->''"I recommend sealing off this branch."''
-->-- '''[[MysteriousWatcher Accord]]''', [[DrivenToMadness Branch]] [[ICannotSelfTerminate C]] [[MultipleEndings Ending]], ''VideoGame/{{Drakengard 3}}''

Some VideoGames (from {{adventure game}}s to {{dating sim}}s) like to feature MultipleEndings as a way to increase replay value, by changing various elements and branches of the plot to reflect whatever choices the player made during the game.

This creates a problem when attempting to make a sequel (or adaptation) based on such a game: Which branch (and ending) of the plot gets to form the {{canon}} backstory of the new work? The production team must make a decision, and make one fast, declaring one to be the Canon Ending and cutting the other ones off. They're still canon in their original game, but not with regard to the new work.

In short, cutting off the branches is when one of the multiple possible endings in a game is considered the canon one in a future adaption.

Related to StoryBranchFavoritism: the plot branch that receives the most focus is more likely to be chosen as canon in a sequel. Contrast with ThirdOptionAdaptation, which ignores all the various plotlines and picks an outside choice. When the next work is also a video game instead of an extended universe entry, this can sometimes be averted with OldSaveBonus or SchrodingersQuestion. If the branches were selected immediately from character selection, you're using SchrodingersPlayerCharacter. See also CanonName, where a character who [[HelloInsertNameHere didn't have a given name]] at ''all'' in the first game, is given one in the next. MergingTheBranches is a specific form of this where events from several mutually exclusive story branches are declared canon, rather than a single specific branch. See also NoCanonForTheWicked, where the hero path is exclusively canon in a franchise with a morality system.



* Done to a depressing extreme in ''VideoGame/BaldursGateII''. The game dialogue and set-up tells you ''exactly'' who you travelled with by the end of the first game (Khalid, Jaheira, Minsc, Dynaheir and Imoen) and tells you exactly how you behaved (heroically). Needless to say, rationalizing what you are shown and told in the intro level was very difficult if you're getting the OldSaveBonus from a ChaoticEvil [[ReligionOfEvil Priest of Talos]].
** More than a decade later, an {{Interquel}} expansion, ''[[VideoGame/BaldursGateSiegeOfDragonspear Siege of Dragonspear]]'', is supposed to go into further details about just how you ended up in the situation that the second game says you did. It won't change the outcome, but seems to be aiming to at least provide a figleaf for the branch-cutting.
** And then there's the novels. Good Lord, the novels cut àll manner of branches. The fandom was so unanimous in their condemnation that the novels were declared non-canon.
* When you start a post-''[[VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins Origins]]'' installment of the ''Franchise/DragonAge'' series, you generally have two options: OldSaveBonus or this trope:
** If you don't import your Warden from ''Origins'' to ''[[VideoGame/DragonAgeOriginsAwakening Awakening]]'', you have to play as an original Orlesian Warden-Commander and the expansion automatically sets certain story flags, such as [[spoiler:Alistair]] being King of Ferelden.
** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' offers not one but three possible pre-built histories comprising of both ''Origins'' and ''Awakening'' story flags if you don't import an older save file. If you import just the ''Origins'' save without ''Awakening'' flags, those will be preset for you.
** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'' has replaced importing old saves with the ''Dragon Age Keep'', a website where players are able to determine decisions made in the previous games as they see fit. Approximately 300 different choices can be made in the ''Keep''. This adds replay value as it allows to start a new playthrough with a completely different world state. There is also a default world state, for players who did not play the previous games or do not wish to bother with the ''Keep''. The default world state assumes a female Dalish Elf warrior Warden who died killing the Archdemon in ''Origins'' and a male mage Hawke who sided with the mages in ''Dragon Age II''.
** Then, there is the matter of the so-called "Creator/BioWare canon", a unified timeline where all official non-interactive installments set after ''Origins'' take place. According to the WordOfGod, these are meant to be read with a disclaimer "If these events contradict your game canon, then they never happened in it (or maybe something similar happened)":
*** ''Literature/{{Asunder}}'', a novel bridging parts two and three, establish that First Enchanter Irving is alive in BW canon, Shale was canonically freed and has discovered her origins, and both Wynne and Shale have been taken to fight the Archdemon. This, in turn, implies that [[spoiler:the Warden did not defile the Sacred Ashes, otherwise s/he would have to kill Wynne]].
*** According to ''ComicBook/TheSilentGrove'' miniseries and its sequels, [[spoiler:Alistair is King, though it's unclear if he's married to the Warden, Anora, or ruling alone. Isabela made it to the end of ''II'', instead of leaving or coming back only to be sold out to the Arishok. Speaking of whom, he's dead and Sten (alive and returned home) has taken his position.]]
* ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublicIITheSithLords'' allows the player to choose the gender and alignment of Revan from the first game. In either event, the changes are largely cosmetic, pretty much only affecting the gender Revan is referred to as and whether the Republic admiral appearing in certain cutscenes and aiding you in a near-end-game event is Carth or not. In either case, the canon situation is that Revan was a light-side male, while the Jedi Exile played as in ''The Sith Lords'' was a light-side female, named Meetra Surik. However, the second game has hints of TakeAThirdOption, as the canon scenario also includes Handmaiden, who is only an option for a male Exile, as one of Surik's companions. If the game had been finished, Handmaiden was supposed to have joined you if you were on the light side (then Visas Marr if you were on the dark side).
** Generally averted in the MMO sequel, ''VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic''--the character classes are only ever vaguely referred to in outside material in such a way that you can imagine they were whatever gender or alignment you'd like. There are a few exceptions, though--the Consular is stated to have been canonically male, as it's his tomb that the protagonist of ''VideoGame/JediKnightJediAcademy'' enters and seals off, and the Inquisitor's race is implied to be human in the book ''Annihilation''. The game also defaults to "Darth Imperius" if a level 60 Inquisitor is rolled for the expansion, although their gender is still unconfirmed.
** The novel ''Revan'' has the eponymous character be male, choose the Light Side, and marry Bastila. The Exile is female, has a name, and also chose the Light Side. [[spoiler:The Exile ends up dying and Revan gets captured by the Sith Emperor]], both of which are canonic events, especially since Satele Shan (in ''The Old Republic'') is descended from Revan and Bastila.
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' goes with the OldSaveBonus approach. Unfortunately, if you don't have a save to import, the game gives you default choices that are not only mostly [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVsCynicism Renegade]] such as [[spoiler: killing the Rachni and the Council]], but also some of the worst ones that very few players ever choose, such as [[spoiler: killing Wrex on Virmire and electing [[{{Jerkass}} Udina]] to the council]]. Some fans speculate this is a sneaky way of encouraging players to play [[VideoGame/MassEffect1 the first game]] instead of jumping into the sequel blind. The first game wasn't initially released for the UsefulNotes/{{PlayStation 3}}, so that system includes an interactive comic book that allows the players to make decisions about major events. This feature was later released as DLC for the {{Xbox 360}} and PC versions.
** ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' requires that Shepard survived the suicide mission of ''Mass Effect 2'' (you can't import a save game where Shepard died). This should be fairly obvious, as Creator/BioWare said when the second game was released that the trilogy is less about the universe and more about Shepard's story and how it affects the galaxy. [[spoiler: TheStinger of the third game drives the point home.]]
** The spin-off novel ''Retribution'' cuts off the branches for players who appointed Anderson to the Council, and in ''Mass Effect 3'', Udina is the human councilor no matter what (if Anderson was on the Council, he resigns between the games). Also, the Council in ''3'' is always either the original one from ''Mass Effect 1'', or a new, but still mixed-species one. There is no all-human Council, even for playthroughs in which Udina proposed making one at the end of the first game.
* ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2'' and its two expansion packs allow for quite a few possibilities between them, but ultimately hints towards one set of events for the Knight-Captain. The main character canonically has to have gotten the good ending for the original campaign in order for references [[spoiler:Ammon Jerro]] made in ''Mask of the Betrayer'' to make any sense. ''Storms of Zehir'' muddles what happened, though: [[spoiler:the presence of One of Many would imply that the Knight-Captain then succumbed to evil and rampaged across Faerun, ''if'' Khelgar didn't talk about how they had returned to Crossroad Keep, which only happens if they were good.]]

* ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'' has [[AnyoneCanDie permadeath]] as [[FinalDeath a gameplay mechanic]]. Outside of certain modes or specific plot-relevant characters, any member of your army in any game will be KilledOffForReal if they fall in battle. However, whenever a game in the series gets a direct sequel (that is, a game set in the same universe, as the series usually operates on the NonLinearSequel principle), the new entry generally assumes all of its predecessor's characters survived (and were recruited in the first place), so any character death in gameplay is treated as non-canon.
** In fact, ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' strongly implies that the entire franchise is set in an interconnected multiverse accessible through the Outrealm gates where each individual "universe" has ''multiple'' versions of it all existing at once; in fact, [[spoiler:the time-traveling in the main plot is implied to actually be just a case of dimension hopping]]. Basically, while all playthroughs/universes may be equally canon, the direct sequels are only set in the ones where KillEmAll ''wasn't'' invoked.
** ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemJugdral Thracia 776]]'', the midquel to ''Geneaology of the Holy War'' canonizes Levin/Ferry, whereas in the first game you could choose between her and two other girls. (Well, technically six other girls, but since only Ferry, Sylvia and Tiltyu's sons can use Holsety, there's no point in the other four.)
*** On the other hand, they averted this with Raquesis by implying [[SecondLove BOTH]] her predistined pairings were canon: Nanna's father is [[KnightInShiningArmor Finn]] and Delmud's father is [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Beowulf]].
** [[VideoGame/FireEmblemAkaneia The Akaneia games]] feature several examples:
*** In the first game, you could recruit either the Paladin Arran or the Hero Samson, but not both. In ''Mystery of the Emblem'', Arran is with Marth's knights from the start and Samson isn't seen until much later in the game, where he doesn't seem to know Marth personally and doesn't hesitate to attack him, which means recruiting Arran was likely canon.
*** It was possible to complete Chapter 20 without defeating [[AntiVillain Camus]], which results in alternative dialogue. Seeing as ''Fire Emblem Gaiden'' features an amnesiac character who was found washed up on the shore of another country badly injured who is ''heavily'' implied to be Camus, it's very likely fighting him is canon.
*** In ''Shadow Dragon'', [[VideoGameRemake the Nintendo DS remake of the first game]], one character has to sacrifice themselves in the prologue to lure away the enemy, and this character never returns. If you skip the prologue, Frey isn't present, which seems to imply he was the canonical sacrifice. In ''New Mystery of the Emblem'', all characters who could have been the sacrifice are alive and well, but Frey's Support conversations specifically mention that he was indeed the canonical sacrifice, but was merely wounded and left for dead rather than killed.
*** For how ''New Mystery'' dealt with the sidequest characters, see MergingTheBranches. The only exception is Nagi, who Marth doesn't recognise in ''New Mystery'', implying her sidequest was non-canon. (Which makes sense, seeing as it only occurs if you miss out on getting the [[InfinityPlusOneSword Falchion]]).
** ''Awakening'' has another aversion. The DLC battles involving the characters from [[VideoGame/FireEmblemAkaneia the Akaneia games]] make vague references to ''New Mystery's'' player-created character, and [[CanonName canonise their name as]] [[GenderBlenderName Kris]], but what pronoun is used to refer to them depends on the gender of ''Awakening's'' Avatar, meaning male and female Kris are both equally canon.
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates'' would seem to imply that Severa, Inigo, and Owain canonically went unpaired at the end of ''Awakening'', as their unpaired endings state that they went to other lands, [[spoiler:with all three appearing in ''Fates'' under the [[PaperThinDisguise Paper-Thin Disguises]] of Selena, Laslow and Odin. They're all even able to marry the other ''Fates'' characters]]! However, the existence of [[TheMultiverse the Outrealms]] indicates that while [[spoiler:''Fates''[='s=] Severa, Inigo, and Owain came from an ''Awakening'' playthrough where they remained single, the playthroughs where they ended up married are all still technically canon.]]
*** ''Awakening'' and ''Fates'' have a combined example that is both an aversion and played straight at the same time. [[spoiler:One of the amiibo characters is Robin, the player-created character of ''Awakening''. He only appears as a male, using the default model and voice, unlike in ''Awakening'' proper where he can be either male or female, and he gets unique battle quotes if he faces Selena, Lazward, and Odin (who are simply Severa, Inigo, and Owain from ''Awakening'' operating under pseudonyms). However, those three characters imply that he is not the Robin they knew, which averts it for ''Awakening''. So how is this played straight? Because this Robin is heavily implied to be the Robin who partook in ''[[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U]]'' where you could select between Male and Female Robin, meaning the male version of Robin is the one considered to have fought in ''Smash''. Then again, ''Smash'' did allow multiple versions of the same character to fight all at once...]]
* At the end of ''VideoGame/LuigisMansion'' Luigi gets a new non-haunted mansion. The new mansion's look depends on how much money Luigi has earned throughout the game, the rank A being a huge one and the rank H being a tent. At the start of ''VideoGame/LuigisMansionDarkMoon'', Luigi lives in the rank D mansion.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'':
** Averted in ''VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver'' where [[PreviousPlayerCharacterCameo Red]] has all three starters ([[ThirdOptionAdaptation four if you include Yellow's Pikachu]]) and Blue didn't use his. It was however invoked in ''[[VideoGameRemake HeartGold and SoulSilver]]'', cutting off the branch of the female PlayerCharacter from ''[[VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue FireRed and LeafGreen]]''. The issue of which specific version was canon, or even what Pokémon Red caught regardless of version, was also avoided by rounding out his team with a Snorlax (a forced encounter, as two of them were blocking the routes to Fuchsia City) and either an Espeon (evolved from the Eevee found at the Celadon Mansion - although this does confirm Red never used an evolutionary stone on that Eevee) in the original games or a Lapras (a gift from one of the Silph Co. employees during Team Rocket's takeover) in the remakes and later.
** ''VideoGame/PokemonRanger'' also cuts off the branch for Kate in the third game.
** Cynthia's dialogue in ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'' confirms ''Platinum''[='s=] version of events to be the canon plotline for Generation IV, as she mentions the incident with Giratina and the Distortion World.
** ''VideoGame/PokemonBlack2AndWhite2'' does it as well. In ''Black & White'' you can catch Kyurem, but in the sequels it was caught by Team Plasma instead. Since the Musketeer Trio are still around in the sequels, catching them in the first game is also non-canon.
*** Liberty Garden is only accessible in the first games by event, and it serves as the place where you catch Victini. In ''[=B2/W2=]'', you can visit the island without the event, and Victini is missing. The implication is that the event is canon, and the previous protagonists caught Victini before the events of the sequel.
* Averted with ''VideoGame/StarFoxCommand''. Despite the game having 9 different endings, including two arguably [[GoldenEnding good ones]] (one where the {{Status Quo|IsGod}} is more or less restored with some newcomers to the team, and one where Fox and Krystal have [[HeroicLineage a son named Marcus]] who creates a new younger team), Miyamoto and Nintendo decided to "plant a new tree" and to [[ContinuityReboot reboot]] once again the [[VideoGame/StarFox franchise]] with ''VideoGame/StarFoxZero'', leaving the end of the old timeline undefined. This decision was somewhat of [[BrokenBase a base-breaker]] (''Command'' itself being one) and fans are split between those who hated the game and its plot are are glad that it was [[CanonDiscontinuity discontinued]] and those who would have liked to see more of Dash and Amanda, or even of Marcus' team.
** Played straight with the original ''VideoGame/{{Star Fox|1}}'' and ''VideoGame/StarFox64'', where the {{Golden Ending}}s are unsurprisingly the ones used in the sequels.
* The original ''VideoGame/WarioLand'' ended with Wario asking a genie for a castle. Depending on how many coins the player collected, he ends up with anything from a birdhouse to an entire planet. Despite the insistence of the game to try again, he apparently got the castle (the penultimate reward) according to ''Wario Land II'' and ''Wario World''.

