Game of Thrones begins with Mors apprehends an old friend and executes him for desertion in front of new recruits. In one of his two endings, he returns to the Wall and happens on the execution of Patrek, a companion in the game. He quickly takes over and chops his head off, scaring the recruits by saying that all of them are just marking time.
In Portal 2: Beginning: "Catch me catch me catch me!" Climax: "GRAB ME GRAB ME GRAB ME!"
In "Shounen Kininden Tsumuji" near the start of story, Tsumuji's childhood Peach is first seen around a yellow butterfly, and during the ending the same yellow butterfly appears near Tsumuji's house.
At the end of the first level of Killer7, Harman shoots Kun Lan in the hand; Kun Lan catches the bullet and rides its momentum to the top of the Space Needle. At the very end of the game, the same scene is repeated 100 years later in China. The implication, as Kun Lan mockingly states, is that their battle will never end.
Also, in one confrontation Harman asks "You're awake from your dream?" to which Kun Lan replies "Harman, the size of the world has changed"; in the other Harman asks "You're awake from your nightmare?" to which Kun Lan replies "Harman, the world won't change - all it does is turn", potentially implying that this is one of the few ways they pass the eternities. Switching sides so that they both get a chance to be "good" and "bad"
The third part of the game, Cloudman, begins and ends with the same line: "The name's Andrei Ulmeyda." You'd be thinking different things both times, however; the first time, you'll be wondering exactly who this guy is. The second, you'll realize how complete a Heaven Smile transformation is.
Final Fantasy VII begins and ends with the same shot of Aerith looking into the lifestream, with the first shot having her looking at it in a Midgar alleyway, and the ending shot having her as a part of the Lifestream itself.
The prequel Crisis Core begins with a scene that bears striking resemblance to the opening of the original FFVII (a train pulls into a station, with the exact same cinematography even, then Cloud/Zack does a flip off of the roof of the train and strikes a dramatic pose). Crisis Core ends by showing... the original opening of FFVII, but remastered with modern graphics. Can you have three bookends?
Bravely Default begins and ends with the same fairy begging you to and thanking you for accepting and completing the quest, respectively.
Final Fantasy IX begins and ends with a traveling theater company putting on the same play in the same city, but as a front for a kidnapping the first time and sneaking someone in the second.
Final Fantasy X-2, Yuna frequently narrates the story in voiceover. One of the earliest cutscenes begins with her explaining, "It all began when I found this sphere of you." Both the Normal and Good endings end with the same line.
X-2 has one with the original Final Fantasy X if you obtain the perfect ending. X began with Tidus standing on a little hill in Zanarkand .. the perfect ending of X-2 shows Tidus and Yuna standing on that same hill together, completing their two stories.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 doubles up on this: it opens with a Final Boss Preview and, naturally, ends with the Final Boss. However, once you beat the game... Replaying the opening prologue for the first time will give you a special scene where Caius sits on Etro's throne and breaks the fourth wall to belittle and mock the player. And, once you have achieved 100% Completion and beaten the game again, the secret ending is... a special scene where Caius sits on Etro's throne and breaks the fourth wall to belittle and mock the player.
Dissidia: Final Fantasy did this in a meta sense to the whole franchise. It ends with all the heroes being sent back to their home worlds, followed by the Warrior of Light walking to Corneria, starting the plot of Final Fantasy I.
Journey starts off in the desert, then you go on an adventure, meanwhile realizing it's not easy, reach the summit, and return to the desert. Justified as it's an evocation of The Hero's Journey.
Halo 3 has an excellent example of a bookend in its ending. The Arbiter dismisses the apparent death of the Master Chief with "Were it so easy," mirroring the opening scene where the Chief holds a pistol to the Arbiter's head and all the Arbiter does is dismiss the possibility either of them could be killed so easily.
A second example, bookending the entire first trilogy, is in the final video unlocked by sitting through the credits. The Master Chief climbs into a cryo tube to wait for rescue, after climbing out of a very similar cryo tube at the start of the first game (the Master Chief's introduction).
Cortana: You did it. Truth, and the Covenant. The Flood. It's finished. John: ... It's finished.
Bonus points for the using the same song (albeit updated) for both endings.
Also, the first and third games both end with you fleeing a disaster that will destroy a Halo ring. The same Halo ring in fact.
On a Warthog.
The most iconic example on par with the cryo tube scenes is the discovery of a new world to explore. In the first Halo, it was Halo, and in the secret end of Halo 3 it is Requiem.
