-> ''As you approach the final confrontation with the villain, events will become increasingly awkward, contrived and disconnected from one another -- almost as if some cosmic Author was running up against a deadline and had to slap together the ending at the last minute.''
--> - '''TheGrandListOfConsoleRPGCliches''', item [[ConsoleRPGCliches169To192 #182]] ("Compression of Time")

A phenomenon where the rate of character death and stray plotline resolution is inversely proportional to the number of pages left in the book.

As the end of the story nears, antagonists suddenly start dying at an incredible rate, {{MacGuffin}}s that eluded the heroes for the whole story are recovered, couples [[LastMinuteHookup suddenly getting together]] [[StrangledByTheRedString after spending the whole plotline up to now]] playing WillTheyOrWontThey or as JustFriends, other couples [[DerailingLoveInterests suddenly breaking up with little or no explanation why]], and mysteries are quickly wrapped up. Now this can be normal for a story as it reaches its climax, but in this case the rate is so absurdly high compared to before that it's almost as if some invisible cosmic author realised that he has one hundred pages left of a thousand-page book to write and has yet to resolve most of the stray plot threads.

A good author carefully plots everything out to come to natural conclusions. In the event of a Cosmic Deadline, a bad author will hammer on resolutions as quickly as possible regardless of the impact on the story's quality. See DeusExMachina for a common symptom of this.

In fairness, in some cases this may not necessarily be the fault of the author. If something is [[ExecutiveMeddling cancelled prematurely]], for example, writers often have no choice but to rush the ending in order to wrap things up in a semi-satisfactory manner; it's either that or NoEnding. Things can be even worse if the series gets [[PostscriptSeason renewed after the writers did their best to tie everything up in time]].

And, sometimes, [[AuthorExistenceFailure authors die before finishing what they've planned.]]

Depending on the medium, this may lead to or exacerbate problems with being SpoiledByTheFormat.

In videogames, this is particularly common because developers know full well that reviewers usually won't be able to play the full game. Even normal players often won't finish it, meaning they'll never see the last sections; so it makes logical sense to devote much more time and effort to early segments, and rush the last parts.

Do not confuse with CelestialDeadline. Contrast ExponentialPlotDelay (though it's not unheard of for a series to have both at different times.)

This is an '''[[EndingTropes Ending Trope]]''', so expect spoilers!

----

!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''CodeGeass'' - after getting a whole extra season to play with, the plot suddenly races off around the 20th episode of the OddlyNamedSequel. It probably didn't help that ExecutiveMeddling changed the staff's original plans and forced the first several episodes to basically recycle the plot for the new audience though.
* ''{{Mai-Otome}}'', starting roughly with episode 23. It seems almost like the writers planned ahead for ten more episodes than they eventually got, and thus spent what is now the first half of the series on exposition and complicated setup, then struggled to resolve at least the most essential plots when it became clear that there was not much screen time left.
* While the writers of {{Anime/Pokemon}} did try to keep the pacing of the ''Best Wishes!'' brisk, the League was aired about a year earlier than it normally would, and had Ash lose [[spoiler: to Cameron]] in a 5-on-6 match in order to make room for N's arc and an Orange Islands-esque filler arc.
* ''ScrappedPrincess'' is an example of a series that really needed two more episodes. The death of [[spoiler:Cz]] is caused by [[spoiler:her Cin personality suddenly taking over and letting herself die]] -- which would have been really touching had they had time to ''establish'' it.
* The ending of the ''VisionOfEscaflowne'' series is notorious for feeling rushed. At almost the last minute, [[spoiler:the BigBad is defeated, the heroic LoveTriangle is resolved, Allen finds his long lost sister, the war ends, and the heroine goes home.]] The ending of the war is particularly egregious considering that [[spoiler:it involves an allied army that had never been mentioned before showing up and destroying {{The Empire}}'s forces with a FantasticNuke that hadn't been foreshadowed in the least.]] The last bit is also pretty inexplicable since [[spoiler:--although there were hints throughout the series about how bad it might be for this world were Hitomi to remain in it--viewers were still expecting her to remain in Gaea with Vaan. She didn't seem the least bit distressed about leaving him. Her separation from him seemed as though it ''should'' have been milked for more drama, but wasn't because, hey, it was the last episode, and it was time for the writers to wrap things up.]] Part of the reason for the series' rushed feeling may be that it was originally slated to be 39 episodes long, and was later cut back to the standard 26, making edits and pacing speed-ups necessary.