[[folder:Super Robot Wars]]
%% Should be moved to its own subpage eventually.
* Most of the ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' games allows players to pick and choose between a variety of main character combinations (usually a male and female) and a choice between a RealRobot or SuperRobot (''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars4'' being the first of the lot), but the games that play this trope straight are the ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsAlpha'' series. In the first installment, players have two sets of four male and female portraits, with four distinct personalities to choose from. This is ''somewhat'' resolved in ''Alpha 2'' by making default character Kusuha Mizuha (and Brooklyn "Bullet" Luckfield, by extension) the canon protagonist(s) of the ''Alpha'' series, giving her the female super robot route. Naturally, only the male super and male/female real robot routes are open, and given fresh faces. In ''Alpha 3'', Kusuha [[ShapedLikeItself retains the super robot route]] and the other three routes have entirely new characters, with the bonus that the protagonists of the other non-Kusuha ''Alpha 2'' routes reappear in the ''Alpha 3'' routes. For example, male real robot protagonist Cobray Gordon of ''Alpha 3'' retains Arado Balanga, the male real pilot from ''Alpha 2'', and his version of the ''Alpha 2'' story; however, Arado is exclusive only to Cobray. All's well and good, right? Unfortunately, male super protagonist Sanger Zonvolt from ''Alpha 2'' appears in ''all four routes'' in ''Alpha 3'', which caused some heads to turn since not every character in the party has met him.
** Developer Banpresto handled this cleverly: in ''Alpha 2'', Sanger's story begins [[spoiler:with him waking up when the Earth Cradle is destroyed]]. In ''Alpha 3'', if players didn't choose male super protagonist Touma Kanou, [[spoiler:the Earth Cradle is never destroyed, thus Sanger has just woken up in ''Alpha 3'']]. Since selecting Touma guarantees Sanger's side of the ''Alpha 2'' story, all characters have already met him in the previous game (which also explains why Sanger's adept at using the [=DyGenGuard=] in contrast to the non-Touma ''Alpha 3'' routes).
** ''Alpha'' also has a complex SecretCharacter system where characters who should be KilledOffForReal in their respective canons, but are made recruitable in the games, still remain dead in the sequels. In the first game, [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamCharsCounterattack Quess Paraya]], [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamZZ Elpeo Puru and Puru Two]] are recruitable characters who reappear alive and well in the sequels. [[Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam Sara Zabiarov]] is not, nor is the [[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion Evangelion Unit-03]] salvaged for future use. ''Alpha Gaiden'' secrets are made irrelevant due to its events being considered AlternateContinuity via a BadFuture. In ''Alpha 2'', the likes of [[Anime/GetterRobo Musashi Tomoe]] wouldn't make it to ''Alpha 3'' since his death is what moves the ''Anime/GetterRobo'' plot, nor is [[Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam Haman Karn]] alive because all [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamCharsCounterattack Neo Zeon]] forces are wiped out in the climax of the game to make way for [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED ZAFT]] in ''Alpha 3''. [[Anime/GetterRobo Radora]] and [[Anime/KotetsuJeeg Takeru]] cannot reappear in ''Alpha 3'' by proxy of being exclusive only to Kusuha and Sanger's routes in ''Alpha 2'', which would complicate things in ''Alpha 3''.
** Played with regarding ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsZ'': it seems to have averted this by having its protagonists Rand Travis and Setsuko Ohara reappear in the two-part ''Second Z'' sequel ''Hakai-hen''/''Saisei-hen'' and be as vague as to which of the two was with the collective heroes of ZEUTH. If players are to assume ''Z: Special Disc'' is truly an {{Interquel}} between ''Z'' and the ''Second Z'', then Rand and Setsuko were indeed part of ZEUTH, which wouldn't cause continuity conflicts from the first game since both characters' routes in ''Z'' occurred at the same time. Unfortunately, because the ''Second Z'' explicitly states they ARE a part of ZEUTH, this becomes impossible, as the one not selected to be the ''Z'' protagonist turns into a NonPlayerCharacter assisting from behind-the-scenes, nor does the plot guarantee their respective [[PlotDevice Sphere]] and partner(s) are alive. Also, characters from one route wouldn't know them if players didn't select them to be the protagonist (ie ''Anime/{{Xabungle}}'', ''Anime/TurnAGundam'' and ''Anime/OvermanKingGainer'' characters cannot know Rand fully if he isn't the protagonist). The fact the ''Second Z'' carries the friendships Rand and Setsuko formed from the first game in their individual routes shouldn't be possible if one of them is considered a stranger to ZEUTH.
*** Given the nature of the ''Z'' series regarding the merging of multiple dimensions into one (think ''Super Robot Wars'' [[XMeetsY meets]] ''ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths''), it's possible this trope isn't meant to be played thoroughly for ''Z'' and its sequels.
** ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration'' tends to run into this when the original characters and storylines from the various games in the [=SRW=] franchise appear. Sometimes, Banpresto chooses one over the other, but more often than not, they TakeAThirdOption:
*** The first game retains Kusuha and Bullet's personalities and portraits throughout the ''Alpha'' series, but the other six of the eight possible ''Alpha'' default characters are used via DivergentCharacterEvolution. Naturally, Kusuha/Bullet occupy the ''Alpha'' super robot route (as a {{Foreshadowing}} of their canon ''Alpha'' plot for ''Original Generation''), while another pair (Ryoto Hikawa/Rio Mei Long) are given the real robot ''Alpha'' route (which negated the super robot route in ''Alpha'' if it was chosen). The third pair (Tasuku Shinguji/Leona Garstein) are given ''Original Generation''-exclusive robots never seen in [=SRW=] before, while the fourth and final pair (Yuuki Jaggar/Ricarla Borgnine) are introduced in ''Original Generation 2'' using pre-existing machines from ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsAdvance''. The first installment also possessed a minor example: the choice to play as Kyosuke Nanbu or Ryusei Date as the protagonist. Although their respective first halves of the story are separate, the game treats both as canon (since they're fighting the same war, but on different fronts). The second half is shared, with slight differences, but ''Original Generation 2'' states Ryusei's version of the second half occurred, making Kyosuke's latter half CanonDiscontinuity.
*** Back in ''Advance'', players had the choice of Axel Almer or Lamia Loveless; whoever isn't selected as the protagonist becomes TheRival for the game, minus a quirk they suffer when chosen (LaserGuidedAmnesia and SpeechImpediment, respectively). In ''Original Generation 2'', Lamia's chosen and much demand for the return of an amnesiac Axel ensued, due to {{Flanderization}} by turning him into a bigger {{Jerkass}} than he was in Lamia's ''Advance'' route. The VideoGameRemake of ''Original Generation 2'' not only lightens his character considerably, turning him into a NobleDemon, but ensures he survives in the ''Original Generation'' sequels with a proper HeelFaceTurn. ''VideoGame/EndlessFrontier'' finishes the job with Axel getting hit with a bout of amnesia and taking up the personality he gets if he was selected as the ''Advance'' protagonist.
*** ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsReversal'' and ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsGC'' (and to an extent, ''Super Hero Sakusen'') gave players an option between a male and female version of the same character. Banpresto performed another DivergentCharacterEvolution, bringing Ingram Plisken/Viletta Vadim from ''Super Hero Sakusen'' into ''Alpha'' as [[spoiler:{{Opposite Sex Clone}}s]], while ''Original Generation'' made Raul Gureden/Fiona Gureden from ''Reversal'' into HalfIdenticalTwins.


[[folder:Action Adventure]]
* Played with in ''VideoGame/DarkSouls2''. It is revealed that [[spoiler: any of the first game's endings could be canon, it does not matter]]. Such a long time has passed since then that it has faded into obscurity, and the ages shift in a neverending cycle. [[spoiler:If the player chose the "Link the fire" ending, eventually, they would have died and another undead would have replaced them or left the bonfire to die, starting an Age of Dark. If the player chose the "Dark Lord" ending, another undead would eventually throw his soul on the fire, starting a new Age of Fire anyway.]] The cycle will keep rolling.
* In ''VideoGame/DeusEx'', you had three endings: [[spoiler:you destroy all communication, you join the Illuminati or you merge with the AI Helios to become a benevolent god]]. In the sequel, ''VideoGame/DeusExInvisibleWar'', ''all three'' happened: [[spoiler:JC merges with Helios and destroys Area 51, destroying the world's communications and leaving a void for the Illuminati to rise to power]]. Additionally, it was possible [[spoiler:for the protagonist's brother to die]] in the first game, but [[spoiler:in the sequel he canonically lives]].
** ''VideoGame/DeusExMankindDivided'' effectively turned the tree into one big trunk, because ''none'' of the endings from ''[[VideoGame/DeusExHumanRevolution Human Revolution]]'' are canon to it.
* ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaWarriorWithin'' has two possible endings - one where [[spoiler:Kaileena is defeated]], and the other where [[spoiler:The Prince manages to kill the Dahaka, saving himself and Kaileena]]. The latter is acknowledged as canon in the opening narration for the ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaTheTwoThrones''.
* While left somewhat unclear, ''Videogame/OverlordII'' suggests that the previous EvilOverlord was something of a NobleDemon who at the very least saved the Elves from extinction. The game also goes on to say that [[spoiler:Rose]] was the canonical choice for Mistress. [[spoiler:Though the debris from the Tower are in Velvet's style.]]

[[folder:Beat'em Up]]
* In the original ''VideoGame/FinalFight'', any of the three heroes (Guy, Cody, or Haggar) could throw Belger off his building at the end of the game. In ''Final Fight 2'', it is Cody who is shown delivering the finishing blow to Belger in the opening intro and this actually becomes an important plot point in ''Final Fight: Streetwise'' ([[spoiler:in which Father Bella is seeking revenge on Cody for killing Belger]]).

[[folder:Fighting Game]]
* Any fighting game series will fit this. Examples include ''Franchise/MortalKombat'' and ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear''.
** On the other hand, there has been a recent trend to avert this. Examples include the recent equivalents of both games listed above (the new ''[[VideoGame/MortalKombat9 Mortal Kombat]]'' has a "story mode" that tells a single, unified version of events through the eyes of a series of protagonists, while ''VideoGame/{{BlazBlue}}'' builds its entire premise around deconstructing this).
* ''VideoGame/Persona4Arena'' has several instances of this:
** In ''Persona 4'', acquiring the Ultimate Persona for the members of the Investigation Team is optional, and UpdatedRerelease ''Persona 4: Golden'' gives the party brand new third-tier Persona; subsequently, ''Arena'' features the Investigation Team with their default Persona.
*** This one is actually a little odd, because the game makes numerous references to events that happened at the end of their social links, implying they were canonical[[note]] You have to complete each of the team's respective social links in order to obtain their ultimate Persona[[/note]]. For example: [[TheHero Yu's]][[note]] The [[SuddenlyVoiced previously]] [[HelloInsertNameHere Silent P4 Protagonist]], now called Yu Narukami[[/note]] win quote against Yosuke (verses mode only) alludes to the fistfight they had at the end of the "Magician" social link. Even more confusingly, ''VideoGame/Persona4DancingAllNight'' has Yu using his default Persona, Izanagi, for most of the game, then [[spoiler:switching to its ultimate evolved Izanagi-no-Okami for the final boss for no reason other than the fact it's cooler. Presumably the rest of the team's Personas operate under the same principle?]]
** Despite ''Persona 4'' having four different endings, the game renders all but the True Ending non-canon.
*** ''Ultimax'' makes ''[[UpdatedRerelease Golden]]'''s GoldenEnding [[labelnote:*]]identical to the True Ending, but with an extended epilogue sequence at the end[[/labelnote]] canon, by [[spoiler:showing Marie to be alive. The individual character endings lead the Investigation Team to their characterizations during the above mentioned ending.]]
** The Protagonists in ''Persona 3'' & ''Persona 4'' are able to date a number of different girls over the course of the game; ''Arena'' makes no explicit reference to any of the possible pairings, but [[ShipTease does hint at]] [[spoiler:Naoto]]'s romantic Social Link.
** ''Persona 3 Portable'' added an optional female protagonist in place of the male protagonist in the initial game; ''Arena'' explicitly refers to the male protagonist.

