for the Karma Meter in the game) as well as several choices you make over the plot of the story. They range from Your Commander replacing Davian Thule as captain of the Fourth Company and helping Gabriel Angelos and Apollo Diomedes cleanse the Blood Ravens of corruption to Your Commander fleeing with your squads into the Eye of Terror and joining the Black Legion.

Will go under Videogame Tropes, Ending Tropes, and Morality Tropes.
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