* The {{manhwa}} ''Les Bijoux'' starts off fine in pacing, but picks up speed after the first volume until the fifth and final volume, where the hero suddenly has a fellowship of people we've never met before with about a page each of really interesting stories and characterizations of how they met and came together and then wow, doesn't time fly, everyone is dead.
* Spoofed hilariously in the ''Sword Master Yamato'' segment in ''Gag Manga Biyori'': A mangaka learns that his shounen adventure series has been canceled and has to tack on an ending in only three pages, so he fast-forwards through the rest of his epic story instead of resorting to a simple NoEnding.
* Benimaru Itoh was slated to draw an eleven-issue ''Super VideoGame/{{Metroid}}'' comic, which Americans may know from its appearance in Nintendo Power. For [[ExecutiveMeddling annoying reasons]], he was abruptly forced to write a conclusion in the fifth issue. The result? The titular Metroid is killed by two minor characters in a brief side scene, the bosses are killed in [[{{Montage}} a two-page spread]], Ridley ''flees'' and is never seen again, and the battle against Mother Brain is resolved in about three pages.
* Various YoshiyukiTomino series tend to end like this, mainly because his earlier series kept getting CutShort. Especially egregious for ''Anime/SpaceRunawayIdeon'', which ends on a text summary. TheMovie covered the events of the summary, [[KillEmAll and,]] [[DownerEnding well...]]
* The ending of the original ''{{Gunnm}}'' due to the fact that Yukito Kishiro wrote it on what he thought would be his deathbed. When he recovered he revived the series as ''Last Order'', which mostly ignores the final volume of the original.
* The first two rounds of ''FlameOfRecca's'' TournamentArc are at a glacial pace: each fight takes 2 or 3 episodes to resolve, a bunch of unimportant minor characters get long flashbacks to their backstories, etc. Suddenly, the heroes are winning matches by default when the minor characters withdraw from the tournament, Recca goes through a super-accelerated TrainingFromHell to gain the power he needs to fight the BigBad--clearly the show was cancelled abruptly and the creative team only had a half-dozen episodes to wrap-up the plot.
* ''VideoGame/StreetFighterII V'' was supposed to last 50 or so episodes, but due to low ratings, it was truncated to only 29 episodes. Because of this, M. Bison comes out from out of nowhere during the Spain arc with no foreshadowing and a lot of different sub-plots begin to occur at the same time (Ken and Chun-Li are kidnapped and taken to M. Bison's base; Guile and Charlie are hired by Ken's father to rescue him; M. Bison sends out Zangief to kidnap Ryu; and Balrog hires Cammy to assassinate Chun-Li's father, which results in a confrontation between Cammy and Fei-Long when Chun-Li's father ends up in a coma).
* ''HeatGuyJ'' spent so much time ''introducing'' the characters episodically that it didn't develop them (or the main plotline) enough. After a {{Filler}}, everything started to pull together, as quickly as possible, so as to wrap up the series in 26 episodes. In fairness, it was left open for a sequel, but that never materialized (and in all likelihood, will not.)
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' spent a great deal of time building up the mysterious [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt Third Impact]] and its repercussions. As the show approached the last two episodes, however, Gainax began to run out of money. The resulting series finale was a two-parter that was simultaneously [[GainaxEnding very cheap and very avant garde]]. [[spoiler:TheMovie, however, managed to wrap up the rest.]]
* ''SenkiZesshouSymphogear''. There is a popular belief that the episode count was halved after it started airing. This is [[FanDumb absolutely]] [[GodNeverSaidThat untrue]] - what actually went on is that they had too many ideas to fit in one season, and they were only given enough funding to do one season. End resut: The DarkMagicalGirl's HeelFaceTurn proceeds ludicrously quickly, the BigBad's nature and plan comes out of nowhere, and there's little to no explanation for the nature of the magical stuff.
* Due to a desperate race between the publisher and KenAkamatsu for the copyrights, ''MahouSenseiNegima'' ended up concluding the MythArc [[GeckoEnding with all the abruptness]] of a [[TorchTheFranchiseAndRun rocket car hitting a brick wall]] right around the time the characters were seven eighths of the way through the fights at the [[DiscOneFinalDungeon Gravekeeper's Palace]]. The following quests (including the one to defeat the BigBad) took place entirely offscreen, and what few of the innumerable dangling plot threads were actually given anything resembling resolution was in an unsatisfyingly brief and vague WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue montage.