[[folder:First Person Shooter]]
* ''[[VideoGame/{{ARMA}} Arma 2: Private Military Company]]'' could end with the player character either [[spoiler:honoring the original contract with the UN weapons inspectors]] or [[spoiler:[[FalseFlagOperation gunning them down under the guise of a guerrilla ambush]]]], with the circumstances of ''VideoGame/TakeOnHelicopters'' [[spoiler:with the former player character now a minor NPC antagonist to the new player characters]] strongly suggesting the latter.
* In ''Videogame/{{Borderlands 2}}'', it is stated that Mordecai was the canonical champion of the Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot DLC of the first game.
** The appearance of Tector Hodunk in ''VideoGame/TalesFromTheBorderlands'' shows that the canon ending to the "Clan Wars" questline in ''Borderlands 2'' is that the Vault Hunters sided with the Hodunks and killed the Zafords. One hopes they weren't kicking themselves ''too'' much when they attempted [[HarderThanHard Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode]] without a Slagga.
* ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'' has the campaign "The Sacrifice", which ends with one of the original Survivors dying in a HeroicSacrifice to allow the others to get to safety. In the game, any of the four characters can make the sacrifice, but the tie-in comic, the ''VideoGame/Left4Dead2'' campaign "The Passing" that this one is a prequel to, and the fact that there is an achievement specifically for Bill sacrificing himself, shows that Bill is officially the one.
** Notably, "The Passing" came out a full year before "The Sacrifice", making Bill's death a {{foregone conclusion}}. All the more egregious as the only reason why he's dead in the former is due to his voice actor being unavailable during its production.
* In ''VideoGame/MaxPayne 2: The Fall of Max Payne'', there are two endings: the first one in which [[spoiler:Mona Sax is fatally shot by Vladimir Lem and [[DiedInYourArmsTonight dies in Max's arms]] after he fails to save her]], and the other one that can be obtained in [[HarderThanHard "Dead on Arrival" mode]], in which [[spoiler:she survives being shot]]. Sadly, however, the former one turns out to be canon and carries over to ''Max Payne 3'', [[spoiler:in which Max still feels grieved at the loss of Mona, who had been killed nine years ago; and he has since been dismissed from the NYPD trying to nurse his alcoholism and addiction to painkillers.]]
* ''VideoGame/MetroLastLight'' follows from the "bad" ending of ''VideoGame/{{Metro 2033}}'', as this was the version of the ending that occurred in the original novel. From background dialogue, it's suggested that Arytom went [[Franchise/MassEffect Renegade rather than Paragon]] at least a few times (i.e. OneManArmy killing his way through the Reds and Nazis soldiers on the Bridge rather than stealthing his way past on a PacifistRun), though there's no indication he was a pure Renegade asshole and his thoughtful and introspective narrative throughout the game tends to suggest against it.
* ''VideoGame/{{STALKER}}: Shadow of Chernobyl'' has not one, not two, but ''five'' possible endings. Two of them are secret, only one ending is good to any real degree, and it still leaves things ambiguous as to whether you did the right thing. The "good" ending is the one that is picked up in Call of Pripyat, at which point you find out that, yeah, [[FromBadToWorse things got worse somehow]].

[[folder:Hack and Slash]]
* It was pretty obvious which ending of ''VideoGame/{{Drakengard}}'' was going to be used for the sequel: the only one that could be remotely considered [[BittersweetEnding good]]. Interestingly, the most MindScrew-y ending leads to ''VideoGame/{{NieR}}''.

* In ''VideoGame/RuneScape'', the "Temple of Ikov" quest has you choose whether to protect the Staff of Armadyl or steal it and give it to the bad guy. When the developers made the sequel quest, "While Guthix Sleeps", they realized the plot sort of hinged on the bad guy having the staff, so everyone who chose to protect it received a note from the guardians that it had been stolen by somebody else.

[[folder:Platform Game]]
* The ''VideoGame/MegaManZX'' series may be digging itself a hole of this sort. The first game has two possible player characters, Vent and Aile, whose stories are similar but irreconcilable. The second has two new player characters, Grey and Ashe -- Ashe coexists with Vent, and Grey with Aile. There is a manga based on ''Mega Man ZX'', and the main character they chose to follow is Vent. However, the ''ZX Advent'' manga takes the MergingTheBranches approach, and issue #55 of the [[ComicBook/MegaMan Archie Comics series]] rather blatantly indicates that Ian Flynn intended to take the same approach with the entire ''ZX'' storyline.
* ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog''
** This seems to be happening concerning the Metal Sonic race on Stardust Speedway in ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehogCD''. Originally, the race could have taken place in either the Good Future or BadFuture, but ''VideoGame/SonicGenerations'' and ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog4'' make it clear that the race canonically took place in the Bad Future.
** ''VideoGame/ShadowTheHedgehog'' has many different endings, three of which even involve Shadow's implied breaking of Dr. Eggman's neck and thus ending his JokerImmunity. Nearly all endings in the game are subject to this trope.

[[folder:Point and Click Game]]
* ''VideoGame/ManiacMansion'' encourages replays by giving each of the six possible partners different skills to defeat the [[spoiler:purple meteor mind-controlling Dr. Fred]], then making you start the game by picking just two of them. ''VideoGame/DayOfTheTentacle'' stars one of these partners, Bernard, and includes several references to optional events that only Syd or Razor could have completed.[[note]]Since Syd and Razor have the ''exact same'' set of abilities, there's no possible way to distinguish further except by outright naming one of them as canonical, which does ''not'' happen.[[/note]]
* Originally, ''VideoGame/TheSecretOfMonkeyIsland'' had two slightly different end paths, neither of which had a practical effect on the actual endgame: Either you sail back home from Monkey Island with your ship and crew, or you "accidentally" sink their ship and ride home with Herman Toothrot, the local hermit. Even though sinking your ship was an obscure action to begin with, that ending was made canon in the fourth game in the series, where Guybrush's former crewmates, now back home on Mêlée island, go out of their way to avoid him because he left them stranded on Monkey Island.
** More subtly, dialogue choices in the first and second game make it possible to play Guybrush as a either a GenreSavvy DeadpanSnarker or a lovable GeniusDitz, but the third game in the series prefers the latter characterization.
** The second game assumes the Voodoo Lady helped you in the first game. It's possible to complete the first game without ever talking to her.