Halo 1 is an example all on its own: you start on the Pillar of Autumn, making your way to an escape pod before it crashlands on Halo; you end the game on the Pillar of Autumn, making your way to an onboard fighter before the Autumn blows up and takes Halo with it. This can actually be extended to cover pretty much the entire game, since the last third of the game is practically the first half in reverse...escape the Pillar of Autumn which is being overrun by Covenant, board the Truth and Reconciliation to rescue Keyes from the Covenant, fight your way up to the Control Room, explore an ancient structure infested by Flood and release them, fight your way through an ancient structure infested by Flood to find a way to destroy them, fight your way down from the Control Room, board the Truth and Reconciliation to rescue Keyes from the Flood, go back to the Pillar of Autumn to escape Halo which is being overrun by Flood.
Halo: Reach, being a prequel to the main trilogy, leads directly into Halo 1, with Master Chief, Cortana, and the Pillar of Autumn heading for the Halo ring.Halo likes these a lot, it seems. Also in-game, the story begins and ends with a Dead Hat Shot of Noble Six's helmet.
Bayonetta: The intro ends with Bayonetta calling out to Jeanne, who responds "I'm okay!" They then pose back to back as they plummet off a cliff face amidst falling rubble. After the final final boss fight, the two witches repeat this exact dialogue exchange (complete with pose), only this time the rubble is Jubileus' statue fragments rather than rocks, and they are plummeting towards the planet rather than a canyon.
In The Last of Us both the first and last time you play as Joel, he's carrying his little girl to safety through a hostile environment with no means of defense.
Radiata Stories begins with Jack Russell leaving his home in Solieu Village in the early morning, shouldering a rucksack and his father's sword as a subdued song plays in the background. In one of the two endings Jack Russell leaves his home in Radiata City in the early morning, shouldering a rucksack and his father's sword as a subdued song plays in the background.
Not to mention that the first thing we see in the game, even before being introduced to Jack, is Cairn slaying a dragon. No matter which story path you pursue, at the end of the game, Jack Russell, Cairn's son, slays a dragon.
Shadow Hearts uses this in all three games. The first game begins and ends with a train ride, Apoina Tower is the first and final dungeon of the first disc of Covenant, and the beginning and bad ending of From The New World feature Shania standing atop a skyscraper.
You could argue that Yuri's whole story is a giant bookend, as his story begins in Shadow Hearts on a train and, in the good ending of Covenant, at least, ends back on that same train.
Kingdom Hearts (the first one) both begins and ends on Destiny Islands.
The first Kingdom Hearts game begins with a scene where Sora and Kairi are sitting on a curved palm tree and Riku is standing, leaning against it. The second Kingdom Hearts game had a scene after the credits where Riku and Sora are once again at that exact spot, but with their positions reversed.
Come now, you can do better than that. Every single location is bookended with a logo of the place, and also the game itself. After the prologue, Kingdom Hearts logo. After the credits, Kingdom Hearts logo.
The first Kingdom Hearts really went all out with this trope. The final dungeon has the same background music as the Heart Station where the game begins, both of these levels end with an identical shot of the same set of double doors opening and a flood of light coming out, and during the game's epilogue, you see the same unspoken dialogue that you do at the beginning. All together, it creates a rather haunting effect, but in a good way.
Even better than that, the series starts with Riku reaching out and Sora going to grab his hand and 2 ends with Sora taking Kairi's hand. Considering what the trio could represent in terms of Light, Darkness and Twilight, this could be heavily symbolic too.
One of the very first things you do in the game is play hide and seek with five red-headed children. One of the very last things you do in the game is play hide and seek with five red-headed children.
Since the game takes place in a "Groundhog Day" Loop three-day cycle, the same events repeat themselves over and over. In the very first cycle of the game, you have to go up to the clock tower at the end of the third day and face a boss encounter that you can only survive by playing a particular song on your ocarina. Then, once you play through the entire rest of the game, you have to go back to the same place, at the same time, and play a different song on your ocarina. The events of the battle unfold radically differently this time around, and once you watch the cutscene you get sent to the final dungeon.
The opening scene in the game is Link riding Epona through the Lost Woods searching for a long-lost friend. During the end credits, Link is riding Epona into the woods, continuing his original quest. Even the underscoring on the soundtrack is the same.
In the prologue, you get turned into a Deku Scrub, traverse a brief tunnel, and find a mangled-looking Deku sapling at the end of it. During the credits, you find the Deku Butler mourning there. As both of your other transformations were via taking over a recently deceased character, and the Butler previously noted your resemblance to his son, the implication is that the twisted sapling was the remains of the Butler's wayward son, killed by the Skull Kid to turn you into a Deku Scrub, and you've been running around in his body all game.