* The first twenty-something chapters of the Marineford arc in ''OnePiece'' have a pacing that by fans is often described as anything from mediocre to downright terrible - a slow pacing, that is. Essentially, nothing happens other than the characters of the different factions fighting each other, but having their fights interrupted before anything can really happen. The pacing gets a little better when Luffy finally manages to get the scaffold and free Ace. From chapter 474 and onwards, all the important things that really define the arc and change the One Piece world forever happen: [[spoiler: Ace gets killed by Akainu, Whitebeard curb-stomps Akainu, the Blackbeard Pirates appear, Whitebeard reveals that the treasure of One Piece really exists and implies a great war in the future, the Blackbeard Pirates kill Whitebeard, Blackbeard steals Whitebeard's Devil Fruit and starts destroying Marineford, Akainu wakes up and goes on a massive rampage, Coby gathers the courage to call the Marines out on their needless killing, Shanks appears, Shanks stops the war]]. All of this happens in a course of ''8 chapters''.
* Appears to happen in ''Anime/DigimonXrosWars - The Young Hunters Who Leapt Through Time''. After the end of the second Xros Wars arc, which focused primarily on the bonds between goggle-boy Taiki and comrades Nene and Kiriha, YHWLTT focuses on a new protagonist Tagiru. Even though Yuu and Taiki from the previous series are featured as additional protagonists, they consistently play second fiddle to the new kid. What makes this fit the trope: [[spoiler: after 21 episodes with a monster of the week setup, while also hinting that there's something going on behind the scenes, and a big hint toward future crossover with earlier seasons (at least Digimon Adventure and Digimon Savers), the rest of the season is resolved in 4 episodes, with one seemingly monster-of-the-week episode revealing the big bad, and hastily reintroducing past characters. The last three episodes go by so quickly with showing off how powerful the Big Bad Quartzmon is, a betrayal, a twist on that betrayal, many past Digimon and their partners conveniently showing up (it's not that they're not vital to the plot, it's how conveniently the appear, most without even having their names reintroduced) and final battles that it becomes obvious to anyone who's watched any anime series, particularly any Digimon series, that this is an extremely rushed ending. Unlike other shows which reintroduce past characters like this in homage (Kamen Rider Decade, Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger) people who just started watching this season/arc would have NO idea who these characters are and would still be in the dark at the end.]]
** The first season of ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'' would have ended this way if it did poorly in ratings. After they defeated Devimon, Gennai would have appeared, thanked them and then sent them back to summer camp.
* ''{{Nononono}}''. After spending numerous chapters on an epic tournament that introduces scads of new characters who all have their own interesting backstories...we get slapped with the final chapter which ignores all of them, and doesn't even let us know if Nono achieved her goal of winning a gold medal.
* Ryosuke Takahashi's series after ''Anime/FangOfTheSunDougram'' and ''Anime/ArmoredTrooperVotoms'' also tend to end like this via cancellation. Nowhere is it any more obvious than in ''BlueCometSPTLayzner'', which got hit with a GainaxEnding so severe that it took an OVA to wrap things up somewhat reasonably.
* The finale of ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'' in the manga ends like this: The TournamentArc that he story was on is abruptly ended in place of a DistantFinale full of talking heads telling the reader how it ended, along with a major game-changing plot twist being mentioned almost in passing. But it then subverts this trope by going on for several chapters of inconsequential one-shots afterwards, culminating in a major character dying and passing on off-screen and ultimately a very strangely-paced and frustrating finale.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* [[GeoffJohns Geoff Johns']] run on TheFlash was concluded with a six-part arc entitled "Rogue War." The jump between plots in the final arc (a civil war between the Flash's rogues and a rematch with the [[BigBad new Zoom]]) is very sudden and very noticeable. These two plotlines were almost completely unrelated and if anything were likely intended to be two separate arcs, but with him leaving the title were likely compressed into one story so he could end his work on the title by its 225th issue.
* DeathOfTheFamily's finale is a special extra long issue. Nothing out of the ordinary. Then [[spoiler: Batman Incorporated #8 came out a week later and saw the death of Robin. Which was leaked a few days before release, the fact that every Bat book the following month was a mini BatfamilyCrossover dedicated to Robin suggests Batman writer ScottSnyder was forced to wrap up his epic Joker story sooner then planned.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* Slasher films are like this. It's perfectly reasonable to guess how much longer the movie will go by knowing how many people were introduced in the part of the film DevelopingDoomedCharacters and how many of those are still alive. If the movie has gone on for a while and there's still a crowd left, there's going to be a bloodbath soon.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''The Oracle's Queen'', the last book in the ''[[{{Nightrunner}} Tamír Trilogy]]'', ends so quickly after the FinalBattle that the MacGuffin doesn't even get a mention in the epilogue and is instead reduced to an author's note. (Although, to be fair, the MacGuffin was primarily buildup for a plotline that not only would happen hundreds of years later in-universe time, but ''[[{{Prequel}} had been published ten years earlier]]'' in real world time.)