[[folder:Real-Time Strategy]]
* Most sequels in the oldest ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer'' games assume the good guys won the previous installment. But starting with the ''Firestorm'' expansion for ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberianSun'', Westwood started writing stories where [[WinWinEnding both sides win]], and subsequent installments have complementary campaigns so that there are no non-canon storylines.
* Relic does this to ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar'' a lot, given the series' penchant for {{Sequelitis}}.
** ''Winter Assault'' presumably ended in an [[spoiler:Eldar]] victory, given how ''Dark Crusade'' mentions that [[spoiler:the Eldar betrayed the IG and Gorgutz both survived and killed Crull]].
** ''Dark Crusade'''s endings were pruned by ''Dawn of War II'' ([[AllThereInTheManual and its novelizations]]) mentioning that [[spoiler:the Blood Ravens beat, at the very least, the Necrons, the Chaos Marines, the Imperial Guard, and as of ''Retribution'', definitely the Eldar.]]
** ''Soulstorm'' didn't confirm a victor (probably because it was [[spoiler:the Sisters of Battle]], one of the least-popular 'good human' races, to say nothing of [[CanonDiscontinuity how unpopular Soulstorm itself was]]), but it did confirm that [[spoiler:the Blood Ravens]] lost horribly.
*** Surprisingly, after ''Winter Assault'', Gorgutz managed to avert this with each of his appearances, with a cutscene showing him deliberately escaping the conflict if he's defeated. This opens him up to appearing in any sequel should he be needed, and he's fairly popular.
** The traitor in ''Chaos Rising'' was confirmed by ''Retribution'' through process of elimination: [[spoiler:the traitor had to have fought on Kronus (rules out Thaddeus and the Force Commander), while Tarkus, Cyrus and Martellus appear as playable characters, which means it must have been Avitus.]]
** An odd case is the return of [[spoiler: Eliphas the Inheritor]]. His side lost in ''Dark Crusade'' and the character is ''quite'' messily killed in his faction's defeat cutscene, but he's back for ''Dawn of War II'', and working for a different side.
** ''Retribution'' ended, predictably enough, with a [[spoiler:Blood Ravens]] victory, which is confirmed in ''VideoGame/Warhammer40000SpaceMarine'' when [[spoiler:Titus encounters a handful of Blood Ravens marines who reference the "Aurelia Campaign".]]
* The ''{{VideoGame/Diablo}}'' series contains a minor example of this. The first game allows you to choose one of three characters to play, a male Warrior [[spoiler: aka Prince Aidan]], a female Rogue [[spoiler: aka Moreina]], and a male Sorcerer [[spoiler: aka Jazreth]]. After defeating Diablo, this character embeds his soulstone into his or her forehead in an attempt to contain Diablo forever. It doesn't work, and in the sequel the hero is possessed by Diablo, becoming the game's villain. Although never explicitly stated, it is pretty clear that the Warrior is canonically the one who did so, as the character is male (unlike the rogue) and white (so not the sorcerer). If you look very carefully you can find hints about what happened to the Rogue and Sorcerer, but they clearly didn't do as well as their meat shield buddy... if "possessed by Satan" can be considering doing well. It is implied that the rogue and sorcerer go on to become minor bosses for earlier quests (Blood Raven and The Summoner respectively).
** ''VideoGame/DiabloIII'' mentions the role of "heroes" in the events of the second game, but ''[[AllThereInTheManual The Book of Cain]]'' specifies that all five of the original character classes were involved in defeating Diablo the second time.
* ''VideoGame/SupremeCommander'''s expansion ''Forged Alliance'' doesn't explain which ending is actually canon, but simply, after a little expositionary cut scene, dumps the player directly into "1 year later", as the Big Bad overruns the galaxy. It can be deduced it's the Aeon one, because the other sides were wiped out in the UEF ending and space travel was prevented for years in the Cybran one. However, it is implied that whichever side you choose you are the same commander as you would have been in the first game for that faction.
* Blizzard's early ''VideoGame/WarCraft'' games were like this. In order to have a sequel worth mentioning, they decided that the Humans (the "good guys" of the first game) had been defeated and sent packing, as refugees, to nations on the northern half of the continent. Then, five years later, the Orcs (the "bad guys") decide to follow them, lusting for more conquest. In ''VideoGame/WarCraftII'', the Alliance victory is considered canonical, as is their "successful" campaign in its expansion, ''Literature/BeyondTheDarkPortal''. However, it should be noted that missions in ''both'' campaigns are considered canon, and the only missions that aren't are the ones that end the campaign and don't allow for the canonical ending of the story.
** Blizzard mostly abandoned this method with ''Franchise/StarCraft'' and all following RealTimeStrategy games, instead constructing the story so that one campaign flowed into the next... but ''VideoGame/{{StarCraft II}}: Wings of Liberty'' does have two missions where a player must make a decision about whether to help an ally or not. [[spoiler:In both cases, the canonical storyline has you helping your ally--Ariel Hanson and Gabriel Tosh.]] A third mission, late in the game, requires a decision that affects how the final battle is fought, but is deliberately vague in terms of canonicity.
** ''VideoGame/StarCraftIIHeartOfTheSwarm'' leaves the first vague, implies the second ended one way, and picks the third for why a mission in the same location has to be dealt with the way it is.
* WordOfGod about ''VideoGame/XCOM2'' essentially canonized ''VideoGame/XCOMEnemyUnknown''[='=]s "''Game Over''" ending. In fact, according to this timeline, the titular organization lost pretty quickly, without even being able to get their hands on the coolest alien toys (e.g. plasma weapons, Meld, elerium).
* A variation in a simulation game's multiple endings are clarified in a later, mostly unrelated real-time tactical game's sequel. The ''TabletoGame/BattleTech'' based real-time-tactical/RPG game ''The Crescent Hawk's Inception'' received a more true-to-the-tabletop sequel, ''The Crescent Hawk's Revenge.'' ''Revenge'' reveals how the original ''VideoGame/MechWarrior'' game ended: Gideon Braver Vanderburg successfully defeated the Dark Wing to reclaim his family's heritage as rulers of Ander's Moon (had he failed, he would have become a wandering vagabond warrior for the rest of his life). However, he also continued on as a mercenary, and his unit, the Blazing Aces, lasted until at least 3051 where they were destroyed to a man during the Clan invasion. It also clarifies that he was canonically a ''Phoenix Hawk'' pilot, out of the 8 available 'Mechs in the first game.
* Another variation for ''VideoGame/MechCommander.'' This is a game where permanent pilot death is a possibility and that AnyoneCanDie. It also presumes that you trained up some of your pilots as well as having most of them survive, as [[spoiler: your rookie SouthernFriedPrivate of all people]] becomes an elite pilot who survives to return to the Inner Sphere in the true 3D sequel.