Before that game, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time closes with Link approaching Zelda in the castle garden in a parallel to their meeting early in the game. This time we briefly see the Triforce of Courage on his hand.
There was also another set of bookends in this game. The very first scene with Sheik where you are introduced to the character, and the very last scene with Sheik where she reveals herself to be Zelda, are remarkably similar. They both take place in the Temple of Time and start off with Link running only to stop and turn around to find Sheik standing behind him after she announces her presence with the line "I've been waiting for you."
As the plot of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker kicks off, Link leaves his hometown with the pirates. In the last scene of the game... Link leaves his hometown with the pirates. The tone of the latter scene is much more positive, though. Especially notable is that the first departing-scene had Link waving his grandma and neighbours goodbye with one hand, stoping for a few seconds, suddenly running foreward a few steps and then starting to wave at them again, but this time with both hands. The second departing has his sister Aryll (who stays behind on Outset) doing this just the same way.
In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, the first area you go to outside of the forest is Hyrule Castle after you are turned into a wolf and captured. Hyrule Castle is also the final dungeon of the game.
At the beginning of the game, Link has someone call for him at his second story window. At the end of the game, this happens again, but this time, Link isn't inside; he is riding Epona out of the village.
The final dungeon of the Fused Shadows arc is accessed from a cave at the bottom of Lake Hylia, and the boss is fought at the lowest point in the entire game world. The final dungeon of the Mirror of Twilight arc is accessed by a cannon that is also at Lake Hylia, and the boss is fought at the highest point in the entire game world. Both bosses have the same music, and both eventually involve latching onto and attacking an eye on the boss's back.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past did it with bookends within bookends. The first dungeon in the Light World is Hyrule Castle. The last dungeon is also Hyrule Castle. Its analogous location in the Dark World is a pyramid, the first place you go after you defeat Agahnim. After defeating Agahnim again, you go straight back to the pyramid.
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening had this in a sort of way. The game begins with Marin waking you up on Koholint Island, and the game ends with Link waking up from the dream world of Koholint on a log in the middle of the ocean.
A notable gimmick of the Hitman series — at the end you return to where the story began.
In Super Mario Galaxy, the first mission in the first galaxy is titled "Dino Piranha" and has you fighting said enemy. The last mission in one of the optional last galaxies is titled "Fiery Dino Piranha" and has you fighting the boss again, only this time he's on fire.
The game itself begins and and ends at the Star Festival.
Even the original Super Mario Bros. has some sort of Book Ends: The game's second world apparantly features an underwater level followed by a level taking place on top of a broken bridge, and the third world apparantly takes place at night. This is actually reversed for the game's sixth and seventh worlds. And while at the end of World 1-4, the fake Bowser is revealed to be a gray Goomba, at the beginning of World 8-4, a trio of gray Goombas can be seen in a hallway.
Back to Galaxy, also at the very beginning of the game, when Rosalina rescues Mario after he is thrown off Bowser's spaceship while attempting to rescue Peach, he can be seen lying unconscious in the middle of a field full of flowers. At the end of the game, after Bowser is defeated for the last time the universe collapses and recreates itself for some reason, and after Mario sees Rosalina's giant floating disembodied head talking to him in the middle of a black void, he, Peach and Bowser are all seen lying unconscious in another field of flowers.
Sonic Unleashed ends the same way it began, with Sonic crashing face-first into the ground from a great height, except this time Sonic is cured of his werehog problem, and the unconscious Chip is just an illusion.
The first thing you'll see in Sonic Colors is the title character running along side the Wisps. In the final battle, just before dealing the final blow, Sonic and the Wisps run side by side, ready to bring their powers together.
Sonic 3 & Knuckles begins with Sonic and Tails riding the Tornado across the ocean at the end of an adventure, with Sonic utilizing his Super Form to fly alongside the plane. It ends the exact same way, except with Sonic utilizing his newly discovered Hyper Form.
Dragon Age II's Framing Device begins with Varric being dragged into the Hawke mansion for an interrogation, and ends with his interrogator leaving.
And, within the frame, when Hawke first arrives in Kirkwall, s/he enters the city via the Gallows Courtyard...which is also the location of the battle with the Final Boss.
Myst begins with a shot of a book falling through a starry expanse, eventually landing at some unspecified location where the player finds it. In the optimal ending of the sequel Riven, the player character jumps into the starry fissure that will- hopefully- take him home, and the last shot is the player character- from his perspective- falling through the same starry expanse. (There are further sequels after this, but they kind of do their own thing.)