* The last two books of ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' sped things up intensively, and characters ''finally'' got started on solving problems present from the third book. Interestingly, the last three books in that series were written shortly after Stephen King himself almost died (this fact became a plot point). Apparently, he suddenly realised he wouldn't live forever, and made an intense effort to finish the series before another car hit him. Among fans, the results are controversial.
* In many of his early novels (particularly the "juveniles"), Creator/RobertAHeinlein would wrap up the plot in a page or two, often leaving the story unresolved. As noted in the description, this was probably due to word count/length limitations. Several blatant examples were ''Literature/BetweenPlanets'', ''Literature/SpaceCadet'', ''Literature/TheRollingStones'' and ''Literature/ThePuppetMasters''.
* Some of the books in Steven Erikson's ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'' become veritable blood baths near the end as the story comes full circle and doomed characters are killed off. ''Literature/MidnightTides'', ''Literature/ReapersGale'' and ''Literature/TheCrippledGod'' are the most bloody examples.
* The whole ''Literature/HarryPotter'' series. We only learn what Horcruxes are in Book 6 (out of 7). As a result, while only two Horcruxes have been found and destroyed by the end of book 6, the heroes must find and destroy four of them over the course of ONE book. ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows Deathly Hallows]]'' then continues this trend: After too many pages detailing a camping trip and other hairsbreadth escapes, suddenly the Trio arrives at [[spoiler: Hogwarts]] and [[spoiler: Horcruxes are destroyed lickety-split (even ''offscreen'')]], ''truckloads'' of important, nay, essential information is revealed, and the plot relevant (or irrelevant) deaths start cropping up all over the place.
* This occurred often in the early ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' books, with a plot being set up in the first 200 pages, and then resolved in five.
* ScienceFiction author Mack Reynolds seem to have this problem in a lot of his books.
* The novelization of the first ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil'' game is a good example of this, as the first third of the game takes up about two thirds of the book, with the remaining two-thirds crammed into the last sixty pages or so.
* The last bit of the ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' series was the only part in which any major characters got killed off. And ''a lot'' of them died then.
* Creator/BrandonSanderson is known for what his fans and editors call "the Brandon Avalanche" - most of the book is spent with various characters [[GambitPileup setting up the dominoes]] until ''someone'', by decision or accident, sets the entire thing off over the last five chapters.
** In ''Literature/{{Elantris}}'', [[AntiVillain Hrathen]] learns that [[spoiler:he's been the decoy in his high priest's plans the entire time,]] and his [[TheDragon assistant]] has authorization to massacre the country they've ostensibly been under an ultimatum to save.
** In ''[[Literature/MistbornTheOriginalTrilogy Mistborn: The Final Empire]]'', Kelsier destroys the atium mine at the Pits of Hathsin.
** In ''Mistborn: The Well of Ascension'', Vin and Elend threaten Straff Venture by burning [[LimitBreak duralumin]] and [[EmotionBomb brass]] at him.
** In ''Mistborn: The Hero of Ages'', [[SentientCosmicForce Ruin]] kills [[SentientCosmicForce Preservation]].
** In ''[[Literature/TheStormlightArchive The Way Of Kings]]'', Sadeas betrays Dalinar and abandons him to die.
** In ''Literature/{{Warbreaker}}'', three or four characters simultaneously figure out who's behind the war, just before the war actually starts.
** See ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' below.
* ''[[Literature/TheNightsDawnTrilogy Night's Dawn]]'' ends in between 50 and 100 pages, after taking more than ''3000'' to get to that point.
* All of Richard Hooker and William Butterworth's ''[[Literature/{{MASH}} M*A*S*H Goes to...]]'' sequels are subject to this, more pronouncedly as the series continues. The books have six to ten plots and subplots that get more and more convoluted and intertwined until roughly page 170. Then suddenly ''everything is resolved'' (happily for the protagonists and the young lovers, of course) in the space of 10 to 15 pages.
* Many of the books in ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' series have far more plot in the last 50 to 100 pages than they do in the several hundred it takes to get to that point.