[[folder:Role Playing Game]]
* Played partially straight in the ''VideoGame/ArTonelico'' series. The first game has seven endings and two possible route splits which depend on the Reyvateil the players choose during Phase 2: Aurica or Misha. According to a light novel that was published after the first game was released, to Flash-based visual novels made by the developers, and dialogue present in the second game, the canon route is Aurica's. However, the "partially" is because it has never been stated if either her ending or the third heroine's one is canon.
** Averted for the other two games in the series: they and their additional material go out of their way to not establish any canon endings or routes.
* Konami's PC-playable adaptation of ''Film/BatmanReturns'' is an inversion: a case of grafting on ''new'' branches. In addition to featuring a subplot that wasn't in the movie [[spoiler: (an attempt to blackmail Mayor Jenkins with a phony, incriminating videotape)]], there are four possible endings. The first is the same as that of the movie: [[spoiler: The Penguin and Max Shreck both die, and Catwoman mysteriously vanishes]]. Two other possible endings are [[DownerEnding downer ones]]: either the Penguin defeats Jenkins in the recall election and Batman sits forlornly in the Batcave, hanging his head; or the Penguin succeeds in blowing up Gotham City with his army of missile-launching penguins, and Batman likewise sits forlornly in the Batcave and hangs his head. The fourth possible ending is the same as the movie ending, but with a twist: [[spoiler: as the game is structured around {{Random Encounter}}s]], Catwoman will disappear at the game's conclusion ''only'' if you never meet up with her in your travels around the city. If you ''don't'' manage to encounter her, then you finally meet her at the end of the game, she gets a saucy grin on her face, you take her home with you to Wayne Manor, and...well, you can probably guess [[OffscreenInertia the rest]].]]
* ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' has over twelve endings, some of them quite silly. ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'' presumably follows one of the standard good endings (since there's no mention of everyone in Guardia being part-frog), but the most it says about its predecessor is that [[spoiler:[[ShootTheShaggyDog Guardia fell to an invasion by Porre]] five years after ''Trigger'', [[UnholyHolySword the Masamune became tainted by evil]], and the PowerTrio from ''Trigger'' [[NeverSayDie "no longer exist in this timeline."]]]] Interestingly, the ''Chrono Trigger'' endings that set all this up come from an animated cutscene in its UpdatedRerelease for the UsefulNotes/PlayStation, which came out after ''Chrono Cross''. And then a later ''Chrono Trigger'' rerelease for the NintendoDS added an epilogue that confirmed [[spoiler:[[NotSoHarmlessVillain Dalton]]]] was the one who made all this possible.
* The ''Franchise/CodeGeass'' RPG for the NintendoDS is an interesting example; the "One True Path" is the anime canon, which you're forced to follow on your first playthrough. The NewGamePlus allows one to explore better (or worse) paths, all of which involve OriginalGeneration villains Castor and Pollux. Interestingly, from the fourth playthrough onward, you can force yourself back onto the plot railroad by performing a certain action [[AndNowForSomeoneCompletelyDifferent during a sequence where you control Castor]] that gets him killed and reasserts the anime plotline.
* Creator/NipponIchi has a history of throwing their game leads as cameos and {{Bonus Boss}}es of later works, which inevitably cuts off certain outcomes for several of their works. ''VideoGame/DisgaeaHourOfDarkness'' carries on from the good ending, as does its sequel, ''VideoGame/Disgaea2CursedMemories''. ''VideoGame/SoulNomadAndTheWorldEaters'' uses its normal ending with a female Revya [[spoiler:although Revya's appearance in ''Disgaea 3'' has a nod to the Demon Path in her description]]. ''VideoGame/LaPucelle'' uses the NonStandardGameOver, however. For the most part these choices are understandable, as the less good endings tend to involve character deaths, depression and {{Eldritch Abomination}}s all around, which would make for poor cameos -- [[spoiler:with the exception apparently being made for Prier, who was apparently deemed better as an Overlord]].
** An exception, as far as ''VideoGame/DisgaeaHourOfDarkness'' goes: ''VideoGame/PrinnyCanIReallyBeTheHero'' uses the normal ending of Disgaea in which [[spoiler: Laharl is dead. You later see him reincarnated as a Prinny, which also happened in that ending.]]
** [[EnsembleDarkhorse Asagi]] has canonically been a BonusBoss in every game since ''VideoGame/MakaiKingdom''. [[ButtMonkey And she always loses.]]
* Averted in ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind''. Rather than forcing players to have played the "bad" ending in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIDaggerfall Daggerfall]]'', the creators invented a temporal anomaly called a Dragon Break during which the ending takes place, causing [[MergingTheBranches all possible outcomes to take place simultaneously]]. Except for the one ending in which a giant robot destroys all of Tamriel.
** ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' takes this approach when [[spoiler:The hero of ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'' [[PreviousPlayerCharacterCameo decides to show up]] after having become the God Sheogorath in the ''Shivering Isles'' expansion.]] Some of the things he says imply [[spoiler:that he joined the Thieves guild and the Dark Brotherhood.]] Note that [[spoiler:we still don't know what the Champion of Cyrodil looks like, as it's likely that they became able to shapeshift after becoming Sheogorath.]]
* ''VideoGame/FableII'' dodges this by occurring centuries after the original Fable and when during the rare moments when Fable 2's predecessor is mentioned having contradictory accounts as to what specifically occurred. [[spoiler:Theresa's survival is about as close to canon as they get about it, and even then it's never specifically stated that the old blind seer of the second and third games is actually the Hero of Oakvale's sister from Fable either.]] ''VideoGame/FableIII'' occurs mere decades after ''Fable II'', makes use of the OldSaveBonus method but only uses that to mention the Hero of Bowerstone's gender, and like II also rarely mentions the Hero of Bowerstone and is very vague as to what kind of person he/she was. However, the Hero of Bowerstone did end up becoming King/Queen, meaning that s/he ended up buying up all the real estate in the game.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'' avoids many specifics by taking place in the area just north of the one where ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 1}}'' did, and the Vault Dweller's diary that serves as the intro story to the ''Fallout 2'' manual is somewhat vague at certain key plot points (i.e. whether you sided with Killian or Gizmo, saved Necropolis, [[spoiler:or shot the overseer]]), but from what you do learn it seems that canonically the Vault Dweller was a generally heroic figure (i.e. saving Tandi and Shady Sands, which would eventually become the New California Republic). The diary also mentions that party members Dogmeat and Ian died during the course of the adventure, although this is quite likely LampshadeHanging of first game's [[ArtificialStupidity sub-par companion A.I.]] - Dogmeat specifically is mentioned to be incinerated by a force field in the Mariposa military base, which is guaranteed to happen assuming you have him at the party by then and can't pass numerous skill checks to disable the fields for good. Finally, from the appearance of [[spoiler:the massive statue of the Vault Dweller in the NCR square]], it shows that the vault dweller was male.
** Similarly, ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' avoids references to ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' by setting it on the other side of the country. ''New Vegas'' does have a few references to events in ''Fallout 2'', however: The Chosen One helped Vault 15 integrate with the NCR (hence why they're expanding into Arizona) and left Tandi alive. References to a very wasteland-accustomed "Mr. Bishop" also indicates that The Chosen One was male and slept with one of the Bishops, but the ending that usually comes from that scenario is averted since the Wright family is apparently in control of New Reno, having out-competed the Mordinos and Salvatores. One thing that is confirmed about ''Fallout 3''[='=]s story is that Moira Brown completed the "Wasteland Survival Guide" with a fair amount of success, since it's available as an item that boosts the Survival skill in New Vegas.
** In ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 4}}'', several terminal logs in the ''Prydwen'' note that Sarah Lyons was killed in battle sometime in the ten years between ''3'' and ''4'', meaning that she didn't activate the Purifier at the end of ''3''. Also, it's strongly implied in comments made by brahmin caravaners that the canon ending of ''New Vegas'' [[spoiler:has the NCR winning the Second Battle of Hoover Dam, and Caesar's Legion is history]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Gothic}}'' handles the choices of the previous game by having almost everyone that would care dead (or outside the area in ''Gothic 3''[='=]s case), or only talking about events common to all three paths. There are however a few dialogs that reference specific minor choices. One early conversation in ''Gothic 2'' establishes that The Nameless Hero did not pay Bloodwyn protection money (as he will reference the consequence of not doing so). One interesting bit in the expansion for ''2'' suggests he killed Bloodwyn (never required or recommended, but deserved), which occurs ''during a conversation with Bloodwyn'' (he notes [[UnexplainedRecovery he survived]]).
* In ''Videogame/IMissTheSunrise'' there are two possible endings, but only the optimist ending allows the events of ''Videogame/TheReconstruction'' to happen, [[ForegoneConclusion meaning that the pessimist ending cannot be canon]].
* The second ''VideoGame/{{Mana Khemia|2FallOfAlchemy}}'' game hints that the canon ending from the first game was [[spoiler: Flay becoming a criminal mastermind and Vayne playing hero.]] Strangely, it ''also'' implies that the canon ending was Pamela [[spoiler: being freed from the school and traveling with Vayne]], as she does not appear or get referenced to in the entire sequel, and she would still be at Al Revis under any other ending.
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' operates as if (obviously) [[spoiler:[[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt The Fall]] had been prevented in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'']].
* ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiI'' had three endings. The sequel takes place under the premise of the Neutral ending having occurred.
** ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiII'' handled this weirdly - all three paths had similar endings, and regardless of events [[GodIsEvil everyone turns against God.]]
** According to [[http://www.atlus.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4373 some fans]] and the fanbook for ''VideoGame/RaidouKuzunohaVsTheSoullessArmy'', there are three different main timelines to the Shin Megami Tensei multiverse, and each branch assumes you got a different ending in ''VideoGame/RaidouKuzunohaVsKingAbaddon''
** ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIVApocalypse'' establishes that the hero of ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIV'' was named Flynn, sided with Jonathan in the initial route split, ended up Neutral-aligned, and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking wasn't dumb enough to fall for Medusa's]] ISurrenderSuckers.
* The anime based on ''VideoGame/StarOceanTheSecondStory'', ''Star Ocean EX'', merged pretty much all the story of the first part of the game, changing it to make it all possible to happen together. For instance, they just encounter and recruit Ashton, instead of having to backtrack or miss him. Later on they meet Opera and Ernest, which doesn't happen if you recruit Ashton. The gaiden sequel, plus the [[VideoGame/StarOceanTillTheEndOfTime third main game]]'s manual confirm that every possible party member was canonically recruited.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' brought RelationshipValues to the series. It also made it into the MassiveMultiplayerCrossover tactical-RPG ''Tales of the World: Narikiri Dungeon 3'', which lets the player set up custom parties of Franchise/{{Tales series}} characters and awards parties bonus titles for certain team-ups. One of these titles is "Love-Love?", which goes to canon couples, such as Cless/Mint and Chester/Arche from ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia'', Rid/Farah and Keele/Meredy from ''VideoGame/TalesOfEternia'', and Lloyd/Colette from ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia''. Ironically, the sequel actually allows you to ''avert'' this particular cone, with an optional cutscene that the player can choose to follow whichever relationship choice they want.
** The [[VideoGame/TalesOfSymphoniaDawnOfTheNewWorld sequel]] to Symphonia also averts this by letting the player choose which relationship was "canon" in the previous game, in a bonus cutscene with one exception playing the trope straight: the Kratos alternate storyline for Symphonia cannot be made canon in VideoGame/TalesOfSymphoniaDawnOfTheNewWorld since [[spoiler: Zelos is alive in the sequel, and choosing Kratos in Symphonia required to kill him]].
* The ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' sequels (most strikingly ''VideoGame/DirgeOfCerberus'', due to its CharacterFocus) all assume Vincent and Yuffie joined the party, even though they don't have to in order to beat the game.
** Teased in ''Lateral Biography TURKS: The Kids Are Alright''. Evan, discovering Tifa had been to the Gold Saucer, asks her if she's ever been on a date there. Instead of answering, Tifa is offended and tells him that asking her things like that at work is inappropriate. Tifa was one of Cloud's RomanceSidequest options to date in the Gold Saucer in the original game, but [[StoryBranchFavoritism not the game's first preference for a partner]].
* The third ''VideoGame/YokaiWatch'' game doesn't include the female playable character of the previous game, Katie, as a playable character. This cements Nate as the canon protagonist of the series. Instead of Katie, Inaho is playable alongside Nate.
* ''VideoGame/MarvelUltimateAlliance 2'' does this to some of the optional missions in the first game. While Jean Grey being present and the X-Men still being together leaves it ambiguous on if Nightcrawler was supposed to be the canonical sacrifice or if Jean was talked down after coming back as the Dark Phoenix, the paths of other missions seems to be canon, including rescuing Lilandra and Senator Kelly as the West Coast of the United States of America appears to still be intact and the latter isn't among those who support registration.