There's even a sort of middle Book End. It is explained in other series media that the player lives on Earth. At the beginning of Myst, you link to Myst from a book on Earth, which is where the fissure leads and where you're trying to get at the end of Riven. But in between, you rescue Atrus by taking his missing page to D'ni/K'veer, which is a cavern underneath the surface ... of Earth.
Moreover, most of the games and Ages start off with an early glimpse of the place you'll need to get to at the end. In Riven, for example, the site where the starry fissure can be opened is directly in view from where you first link into that world. In Myst, the very first screen is in sight of the marker post holding the white page to free Atrus.
Warhammer: Dark Omen begins and ends with a similar conversation between Bernhardt and Klaus. "The crows never lose."
Shadow of the Colossus begins with a shot of a hawk, which flies into the scene from behind the camera, and it ends with a shot of a hawk, which leaves the scene as the camera overtakes it.
Fallout 3 begins and ends with "War never changes".
It also begins with your father reading Revelations 2:16, which was your mother's favourite passage of the Bible. At the end of the storyline, 216 is the code for the water purifier that you have to activate.
Fallout: New Vegas also begins and ends with "War never changes". Then again, "War never changes" is a Tagline for the series.
Dead Money ends with a narration very similar to its introduction, but with the warning that the opportunity to "begin again" is an illusion. If all companions survive, they take part in the narration.
Prince of Persia (2008) begins and ends with the Prince walking through a sandstorm, with a voice-over narration asking "What is one grain of sand in the desert? What is one grain amongst the storm?" The difference is that the answer changes from being "nothing" to "everything."
"Most people think time is like a river, that flows swift and sure in one direction. But I have seen the face of time, and I can tell you: they are wrong. Time is an ocean in a storm. You may wonder who I am or why I say this. Sit down and I will tell you a tale like none you have ever heard."
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3: The first mission of the Soviet campaign involves capturing and protecting a fortress from an invading force. The final mission of the Allied campaign involves invading and destroying that same fortress before it can launch a rocket ship.
Half-Life begins and ends in a tram. The sequel begins and ends with Gordon in stasis. In addition, the G-Man puts Gordon on a train at the beginning of Half-Life 2, and in the ending the G-Man says "this is where I get off" before stepping through a glowing doorway (much like the ones on the train).
Half-Life 2 begins with Gordon Freeman entering City 17 by train. Half-Life 2: Episode One ends with Gordon Freeman narrowly escaping an exploding City 17 by train, thus finally ending the City 17 story arc.
In Planetarian, the game begins and ends (not the very end, but this does qualify) with Yumemi/Reverie's pitch for the planetarium.
In Ratchet & Clank, the game opens with Clank learning of a plot, flying from his home planet to Ratchet's and crash landing. This is repeated with both characters late in the game (complete with crash landing after the final boss battle), and the tutorial level is the first part of the last level. The Big Bad points out it's poetic.
Serial Escalation if you consider the games' endings. The first game ended with the eponymous duo falling from a great height and then, once the danger had passed, apparently splitting up. In this case, it was Ratchet leaving Clank on his own, then coming back. Compare A Crack in Time's ending, which includes the aforementioned toppling from a great height (on Ratchet's part) and, once the time crisis is averted, Clank choosing to stay at the Great Clock, then changing his mind and rejoining Ratchet at the last minute.
The Good End of Silent Hill 1 has Harry (and Cybil, if you saved her) find infant Cheryl in the cemetery just like in the opening cutscene. If you got the Good+ ending, the opening cutscene of a New Game+ begins with Cybil in the place of Harry's wife.
Silent Hill Origins ends with Travis finally being able to access the truck he ditched when he saw the Gillespie house on fire.
Silent Hill 2 begins and ends with Mary's letter, and depending on which of the Multiple Endings you get, reveals what the rest of said letter reads like.
The "Leave" ending has James and Laura leave town through the cemetery where he first met Angela. The "Maria" ending has James and Maria returning to his car, still parked where he left it.
Silent Hill 3's ending theme tune is a vocal reprise of the first game's opening theme.
Silent Hill 4 opens with someone waking up in first person view in a haunted apartment; the "21 Sacraments" shows little Walter falling asleep in third person view in the very same apartment. You also re-visit previous worlds in reverse order.
Mega Man X began with the discovery of X and Zero. In the Mega Man Zero series, it's revealed that the former ended with both characters sealing themselves (the former to seal something, the latter to seal himself).
EarthBound doesn't actually begin with it, but it happens close to the beginning. You get woken up by somebody banging on the door loudly and Porky/Pokey rushes into the house. After the events, you are woken up again by somebody banging on the door and this time it's the younger brother bringing you his sibling's message .. starting up for Mother 3.