** The only book to have any major good guy offed is the fourteenth and last in a series of {{Door Stopper}}s.
** The three Sanderson-penned volumes aren't exceptionally fast-paced by most standards, but still count as this trope in comparison to the... [[GetOnWithItAlready leisurely]] pace of the half-dozen that precede them.
* The last part of ''[[HeraldsOfValdemar Exile's Valor]]'' rushes to cover many of the background events mentioned in the first HeraldsOfValdemar trilogy.
** The end of ''StormBreaking'' may have rushed to finish things as well.
* In ''TheSumOfAllFears'' spends approximately the first three quarters of the book dealing with the protagonist's miserable personal life. Then the nuclear bomb finally goes off and the plot that everyone came for is wrapped up in under 200 pages.
** Most of Clancy's books operate to a cosmic deadline - this is a conscious decision on his part. The intent is to show how crises start small, then snowball and snowball. His other reason is to illustrate how much planning goes into military operations. He can spend 300 pages getting all the pieces in place for 100 pages of fast-paced action. Its his style.
* Creator/NealStephenson's ''Literature/TheDiamondAge'' suffers from this a little. After the leisurely progress of the rest of the book, the last 100 pages or so run at a breakneck pace. Fortunately, it's well written enough that you don't mind the dizziness too much.
* A few of DavidGemmell's books, mostly from earlier in his career, suffer from sudden lurches into top gear for the final hundred pages or so, with dangling plotlines swiftly wound up or abandoned altogether and final confrontations feeling rushed and anticlimactic. At least in the case of ''Morningstar'', he admitted this happened due to an impending editor's deadline and expressed regret at not getting to use the ending he originally had in mind.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The late fourth season of ''Series/BabylonFive'' had to wrap up some plot threads more rapidly than Creator/JMichaelStraczynski had planned, because renewal for a fifth season was still up in the air when the scripts were written. Unusually for this trope, most of these episodes are considered pretty good by most of the fanbase; general consensus is it's the ''fifth'' season [[PostscriptSeason that suffered]], because most of its planned plotlines were stuffed into the last half of season four.
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}[=/=]Film/{{Serenity}}''. The show was canceled without any resolution to the plot, so the major would-have-been-a-two-season-long-{{arc}} (according to WordOfGod) [[TheResolutionWillNotBeTelevised got tied up over the course of a movie barely longer than the pilot episode]].
* Ditto ''Series/StargateSG1'' and ''Film/TheArkOfTruth''. The really screwy thing here is that SG-1 had several season finales that could have easily served as series finales, each with increasing amounts of closure for the series (including ''ending the conflict that ran throughout the whole series''), and then they cancel it mid-plot.
* Joss Whedon has really fallen foul of this one. Besides the ''{{Firefly}}'' example above, both ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' and its spinoff, ''Series/{{Angel}}'' fell victim to this.
** ''Buffy'' was supposed to have another season at least to help tie up various character threads including Willow's feelings about magic and Dawn's feelings about being the key, but Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy) wanted to quit the show to work on her movie career so Dawn's plot was all but dropped and Willow was shoe-horned into a new relationship and her uneasiness about magic [[JustForPun magically]] healed.
** ''Angel'' on the other hand was cancelled by the network early into its 5th season but was allowed to finish out the year, meaning the writers had to hurry to let Angel defeat the series long [[BigBad big bads]] Wolfram & Hart as well as tie up romantic loose ends like finding Angel a new werewolf girlfriend and pairing off Wesley and Fred (who also died in a plot that would have been a much longer arc otherwise). The shanshu plot thread was dropped as well, [[RunningGag magically]] Subverted in the episode "Awakening" (which aired in the middle of the fourth season), in which the breakneck happy ending is at last revealed to be a mind screw, an illusion designed to give Angel a damning moment of perfect happiness. Incidentally, the episode is quite a stunning display of the writing staffs' skills, showing how, no matter how knotty and overheated the narrative has become, it can be satisfyingly resolved anytime at the drop of a hat.
** ''{{Dollhouse}}''. While the plot got wrapped up more or less satisfactorily in the second season, anyone could see that Joss had to rush it.
* The final episode of ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'' has more plot twists than the entire rest of the show due to the show's impending cancellation.
* ''PointPleasant''. When it became evident that the show was going to be cancelled the writers started rushing to resolve things, and the results were actually kind of thrilling. Prior to this the show had featured demon-sponsored dance-off with the characters facing the horror of...a disco ball coming unscrewed.