[[folder:Shoot'em Up]]
* ''VideoGame/ColonyWars'' was a Space Sim that had 5 possible endings, the best being one where TheEmpire was thoroughly defeated by LaResistance and peace was made throughout the 5 systems, too bad that doesn't make for a good sequel. So instead, the canonical ending was the ending where LaResistance beat TheEmpire back to the solar system but were unable to take Earth and instead had to settle on destroying the only star gate our of the system so that the Empire was trapped in the Solar System with scarce resources until they could build a new star gate generations later.
* ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'': Later events have confirmed that the heroine of ''Embodiment of Scarlet Devil'' was Reimu, as well as strongly implying that the Scarlet Team went through ''Imperishable Night''. Additionally, there's certain endings that obviously ''didn't'' happen, what with Kanako not being the god of the Hakurei Shrine, and the Palanquin Ship not touring Gensoukyou.

[[folder:Simulation Games]]
* ''Franchise/HarvestMoon'':
** ''VideoGame/HarvestMoonDS'' and its DistaffCounterpart ''Harvest Moon DS Cute'' take place 100 years after ''VideoGame/HarvestMoonAWonderfulLife''. The protagonists tombstone, by default, is Mark's, the male protagonist. This also means the male protagonist of ''VideoGame/HarvestMoonFriendsOfMineralTown'' is the Mineral Town protagonist, as the two games connect to each other.
** Ellen in ''VideoGame/HarvestMoon64'' doesn't acknowledge the protagonist as her grandson, meaning that Ellen is not the canon bachelorette in [[VideoGame/HarvestMoon1 the original game]] (which also means Elli isn't [[KissingCousins Pete's cousin]]).
* In one mission of ''[[TabletopGame/BattleTech Mechwarrior 4]]'', Ian Dresari, you, can either save your sister Joanna or secure a cache of weapons for the war effort. The game ends with either Joanna or Ian ascending the throne as Duchess or Duke. The ''Black Knight'' expansion pack assumes that no only did Ian fail to save his sister, but is now ruling as a tyrannical despot. Later material then ended up clarifying that this ending was Steiner propaganda to justify Steiner-backed intervention to overthrow him (as Ian canonically survived to see the end of the Fed-Com Civil War, this ends up making the ending of the MissionPackSequel non-canon).

[[folder:Sport Games]]
* ''VideoGame/InazumaEleven 2''[='s=] OneGameForThePriceOfTwo gimmick only had the typical differences between the two versions (different rival teams, optional sidequests, {{Optional Party Member}}s, etc.), so this was pretty easy for the anime adaptation to deal with. Then ''Inazuma Eleven 3'' had actual story differences between its versions, although they were still mostly reconcilable, so the anime had the events of both versions occur with a bit of effort[[note]]For example, at one point in the anime, the cast split up into two sub-teams and ran off in opposite directions so that they could be two places at once. This conveniently happened right after 6 of the rivals-turned-{{Optional Party Member}}s joined up, which allowed them to have the requisite headcount of 11 people on each sub-team to participate in the ensuing soccer matches.[[/note]]. However, now it's been recently announced that the fourth game, ''Inazuma Eleven GO'', will have two versions but with ''gigantic'' differences in the story, even different {{Official Couple}}s. So far, it looks like the anime's following the Shine version.

[[folder:Stealth Game]]
* At the end of ''[[VideoGame/LegacyOfKain Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain]]'', the player has the option of making a HeroicSacrifice for peace, or to rule over a broken land. Alas, peace doesn't make for good sequels... His choice turns the world into a blasted wasteland. [[spoiler:And it was the better choice for the world in the long run. It's complicated.]]
* ''VideoGame/MetalGear'':
** The original ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' has two endings; a "good" one where [[spoiler:Meryl lives]] and a "bad" one where [[spoiler:Snake finds her dead]]. ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'' doesn't directly mention Meryl, but Snake is wearing his bandana of ''[[BottomlessMagazines unlimited ammo]]'', a gift he got from Meryl in the "good" ending. While the book "In The Darkness of Shadow Moses" (Nastasha's [[FictionalDocument account of the events in the previous game from her perspective]]) suggests Meryl survived, the book "The Shocking Conspiracy Behind Shadow Moses" explains the main character found the bandanna on the beach and Snake took it from him (implying Meryl was never there to find it). Being deliberately confusing was one of ''Metal Gear Solid 2''[='=]s main themes. ''Not'' being deliberately confusing was one of ''VideoGame/{{Metal Gear Solid 4|GunsOfThePatriots}}''[='=]s, which had Meryl return in an awkward-ex-girlfriend role.
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPortableOps'' assumes the player left Raikov alive in the previous game, a character who was named, but not a boss characater, yet you notably did ''not'' get a [[NonStandardGameOver Time Paradox]] for murdering.
* In ''VideoGame/SplinterCell: Double Agent'', Fisher goes undercover with a terrorist group and is faced with the choice between committing [[IfYoureSoEvilEatThisKitten several murderous actions]] to maintain his cover or not do them at the risk of increasing suspicion. One of said choices, at the beginning of the final level, is [[spoiler:killing his boss, Colonel Irving Lambert, who was captured by the terrorists.]] ''Splinter Cell: Conviction'' confirmed that Sam Fisher [[spoiler:did in fact kill him.]]
** ''Conviction''[='=]s co-op campaign, set before the singleplayer, ends with [[spoiler:a quick-draw duel between Archer and Kestrel when Archer is ordered to kill Kestrel over his headset and Kestrel reads those orders on his [=OpSat=]; whoever survives is then promptly killed by Andriy Kobin.]] Singleplayer confirms [[spoiler:Archer as the "winner", as his body is on display in Kobin's mansion.]] ''Blacklist'' then adds some degree of TakeAThirdOption, as [[spoiler:Kestrel reappears, having simply been wounded by Archer.]]

[[folder:Survival Horror Game]]
* ''VideoGame/ClockTower'' uses this between the first and second games; during the S Ending, it was possible to have Ann or Laura survive, but the sequel confirms that Jennifer was the SoleSurvivor - meaning they join Lotte in the DoomedByCanon club. [[spoiler:The ending of the sequel confirms that Ending C was the canon ending, as there is a scene where Jennifer shrinks back at the mere mention of Dan's name, which she only learned in Ending C.]]
* The first two ''Franchise/FatalFrame'' games both have multiple endings, but the third game follows from the bad ending for both of them where [[spoiler: Mafuyu (in 1) and Mayu (in 2) die]]. By extension, the ''fifth'' game, canonically following the third game, also presumes that the bad ending [[spoiler: in the first game]] happened.
* ''Videogame/FiveNightsAtFreddys'' features an unlockable Custom Night, which one can play and, upon completion, get fired for (since you can modify the difficulty for the individual animatronics, which [[GameplayAndStoryIntegration is taken as tampering with them]]). The main character, Mike Schmidt, is said to be working the day shift in the Greenlight page for [[Videogame/FiveNightsAtFreddys2 the sequel]], suggesting that the Custom Night never happened. [[spoiler:Subverted when it's revealed that the second game is actually a prequel taking place in 1987]].
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil'' - Averted in the first game. Depending on which character the player uses (Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine), only three S.T.A.R.S. members escape from the mansion together in the best possible ending. While Barry disappears after the opening intro in Chris's storyline and Rebecca is nowhere to be seen in Jill's, the sequels assume that all four characters survived the events of the Mansion Incident.
** ''Resident Evil 2'' has two story paths depending on the order in which the player plays through both protagonists' storylines. ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil6'' follows the storyline from the Claire A/Leon B scenario, since it establishes that Sherry Birkin was injected with the G-virus vaccine, which never occurs in the Leon A/Claire B storyline.
** ''Resident Evil 3'' has two possible endings; one where Jill and Carlos escape by themselves after Nicolai gets killed by the Nemesis, and another ending where Jill and Carlos escape with Barry's help after Nicolai steals their escape chopper. In the latter ending, the player can still kill Nicolai when he tries to escape by blowing up his chopper, but the actual outcome doesn't change significantly. However, Nicolai's survival is referenced in ''Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles'', a spinoff game released almost decade later.
* ''VideoGame/SilentHill3'' asserts that ''VideoGame/SilentHill1'' ended with the Good Ending, but its UFO Ending has a MythologyGag to the UFO Endings of both its predecessor and ''VideoGame/SilentHill2''.
** ''VideoGame/SilentHillShatteredMemories'', on the other hand, can be seen as [[spoiler:a confirmation of the worst ending of the game, in which Harry was DeadAllAlong]].
** The only ending of ''VideoGame/SilentHillOrigins'' that is canon is the Good Ending, a necessity since it's a prequel.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Early the First Edition ''Advanced TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' adventure ''I6: Ravenloft'' (inspiration for the ''TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}}'' setting), there's a fortune-telling scene which [=DMs=] and players are encouraged to act out with real cards. Depending on the results, the BigBad may have any of four different evil schemes, and the [=MacGuffin=] and information which the heroes are looking for may be in any of four different places. A similar gimmick based on a prophetic hypnosis session was incorporated into the sequel, ''Ravenloft 2: House on Gryphon Hill''. When ''Ravenloft'' was reinvented as a full-fledged game setting, its designers Cut Off Branches that would have left the BigBad destroyed or banished from his castle, while averting this trope in other respects by never stating precisely what the heroes of those adventures had encountered.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}''[='=]s Adventure Paths often take place thousands of miles apart, so the effect the events of one have on another is minimal (necessary since no two playthroughs will be exactly the same). However, since a couple of them could potentially result in TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt, it can generally be assumed that the adventurers won in the end. For example, if the world isn't frozen solid after ''Reign of Winter''. Probably the biggest example of this trope is the ''Jade Regent'' path, which makes several assumptions about how ''Rise of the Runelords'' turned out; Ameiko is alive, her brother and father are dead, Shalelu survived, and Sandpoint has been rebuilt. If, for example, Ameiko ''isn't'' alive, the GM is encouraged to HandWave it by introducing [[RememberTheNewGuy her newly arrived]] [[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute half-sister]].

