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
Rule of thumb to tell if an instance of Multiple Endings
falls under this subtrope is to check whether they are mainly referred to as "Good/Evil/Neutral Ending", etc.
Often results in No Canon for the Wicked
if the evil ending is retroactively declared non-canon
. Compare Faction-Specific Endings
and Modular Epilogue
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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. The last is unprecedented: in every single previous game where there has been a choice between the Dark Side and the Light Side, the Light Side has been established as the canon choice.
- In inFAMOUS, Cole's actions effect 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.
- Shadow the Hedgehog has a whopping 326 possible ending combinations, with Pure Dark, Pure Neutral, Pure Hero, and True Ending as the main four.
- Well, technically, there's ten endings and 326 ways to get to them. And an Omega Ending for getting all ten of the main endings (not all 326 paths, thank goodness).
- In the Tex Murphy game The Pandora Directive, you can get up to eight different endings depending on where your Karma Meter is along the Nice Guy/Jerkass axis.
- In Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers, Gabriel can choose at the end whether to try to save the possessed Malia from the pit she's dangling over, simply let her fall to let Tetelo die, or try to actively kill her to achieve the same.
- There's a bunch of endings in an adventure game the white chamber based on the main heroine's (and therefore player's) attempts to act good and to redeem her sins, none of which actually affect the gameplay otherwise.
- 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.
- In Bioshock, you get different endings depending on how many Little Sisters you killed, if at all.
- In Bioshock 2, you get one of 3 endings depending on how many Little Sisters you harvested, and an additional one of 2 endings depending on how many Bosses you killed.
- Bioshock Infinite, however, completely averts Multiple Endings entirely, in a first for the series.
RPG — Eastern
- Most Shin Megami Tensei games will have you choose between Order, Chaos, or Neutral alignment ending.
- In Agarest Senki, whether you keep to the Light, Dark, or Neutral path will affect your ending.
- Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together has a bit of a complex example of one. The game has three endings, but alignment only affects two of them (the Golden Ending's only requirement is that you keep your sister alive until the end of the game), and it is not based on a Lawful or Chaotic decision. Rather, there is a tracker called a "Chaos Frame" that is based on how many enemies you kill by ethnicity. Killing too many enemies of a particular ethnicity will unbalance the Chaos Frame. If you happen to be locked into the path where the Golden Ending is unavailable, the ending you get will be determined by whether or not your Chaos Frame is stable or out of balance. By the way, did we mention the Chaos Frame is hidden and can only be determined through attempting to hire characters of each ethnicity?
RPG — Western
- Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal has three endings: Good God, Evil God, and Mortal.
- Neverwinter Nights 2 has the canonical good ending where the Knight-Captain and Player Party defeat the King of Shadows. The non-canon evil ending has the Knight-Captain pull a Face-Heel Turn and join the King of Shadows after killing the party. The Expansion Pack Mask of the Betrayer has several variations on its endings.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, the ending depends on your Karma Meter and on which side you take: the NCR, Caesar's Legion, Mr. House, or the chaos ending.
- While the ending of Deus Ex: Human Revolution is mainly determined by the Last-Second Ending Choice of who wins the information war, the tone of Jensen's final narration that shows his Character Development depends mainly on how many people you've killed and how helpful you were to others throughout the game.
- The Russian RPG GoldenLand (a.k.a. Heath: The Unchosen Path) has two endings, Good and Evil, depending on whether you decide to fight the Big Bad Drakh Shu or the Big Good Belobog in the Final Battle.
- In Mass Effect 1, depending on whether you were a Paragon or Renegade and whether or not you saved the Council, the ending speech Captain Anderson or Ambassador Udina gives will differ. The Paragon ending has a Rousing Speech basically along the lines of "We will rebuild, and we will fight side-by-side." As a Renegade, the speech consists of how humanity will protect the galaxy at any cost.
- The two sequels follow similar patterns, though the third one has a lot more variables since it factors decisions from all three games.
- 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.