It begins with it's title logo, half-wooden, half-metallic. When the game finally ends, the Pig Mask Army corrupting the nature is beaten, and the world is reborn as new. The last shot is the same logo, only totally wooden and with a Earth instead of the metal O.
It is also the logo to the first game.
One of the very first things that happen in the game is a panicked Thomas breaking the doorknob at Flint's house. You finally retrieve it After the End. However, this one may not qualify; if you know where to look, you can learn the whereabouts of the doorknob all throughout the game.
Also, a series long one. The title screen music to Mother 1 plays in a long hallway around the end of Mother 3.
The first game has another example. The very first battle is a fight against Bowser in a hall of Peach's castle. The second-to-last fight is another battle with Bowser in the same room.
Happens in the Mario and Luigi series too. Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga starts with fighting Bowser in front of Peach's throne, the final battle is fighting Bowletta in front of her throne. Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time starts and ends with fighting Bowser in Peach's castle, except Bowser was a baby the first time. Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story begins with Bowser fighting Mario after barging into a conference room and as the penultimate battle has Bowser fighting Fawful in the same conference room.
Call of Duty 3 mirrors Starship Troopers with a briefing in the back of a truck from Sergeant McCullen. The game closes on Huxley making a similar speech in the back of an identical truck.
The series chronologically starts with (trying to) kill Ultranationalist leader Zakhaev. You finally succeed, albeit with a different player character, at the end. Fast forward to the third game: final "boss" is his follower Makarov, and you're using the same player character (Price) as tried to kill Zakhaev the first time around.
The first mission of Modern Warfare 1 begins with Price finishing a cigar, the final mission of Modern Warfare 3 ends with Price lighting a cigar.
Call of Duty: Black Ops has a single-mission variant in "S.O.G." At the start, Mason's first line to Woods upon arriving in Vietnam is to tell him "you look like hammered shit". Ten or so minutes and a couple dozen Viet Cong corpses later, Bowman arrives as well, and his first lines are telling Mason "you look like hammered shit" (Mason lampshades this by responding "yeah, 'Nam'll do that to you"). It continues into Black Ops II, where, in variations of the ending where Mason survives, these are his first words to Woods upon returning.
Grim Fandango opens up with a shot with a miniature mariachi band standing next to an ashtray. The ending has a real mariachi band standing next to a circular pool.
The PS1Syphon Filter trilogy. The first mission of part 1 and the last mission of part 3 is in the subways of Washingotn DC.
Which also stands as a book end to the entire Myth Arc. Both the When It All Began story of Snake Eater and the Grand Finale story of Guns of the Patriots end with Big Boss saluting The Boss at her grave, fifty years apart.
Almost as poignant: according to the Metal Gear Solid 4 Database, the place Naked Snake infiltrated, Tselinoyarsk, during the events of Snake Eater, would eventually become the very same place where Big Boss would go to establish Zanzibar Land, leading to his last stand against Solid Snake in the finale of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake.
Also, you revisit the ruins of Shadow Moses, the site of the first Metal Gear Solid.
The final boss fight of Metal Gear Solid 4 calls back to the first and last boss fights of Metal Gear Solid. The last of MGS and the last of MGS4 are both hand-to-hand fights with Liquid on top of a Metal Gear. The first of MGS and the last of MGS4 are both against Revolver Ocelot. The difference is that in their first fight, they were both agile, powerful warriors. In the second, they're dying old men.
The final boss of MGS4 is one to the entire Metal Gear Solid series - the first phase, as above, is reminiscent of the final boss of MGS1. The second, recalling MGS2, has Ocelot primarily focusing on powerful punches with the replacement arm he got from Liquid. The third, recalling MGS3, has both Liquid and Snake switching over to CQC. All three are accompanied by one of the boss tracks from their respective games.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance starts with a serious Raiden removing his sword's sheath from a suitcase as he is going to fight enemy cyborgs. It ends with Raiden removing his sheath from a suitcase as he is going to fight enemy cyborgs, but this time with a grin.
Fate/stay night does this — even though Shirou is the protagonist, both the prologue to the entire game and the epilogue to the True Ending of Heaven's Feel (the last route in the game) are played from Rin's perspective.
Similarly, Tsukihime has Shiki Tohno meeting Aoko Aozaki in the prologue and epilogue.
Also, the ending of the original where you let the Illuminati rule the world as a shadow government has a conversation that mirrors the opening conversation.
The true final stage of Raiden IV uses a remake of Raiden II's first stage music.