* The second season of ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' suffered from this. The writers' strike hit halfway through production of the season, and the writers were basically forced to end the season in about half an episode, instead of another 11 or so. This caused several plot lines, which eventually would have been woven into the main thread, to be left completely hanging, most notable being Peter stranding Caitlin in a horrifying alternate future, never to escape according to WordOfGod.
* This is also incredibly apparent in the last few episodes of DeadLikeMe, which had been canceled.
* This happened to a 1999 Brazilian drama named ''Brida'', a loose adaptation of a novel by Paulo Coelho. Most of the network's employees went on strike because of ''really late'' paychecks, [[CaptainObvious including the actors]]. So what did the writers do? The 52nd episode ended with [[WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue narration summarizing everything that would happen in the ending with matching character shots.]]
* In season 5 of ''Series/{{Lost}}'', the flaming arrow attack on the camp slaughters every [[RedShirt minor background character]] because the show was due to end in season 6 and they needed to be gotten rid of before then.
* In the fourth season of ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'', the kind of story arcs the fans have been waiting for the whole time (birth of the Federation, the Romulan War) finally started to get told. But it was too late to save the show from cancellation, and so the last episode was a DistantFinale. We learn that the OfficialCouple broke up in the meantime, and that the [[EnsembleDarkHorse fans' favorite recurring guest star]] fathered a daughter, and went into hiding for reasons not fully explained. The Romulan War, although it also must have happened during this missing chunk of time, never even gets mentioned. The birth of the Federation on the other hand ''is'' a plot point in this episode. Archer is about to deliver a [[PatrickStewartSpeech historic speech at the founding ceremony]], but we never get to hear it, [[AnticlimaxCut because the episode ends before that]]. For this and some other reasons, this episode gets filed under FanonDiscontinuity by many. In fact, it was such an unpopular ending that the StarTrekExpandedUniverse novels ''also'' treat it as discontinuity (or rather, misinformation).
* Series/DoctorWho has this in the last season or so, simply because the format change means no more two part episodes and the length has been reduced to about 45 minutes. As a result of this, many season 6 and 7 episodes tend to have a slow build up for about 25-30 minutes or so, then non stop action, character deaths and plot resolving for the last 10-15 minutes. Closing Time, Nightmare in Silver and the Angels Take Manhatten are some good examples of this happening.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''LegacyOfKain: Soul Reaver'' ends very abruptly as a result of the deadline its developers were under. The finished game contains foreshadowing to the chopped out bits, which were eventually worked into the later titles in heavily modified forms. This is probably one of the few instances where a CosmicDeadline actually ''[[TropesAreNotBad benefited]]'' a series as a whole: The original ending effectively closed off the series to any more sequels, with Raziel wiping out the vampires and restoring the Pillars finally. While the cliffhanger was infuriating to many, the resulting plotline was well worth it.
* ''VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}'' had its budget killed off and schedule moved forward significantly around the halfway point of development. As a result, the game ended up adopting the infamous "interview chairs" design in order to dump a metric ton of exposition in what felt like a forced manner.
* ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'': Naturally, the Big Bad Organisation XIII have to be killed off before the end of the story. But they could have come up with a better way to clean up the last few members than having Sora come across a room with a locked door that will only open if all the members are dead, and have the room equipped with convenient portals that teleport him directly to the remaining members.
* Square-Enix is prone to this -- ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'''s [[TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon Very Definitely Final Dungeon]] goes past 'trippy' and into 'incomprehensible,' introducing 'the source of all life' with no build-up, followed by famed GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere with vague motivations, Necron.
* The ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry'' games (at least the first one) because the bosses keep running away to try again later, so you end up fighting most of them for their third and final round right near the end. ''Onimusha 2'' did the same thing.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' has this, with the recurring bosses you've been fighting for 60 hours suddenly going from "you beat me, I'd better retreat" to "you beat me, blarg I am dead" all at once.
** Though one character who dies ''onscreen'' comes back later with [[UnexplainedRecovery no explanation whatsoever]].
* ''StarWars KnightsOfTheOldRepublic II'' got hit with this ''hard,'' it had the most non-endingest of non-endings ever witnessed. Fortunately, The Sith Lord Restoration project aims to fix most of this problem.
* ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}} Episode III'' is written as if the creators sat there with a checklist of every major plot thread that needed to be resolved by the end. However, considering that the series was originally going to be longer, its understandable.
** Especially when you consider the rate at which the villains collect the Vessels of Anima; one is collected early on, another presumably just after, cut ahead a long timr, and the rest are collected within the span of two or three hours. There are ''twelve'' of them in total. Naturally, the villains can't take the four being used by the heroes for obvious reasons, but ''still''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'s'' main plot is a serious offender - after hunting for a series of loose plotlines, everything is suddenly resolved with one fight that would be epic, if the player could actually participate beyond taking potshots at the few enemies who survive the overbearing might of your allies.