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* When ''VisualNovel/AkatsukiNoGoei'' got a sequel, they decided to go with one of the original game endings instead of just pretending the first game somehow didn't happen. That said, they went with the ''Kaoru'' ending, which is nothing more than a plot hook for the first half of the sequel and had no real resolution.
* With three very different storylines that diverge early on, the ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' anime and manga both had to choose somebody. The default storyline (Fate) was the logical choice; fans of Archer and Sakura were inevitably going to be disappointed. Nonetheless, anime the producers gave those fans what they could, such as [[spoiler:a Matou Zouken cameo, a magical outfit meant to suggest Dark Sakura, and BaitAndSwitchCredits where Shirou fights Archer]]. The manga also features elements from "Unlimited Blade Works" (such as Caster taking an earlier front seat as antagonist and Archer's open attempts to kill Shirou). In the end, though, fans of the "Unlimited Blade Works" scenario get the movie and second anime, and fans of "Heaven's Feel" get the upcoming second movie, extra material in ''Fate/hollow ataraxia'' and lots of {{doujin}} works.
* The manga based on the ''VideoGame/GalaxyAngel'' video games not only rules out the ending for Forte, Vanilla and eventually Mint, it also throws out much of the Milfeulle, Ranpha, Chitose and Shiva stories, as well as the overarching story. New scenes were invented in their place, giving Shiva a bigger role, having a LoveTriangle emerge between Milfeulle, Tact and one of the other girls (Ranpha in the first series, Chitose in the second) and turning Eonia into SchrodingersCat to facilitate a GeckoEnding.
** The romance events in the game were fairly secondary plot-wise and did not change the main story much.
* The sequel to ''VisualNovel/{{Juuzaengi}}'' continues on from Ryuubi's route only.
** Discussed in the Otomate Party 2013 event, after the sequel game announcement, where Sousou, Chouryou and Chouun promise the heroine that even if their relationship resets, they'll find a way to be together again and Kakouen [[spoiler: states wistfully if he gets a second chance, he'd spend it better with Kakouton and Kan'u.]]
* ''[[http://www.dressupgamesjr.com/kal2 Kaleidoscope Dating Sim 2]]'' is a rare example in which the ''joke'' ending of the original game is made canon. You see, the joke ending of ''Kaleidoscope Dating Sim 1'' featured the male protagonist Cero [[BalefulPolymorph turning into a mushroom]] [[YouAreWhoYouEat from eating too many mushrooms]] in the forest, and in the second game the female protagonist Soffie has a chance of finding a talking mushroom while gathering mushrooms in the same forest...
* The original animation of ''VisualNovel/{{Kanon}}'' leaves out large chunks of the Mai, Shiori and Makoto arcs, leaving them feeling rushed, contrived and [[AllThereInTheManual confusing]]. The remake largely fixed this problem, even addressing the jilted haremettes' romantic advances toward the [[UnluckyEverydude main character]] and having them [[CleaningUpRomanticLooseEnds get over it]] believably.
* For ''VisualNovel/KiraKira'', it's made clear in ''VisualNovel/{{Deardrops}}'' that Kirari's good route is the canon route.
* The ''Franchise/MuvLuv'' games not only have multiple story paths for ''Extra'' and ''Unlimited'', but [[spoiler: multiple universes and Groundhog Day loops]] too. The final game, ''Alternative'', has a linear plot that explicitly references ''multiple'' paths from the previous games.
* The second installment of the ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'' fan game ''VisualNovel/ProjectNA'' gives four possible endings (True, Bad, Blah, and Treasure). While the third and final installment has not yet been released, WordOfGod says that the True ending [[spoiler: where Matthew remembers his name as Canada and figures out how to use his powers with Alfred]] is naturally the ending the sequel will follow.
* ''VisualNovel/{{Sampaguita}}'', the third game of the VisualNovel series ''VisualNovel/{{Yarudora}}'', boasts three Good Endings, five Normal Endings, and twenty Bad Endings; so, when a Trading Card Collection set was made [[http://tradingcardsfan.conceptbb.com/t1458-sampaguita-trading-collection and released]], Good End 2 was chosen as the main storyline, while Good End 3, Normal End 2, Bad End 1, and Bad End 9 became Parallel Stories (and the remaining Endings not used at all).* ''VisualNovel/SchoolDays''. The original game allows for [[HandsomeLech Makoto]] to end up with one (or more) of several very different girls. Both the anime and manga adaptation, however, focus on the love triangle between Makoto, [[TheOjou Kotonoha]] and [[GirlNextDoor Sekai]], though they ultimately play out rather differently. The anime is an interesting case study -- it's what happens when you're determined to avoid ruling out as many ending as you can. Makoto hooks up with ''every'' girl he can end up with in the game and more besides. Trouble is, this by definition makes him an utter {{jerkass}}, and more or less demands his [[spoiler: eventual death]], followed by [[spoiler: Kotonoha killing Sekai and taking off [[AlasPoorYorick Makoto's head]].]]
* ''VisualNovel/{{Shuffle}}'' has an interesting subversion to this trope. Nerine got the first canon ending with the sequel ''Tick! Tack!''. Then Asa got the canon ending in the anime. Lisianthus got the canon ending in the manga. And finally Kaede got the canon ending in ''Really? Really!'' which ignores the events in ''Tick! Tack!'' Poor Primula has so far been left out as have all the other sub-heroines that get full routes in later games.
* ''VisualNovel/HatofulBoyfriend'' dodges the issue completely. The sequel ''Holiday Star'' specifically takes place on another timeline from any of the original game's routes, so no one is confirmed or denied as the heroine's boyfriend. [[MediumAwareness Ryouta breaks the fourth wall to explain this directly to the audience]].
* ''VisualNovel/NineHoursNinePersonsNineDoors'' has 6 endings, but only one of them is considered to be the "true" one. The sequel, ''VisualNovel/VirtuesLastReward'', takes place following said true ending, as if the other five didn't happen. The trope is played in an unorthodox way, though, because the true ending of 999 is possible thanks to a certain event in the Safe ending. All of this is largely because the inevitable VN SaveScumming is [[spoiler:actually Akane in the past viewing possible alternate futures in an effort to save her own life.]]

[[folder:Web Game]]
* The flash game ''[[http://zeiva.deviantart.com/art/Imaginary-Realm-1-44542195 Imaginary Realm]]'' has multiple endings which depend on how well you do in the cooking mini-game. [[spoiler:The canon ending is the worst possible one you can get, which you "earn" by cooking any of Rosey's recipes.]]

[[folder:Wide Open Sandbox]]
* In the ending of ''VideoGame/{{Mercenaries}}'', the Song regime is toppled and North Korea loses its nationhood. Depending on which faction you have the highest affinity with, it either gets reunited with South Korea, annexed into the People's Republic of China, or becomes a lawless backwater dominated by the Russian Mafiya. The sequel asserts that the second scenario is canonically what happened.
* ''Videogame/SaintsRowIV'' uses the [[spoiler:Save Shaundi]] ending of ''Videogame/SaintsRowTheThird''.
** Interestingly, the ''Enter the Dominatrix'' DLC, originally intended for ''the Third'' but eventually released for ''IV'', uses elements of ''both'' endings: Pierce is mayor of Steelport, implying that the previous mayor died in the Bad Ending, but Shaundi is still alive a la the Good Ending. [[AnimatedActors The characters]] {{lampshade}} this during the DLC's [[DVDCommentary running commentary]] as evidence of how nonsensical/stupid the plot is.


[[folder:Non Game Examples]]
* The film ''Film/{{Clue}}'' is a rare example of this being done for an adaptation of a board game. They don't cover all the possible killers - and, in fact, one of the endings is utterly impossible to achieve within the game - but the multiple endings get the basic point across.
* Being an online series, ''Machinima/RedVsBlue : The Bloodgulch Chronicles'' was able to be a rare non-video game example of this trope. The final episode had three different endings (four more were added in the DVD). When the series continued into Reconstruction, one of them was deemed canon. However, it was obvious which one was the real ending because none of the other 6 endings would work in a sequel. [[spoiler: In 4 of them, [[KillEmAll everybody dies]] and the other two reveal the series to have been AllJustADream (while also killing off either Grif or the entire Blue team respectively)]].