In Mitsumete Knight, the game starts with the following sentence : "April 1st, 26, in Dolphan Era. An Asian was about to immigrate to the Dolphan Kingdom, as a mercenary.", and then you see the Asian (aka the player avatar) arriving at Dolphan Kingdom by boat ; the first person he meets then is a Customs' Official. At the end of the game, this same Customs' Official is the last person he meets (barring any girl he could have scored during the game), and he leaves Dolphan by boat. If you got the Bad Ending where the Asian got neither the Holy Knight Title nor a girl's confession of love, the following sentence will also appear : "March 16th, 29, in Dolphan Era. An Asian was about to leave the Kingdom, as a man.".
In the Wrath of the Lich King expansion to World of Warcraft, the opening cinematic features a voiceover of King Terenas Menethil telling a young Arthas of the duties of a king, using Dramatic Irony to contrast with the latter's current status as the titular Big Bad. The final cinematic, upon the defeat of the Lich King in Icecrown Citadel, shows the ghost of Terenas comforting his dying son that "no king rules forever".
In intro cutscene of System Shock, the Hacker hacks into the Tri-Optimum's Citadel Station's databases to look for the info on Military-Grade Neural Interface. At the ending cutscene, after refusing the job at Tri-Optimum (good move, considering the backstory of the sequel), he is back at the same building, same room as in the intro, hacking into Tetracorp's databases to look for the info on powered armor. Old habits die hard indeed.
In addition, the last level of System Shock 2 is a recreation of the first level of System Shock 1. Had there been more games this would have been subverted but as the series ends there. . .
BioShock begins in the water outside a lighthouse, the endings from BioShock 2 all show the same lighthouse.
It's not the same locale, but in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, Stage 1 of Pop Star is almost visually identical to Stage 1 of Ripple Star and shares the same stage music.
The title screen of Limbo shows a treehouse with a broken ladder and flies hovering over two small corpses. The end shows the protagonist reuniting with his sister near the ladder of a treehouse, then returns to the title screen for maximum impact.
Psychonauts as well, which begins and ends with Coach Oleander giving a speech in the campfire area (aided by Ford, the second time)... well, until that otherending
The first game in the Game & Watch line was called Ball and featured a juggler. The final game, released 11 years later was titled Mario the Juggler, and featured the exact same gameplay.
Done in Infinite Space, although not in the beginning. During the first confrontation with Lugovalos near the end of Act 1, Bastian blasted the Vasta star using Krebs exalaser to take down the enemies and prevent their advance to LMC. Ten years later near the end of Act 2, during the final confrontation, Bastian's brother, Dietrich performed a Heroic Sacrifice by doing the exact same thing to prevent the enemies from chasing Yuri.
In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice for All, the game starts with Phoenix having a nightmare where the Judge tells him he is not fit to be an attorney. Phoenix dismisses the dream as nervous jitters. The scene occurs again near the end of the final case, where its meaning to Phoenix is more relevant under his current circumstances.
A more short-term one happens in Call Of Duty: Black Ops. In the beginning of the first Vietnam mission CCR's Fortunate Son plays on the radio. At the end of the mission it's playing again.
In Beyond Good & Evil, the action begins with Jade opening her eyes during morning meditation and ends with her opening her eyes unleashing her powers to revive everyone in the Great Crypt.
The first level you play in is Dark Beauty Castle, where you meet Gus, and learn to play. The final level is Dark Beauty Castle, where you must meet with Oswald and set up some fireworks.
The opening cinematic of the game shows Mickey going through his bedroom mirror into Yen Sid's study. The ending cinematic shows Mickey returning through his mirror, into his bedroom.
Persona 4 begins with the protagonist arriving in the town of Inaba on a train, and ends with him leaving the town of Inaba on a train.
SaGa 2 begins with the protagonist's father explaining to him/her/it that he needs to leave on a mission, before exiting the house through an open window and abandoning both his child and wife. It ends with him explaining to the protagonist that he needs to leave on a new adventure, but this time, all three family members agree to go together, and all exit through the open window. The 2009 remake adds another bookend, with a pre-title screen sequence that parallels the ending's Boring Return Journey.
The first three games of the Dragon Quest series form the Loto trilogy. The trilogy begins and ends in much the same way. The last third or so of Dragon Quest III, a prequel to the first two, almost exactly mirrors the plot of the first game, taking place in the same world in the past with essentially the same plot.
The beginning of Dragon Quest VII is during the Amitt Harvest... and so is the end. Each time, you also are woken up by your mother to get out of bed and bring a fish sub to your father. That also happens at one other point in the game, but not during the festival.