* Jeane's backstory in ''NoMoreHeroes'' is literally fast-forwarded in game to get to the "final" boss. Not only a cosmic deadline, but a cosmic limitation. The characters seem to believe theres a limit to how much messed-up stuff they can say before the game gets cancelled/delayed. If the scene is replayed at a slowed rate, the story becomes understandable.
** It is notable as an example that combines terror and NoFourthWall as Jeane's backstory goes from TearJerker to unimaginablely screwed up quickly, making the reaction portrayed beliveable.
* ''VideoGame/{{Psychonauts}}'', thanks to rushed development, is much faster paced and less well-written (although still quite funny) toward the end. This complaint was also leveled at ''VideoGame/BrutalLegend'', though TimSchafer does not have development time as an excuse for that one - just ExecutiveMeddling.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fahrenheit}}''/''[[MarketBasedTitle Indigo Prophecy]]''. Well written and immersive until about two thirds through the game, at which point it goes ''absolutely batshit '''crazy'''''.
* ''[[VideoGame/StarOcean1 Star Ocean]]'' is well paced at first, but when you expect you're halfway done, you get sent to an AssPull final dungeon and introduced to a new (final) villain who monologues, explaining what would have been the second half of the game.
* ''VideoGame/DarkVoid'' is perhaps worse than Fahrenheit. The first third of the game preps you on [[TakeCover cover-based shooting]] and eases you into the eccentricities - hovering, vertical cover, etc... before giving you the promised JetPack. The second third is your cannonball playground, though it feels sparse at times, as if there's story you're missing - There's a level that was obviously supposed to be a HubLevel, but you just move from there to the next stages via {{Time Skip}}s. The final third has two awesome stages - one where you blow the shit out of a monster the size of Manhattan ''while inside its stomach'', and the final boss battle is an OldSchoolDogfight against a '''freaking three-headed dragon'''. Except... [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment there's no buildup!]] Your MadScientist friend is killed without fanfare, an OracularUrchin throws a prophecy at you, and your character gains undefined MagicAndPowers ''solely to fight the final boss''. The [[SpottingTheThread thread]] that proves it? The first "episode" had six levels. '''The other two have four.'''
-->'''[[WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation Yahtzee]]''': ''The developers planned out a HUGE EPIC GAME, the various components of their studio started working on all the little bits of the HUGE EPIC GAME, and then they ran out of laundry powder or whatever it was and had to string together all the little unfinished bits into something vaguely sellable. They wrote a script for Lord of the Rings and ended up having to perform it with finger puppets.''
* ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsL'', where the last 10 chapters (Out of 43) are basically "One chapter setting up a show's finale, another chapter doing said finale, repeat three more times, do the same for the OriginalGeneration baddies", with little {{crossover}}ing going on other than [[DancougarNova Moon WILL]] and [[IczerOne Big Gold's]] VillainTeamUp meaning they fight you DualBoss style.
* ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsK''. There are a few times where the team splits up to take two threats at the same time. Near the end, they split to end ''three'' plots at once (''[[Anime/ShinkonGattaiGodannar Godannar]]'', ''[[Anime/GaikingLegendOfDaikuMaryu Gaiking]]'' and ''[[Anime/FafnerInTheAzureDeadAggressor Fafner]]''), with the ''Godannar'' one condensing the entire second season in three measly chapters.
* ''[[VideoGame/FirstEncounterAssaultRecon F.E.A.R. 3]]'', especially when you consider that it was meant to wrap up the entire plot of the series. The game has a clear beginning, middle, and finale, but jumps abruptly from the middle right to the finale without any sort of build-up or transition in between.
* The second half of ''VideoGame/StarFoxAdventures'' is much shorter because of this. After a lengthy set of introductory tasks, Fox starts looking for the Spellstones and later the Krazoa Spirits. The first two Spellstones and three Krazoa Spirits take a while to find. The other two Spellstones and three Krazoa Spirits are gotten in a more rushed way. The very last Spirit, in fact, is supposedly earned after defeating BigBad general Scales, until [[spoiler:Andross interrupts the battle, orders Scales to give Fox the Spirit and, when the latter places it in its spot in Krazoa Palace, a sudden battle between Fox and Andross ensues. And then the game ends.]]