The first dungeon in Skies of Arcadia is Shrine Island, an ancient, ruined temple. You come back to it at the end of the game to enter the final dungeon, Soltis, which Shrine Island was originally a part of.
Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars begins and ends with an explosion, even apparently reusing parts of the same animation. Averted in the Director's Cut, in which the game starts with Nicole (sidekick to the main hero) witnessing a politician being shot instead.
Pitfall The Lost Expedition begins with a Hopeless Boss Fight against the Demon Jaguar, in which Harry is pinned down and about to be killed, then it flashes back to how he got there. Near the end of the game, you fight the Jaguar again, and he pins Harry down like before, but Quickclaw steps in and saves him.
In Super Metroid, the first and second bosses are Ridley and then Torizo. The final bosses before the Final Boss are Golden Torizo and then Ridley. Also, Mother Brain is the first boss you see, as a memory of Samus from the events of the original Metroid.
Dead Space begins on board the USG Kellion where Issac Clarke is watching a video in which his significant other, Nicole Brennan, is obviously distressed. The video ends with static just before the player learns that this transmisson came from the USG Ishimura, which ominously has been sending out distress signals. Issac watches the same video immediately before fighting the Final Boss. Where it is revealed that the video ended with his wife commiting suicide by lethel injection. Meaning that the Nicole he had just been taking orders from was a hallucination produced by the Marker
The game also begins and ends on the USG Kellion. The First time he is heading towards the USG Ishimura with Kendra, Hammond and at least one pilot. However the second time Issac is alone and fleeing the Ishimura or so he thought..
Red Dead Redemption starts with John heading to Fort Mercer to find and kill Bill Williamson. He instead gets himself shot and nursed back to health by Bonnie. At the end of the game, the military find John, and continue to Swiss Cheese him.
The Infocom text adventure game Trinity ended with a time loop; you go back to the beginning of the game. This time, of course, you know what needs to be done, and the game ends with text to this effect just a few moves in.
Assassin's Creed: Ezio's life as an Assassin really begins with his family getting executed, and it ends in the same place when he dies there.
Entomorph: Plague of the Darkfall: "How many more times must I encounter you?" — You begin the game and the final showdown with these words from the T'Urthrax Mata, after which she sends you back in time. But the second time you have a way to counteract that.
Asura's Wrath: The game starts with Vlitra's appearance, a Title-Screen like moment complete with press start, and Asura jumping off of Shinto. The last episode starts with Vlitra's reappearance, a Title-screen like moment complete with press start, and Asura jumping off of The Karma Fortress.
Mass Effect 3 has a double helping, both in the game and for the trilogy. Within the game itself, the battle begins and ends at Earth, which you can only visit at the beginning and end of the game. For the trilogy overall, in both the first and third game you needed to make use of the Conduit and face off against an indoctrinated opponent who thought they weren't.
Shepard's interview about the Reapers in Vancouver at the very beginning of 3 culminates in a shout of "We fight or we die!" The Renegade option at the end of the last Rousing Speech in the series, during the battle of London, is to tell your team "You fight or you die."
The Refusal Ending for Mass Effect 3 is a book-end to the inciting incident with the Prothean Beacon in Mass Effect 1. To wit: in ME 1, Shepard finds a warning by an extinct civilization which had fought and been wiped out by the Reapers. It sets off the first effort to stop the Reapers in this cycle. In the Refusal ending, after Shepard has refused to cooperate with the Catalyst in any way, pretty much the same thing happens - all advanced civilizations are wiped out but a few warnings were sent out. However, the creator of the new warning Liara has learned from the mistakes of this go-around. Cut to an unknown race thousands of years in the future defeating the Reapers because the warnings left for them were easy to understand and contained vast amounts of scientific and technical data.
And in the Phantasm stage, its rebirth and Reimu's return to power are marked with a remix of several of the first-level themes from the PC-98 series.
The game Monster Party begins and ends with the protagonist leaving his house and then running into Bert. The only difference is, in the beginning, Bert asks for his help killing evil monsters in the Dark World, and at the end, he asks if Mark wants to go again.
This doesn't apply to the whole story, but the individual episodes of I Miss the Sunrise begin and end with Ros in a stasis pod, generally including characters' reflections on the plot. The scenes also showcase crewmates gradually warming up to Ros, as they react more and more sympathetically to Ros being caged up in the pod.
The exception to this is the final episode, which mixes things up a bit by destroying the stasis pod, probably to cement its status as a Wham Episode.
The prologue to Heavy Rain features Ethan Mars, on a sunny day, with Perma Stubble. Two of his Multiple Endings feature him on a sunny day with stubble, having shaved his Beard of Sorrow. The game proper begins with raindrops obscuring the camera before it pans down from the sky. The "Unpunished" epilogue for Scott Shelby ends with rain obscuring the camera as it pans up to the sky.
The Spider-Man and Venom video game, Maximum Carnage begins, after Carnage's escape, with Spider-Man pondering how his enemies never seem to stay locked up. At the end of the game, Black Cat tells him that she fears that "monsters like that have a way of returning," and he reassures her that she should have faith, and hopes that some monsters stay locked up forever.
Hampstead on the ZX Spectrum opens with the player character at the bottom of the social ladder, watching "3.2.1" (a cheesy gameshow) in a smelly council flat. The first step in his social advancement is to turn off the TV. At the end of the game, newly knighted, he settles down with his trophy wife... to watch "3.2.1".
The story of Devil Survivor 2 begins with the protagonist and his best friend meeting with a classmate in the subway just before a subway train crashes and the world basically goes to hell. This all happens at 12:30 on Sunday. The last battle takes place exactly a week later, also on 12:30 Sunday. Furthermore, in two of the six endings a Reset Button is hit and you're transported back to the moment before the train crash that started everything. Whether the train still crashes or not depends on how well you played the game.
In the first F.E.A.R., Paxton Fettel's first meeting with the Point Man has him say "They deserved to die. They all deserved to die" in regards to Armacham. In the third and (thus far) final game, The Stinger for Point Man's ending has Fettel angrily repeating this line as he narrates the events of his first Syncronization Event.
The Walking Dead begins with Lee, the main character, in handcuffs. Depending on the player's actions, Lee will be handcuffed to the radiator he's sitting next to, in order to stop him from harming Clementine when he turns into a walker. Also, Lee is supporting himself on something while moving towards a walker that used to be a cop, and both have one of the two characters handing the other a weapon to beat a walker to death with; Clem gives Lee a hammer, and Lee rolls a baseball bat over to Clem.
Tales of the Abyss has its first real section of gameplay begin with Luke and Tear in the flower fields of the Tataroo Valley at night. No points for guessing which two characters reunite where in the ending.
BioShock Infinite has you begin at a lighthouse (itself a reference to the original BioShock) and undergo a baptism. The ending of the game has you going though more lighthouses and a drowning by baptism.
Secret of Mana begins with the Boy pulling out the Mana Sword out of its resting place, and ends with him putting it back.
Seiken Densetsu 3 begins and ends in the Mana Holy Land—in fact, the Holy Land even acts as a Disc One Final Dungeon, making for a Book Middle, as it were. Each character's story also begins and ends in their own home town.
Legend of Mana begins with a vision of the Mana Tree being destroyed, and ends with a vision of the Mana Tree being restored.
In Super Smash Bros. Melee, both the first Event Match (Trouble King) and the last one (The Showdown) use the Multi-Man Melee 2 track, and they both involve defeating Bowser with multiple lives.
Hudson was the first third-party to develop games for the Famicom. Their fourth, Japan-exclusive Adventure Island game was the last official game for that console.
Shantae: Risky's Revenge begins with the camera focusing on the sun before panning down to Shantae as she starts fighting off monsters in front of her lighthouse, and ends with Shantae talking with her friends in front of her lighthouse before the camera pans up to the blue sky until it reaches the sun.
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Explorers begins with your partner finding you on the beach amidst a sky full of Krabby bubbles, and ends in the same place with that partner mourning your obliteration from time.
The opening video starts with falling stars which turn out to be abduction pods as the alien attack begins. The closing video ends with debris from the destruction of the enemy temple ship descending as falling stars.
If you take the main story path in Wario Land II, you'll start off in Wario's Castle and end up in Syrup's Castle.
The Final Boss of Wario Land 3 is fought in The Temple, the first place you visit in the game. The final Music Box piece (the last thing you need to find to access the Final Boss) is also found in Out of the Woods, the first proper level of the game.
Early on in Zoids Legacy, Zeru is in need of a partner so he can compete in the local battle arena and coincidentally runs into Juno. After the credits the same scene plays out, with both of them having a mutual "Have we met before?" moment.
In World of Warcraft, Garrosh Hellscream makes his first appearance in Burning Crusade as the depressed chieftain of the Mag'har in the town of Garadar, but was shaken out of it by Thrall. In Warlords of Draenor, Thrall challenges him to a Mak'gora, which he agrees to on one condition: That it happens where it all started, on the future location of Garadar.