* ''VideoGame/TheLongestJourney'' has a CosmicDeadline to the Arcadia story. April Ryan needs to collect four pieces of the stone disc to open the Guardian's realm. Two are procured through a small quest. However, the last two are pretty much procured within ten minutes of each other...which follows the end of the story arc of capturing the first two. Then after that, the plot...pretty much stops and you're sent back to Arcadia. However, in true ''Longest Journey'' fashion, when April is simply ''handed'' the pieces of the disc, she says [[LampshadeHanging "Well that was a lot easier than I thought!"]]
** ''VideoGame/DreamfallTheLongestJourney'' also brings the Arcadian plot to a dead halt. It can be interpreted as this, since Zoë is sent to Stark and does not return to Arcadia, leaving the fate of everything else ambiguous. Of course...that's not to say the ending to the game [[TearJerker is any better...]]
* The third Goddess Pearl in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'' is given to Link directly by the Sea Spirit, without having to go through a dungeon.
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'', the first three dungeons take the longest to locate (the very first one in particular). But from there, each dungeon takes less time than the previous one, with the exception of the City in the Sky. The last two dungeons merely require Link and Midna to go where they are, which takes little, if any, effort. It doesn't help that the very last dungeon houses the FinalBoss that [[HijackedByGanon hijacked what was supposed to be the last opponent]], whose residing dungeon had at least some smooth buildup.
* In the ''DeviousFourChronicles'' (aka ''SuperMarioWorld'' hack) Randorland 3, this is the case with the final world or so of the game. Until this point, the game has mostly been filled with a lot of exposition and slow paced levels with cutscenes and the odd boss fight in between. Then in the final world... cue long difficult levels, lots more boss battles, an absolute ton more exposition than before and a MarathonLevel with about 30 odd rooms in it to cap off the whole thing at the last possible minute.
* In VideoGame/{{Rayman 2}}, you have to collect the [[PlotCoupon Fourth Masks of Polokus]]. Three are in long levels and guarded by a boss. The fourth and last one is given after you rescue the baby globoxes shortly after the third one. You don't even meet a boss.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* ''{{Narbonic}}'', starting around the time when Shaenon K. Garrity announced its pending end, pretty much just mashed together nearly every single plot element over the course of a relatively short and disjointed StoryArc in order to hastily resolve pretty much everything.
* Lampshaded by Belkar in [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0649.html this]] ''[[Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick Order of the Stick]]'' strip, though the plot slows down again after that burst of accomplishment.
* ''DarthWiki/PowerupComics''. Since the artist was departing for college, necessitating the end of the comic, every single plot twist and dramatic reveal from a few years' worth of story lines was crammed into the final weeks' comics. Of course, [[{{Metafiction}} since the author and artist were fictional, too,]] [[StylisticSuck this was completely intentional]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' goes through this with the last stretch of Season Three. Because it was [[ExecutiveMeddling cancelled before the season went into production]], the last five or so episodes rushed to wrap up much of the loose ends that have been built up or hinted at from the previous two seasons. Unfortunately there were a few (mostly [[VillainDecay Vlad]] and Valerie's story) that were left out...
** This can also be specifically seen with Danny and Sam's relationship. Their feelings for each other remained in the background as subtext for most of the series. During the last few episodes, the ShipTease becomes far more blatant than it was previously.
* The season three finale of ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' crams together two very ambitious stories, about the Mane Six's cutie marks being switched around and [[spoiler:Twilight becoming an alicorn]], into a single half hour. The latter had the advantage of the entire series to that point having built up to it, but the former feels very rushed and the writers needed to resort to ''two'' musical montages to make the concept workable in just two acts rather than three. Many fans wish it had been a two-parter, and there are suspicions that it was meant to be one before the season got cut to thirteen episodes. The episode was later revealed to be part one of three episodes. Season Four shall bring resolution hopefully.
** This is present in every adventure-based two-part season premiere or finale in the show. They spend most of the time showcasing the characterizations of the core characters (either the mane 6, their current allies, or the villain), developing the conflict, and building up to the final confrontation. When it comes to the confrontation itself, though, it's usually in the last five minutes of the second part, and so it's generally ended swiftly so that they can fit into the time limit. The writers finally learn their lesson by the end of season 4, whose finale actually manages to have a very climactic final confrontation and otherwise ''works'' within the 44 minute limit instead of rushing at the last moment.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'' special "Powerpuff Girls Rule!" was originally an hour long, but execs had it cut down to half an hour, which is why the plot feels so rushed and a lot of characters are speaking so fast.
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