->''"Well then, we have finally come to your journey's true end. Our contract has been fulfilled. My own duties end here as well...You were truly a remarkable guest."''
-->-- '''Igor''', ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}''

Some games have bad endings, good endings, and one shining, wonderful Golden Ending; the best possible ending out of all the good ones. The Golden Ending may or may not be the CanonEnding, and sometimes WordOfGod will directly state which one they consider to be so. (And then [[FlipFlopOfGod make a sequel based on a different ending]].)

Games with golden endings tend to be a big source of debate and ire among gamers. The true ending [[OmegaEnding may only appear after you have seen all the other endings]], making the game feel artificially long just to get people to play the game more. When one ending is considered to be the true or CanonEnding, the other endings can contradict the main story and its characters, making the player feel like the story and characters [[GainaxEnding stop making sense]]. Sometimes, fans may not agree with the golden ending and prefer one of the alternative endings to be the true one, a source of FanonDiscontinuity.

See also: CuttingOffTheBranches, MultipleEndings, NonstandardGameOver, EverybodyLives, and EarnYourHappyEnding. Contrast EarnYourBadEnding, which is the polar opposite of this trope. NoFinalBossForYou is often mutually exclusive to this trope, but not always.

May overlap with StoryBranchFavoritism, EasyModeMockery, HundredPercentCompletion, and GoldenPath. In cases like these, the EleventhHourRanger and TrueFinalBoss might pop up as well.

Has nothing to do with GoldenMoment, even though a GoldenMoment comes at the ending of a story.

And of course: '''{{Ending Trope|s}}. Spoilers ahead!'''


* ''VideoGame/AsurasWrath'' has the DLC Content ''Part IV: Nirvana'', in which you fight the true mastermind behind the story.
* In ''VideoGame/MaxPayne2'', you can achieve an ending which [[spoiler:Mona Sax survives]], after finishing the game in the highest difficulty. Unfortunately, [[spoiler:due to the events of ''Max Payne 3'', this ending is revealed to be non-canon]].
* In the ''VideoGame/GundamVsSeries'' entry ''Gundam vs. Zeta Gundam'', the game's story mode goes from playing the game straight through canon to hitting every WhatIf scenario you can, ultimately leading to each of the game's three factions — Federation/[=AEUG=], Zeon/Neo Zeon, and the Titans — bringing peace to the world and space. In their own way.

[[folder:Action Adventure]]
* The ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' series has had this several times. In five games (''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaIISimonsQuest Simon's Quest]]'', ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight Symphony of the Night]]'', ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaHarmonyOfDissonance Harmony of Dissonance]]'', ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaAriaOfSorrow Aria of Sorrow]]'', and ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaDawnOfSorrow Dawn of Sorrow]]''), it takes the form of a neutral ending, a bad ending, and the best ending. Oddly, the neutral ending is often the 'worst' ending, in that it takes the least work to acquire. Others have usually just had two endings, a bad one and a good one.
* There are three endings in ''VideoGame/CaveStory'': The bad one, where everyone but you and one other character dies, the good one, where you stop the villain but many main characters still die, and the best one, where only a few main characters die and the cycle of evil is permanently stopped.
* In ''VideoGame/TheForceUnleashed'', there is the canon one, where the Rebellion is saved, and another [[spoiler:where you end up as a tool of Palpatine and have become a Sith Stalker]].
* In ''VideoGame/ShadowsOfTheEmpire'', the 'Easy' and 'Medium' modes end with Luke and Leia reunited at the rebel outpost, believing Dash to be dead after Xizor's skyhook blew, followed by a black screen that asks the question: "Did Dash really die?", urging the player to proceed to the next difficulty mode. At the end of the 'Hard' and 'Jedi', modes, the outpost aftermath scene is followed by a surprise scene that lets the player know that Dash survived. As the Outrider flies through a hyperspace vacuum, Dash exclaims that their escape was "one for the books". When his droid co-pilot, Leebo, asks Dash why he doesn't want everyone to know that they survived, Dash justifies keeping it secret because 1) Dash was never really paid, and 2) Xizor's thugs are out looking for him. Dash punctuates the ending with the casual remark: "Besides, it's better to be remembered as a martyr and still be alive, right?", and the Outrider flies away.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Phantom 2040}}'' purportedly has 20 different endings. However, only two of those possible outcomes don't feature [[http://img517.imageshack.us/img517/3935/wellcrap.png this]].
** Numerous sources discussing the game even ''called'' the "Things don't go boom" endings "Golden Endings".
** [[GuideDangIt And good luck doing everything right to get one of those two endings.]] Oh, and there wasn't a strategy guide, so you had to figure it out on your own.
* ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaWarriorWithin'' features two endings — one where you destroy the Dahaka and get the girl, and another where the girl dies and the Dahaka still exists but is no longer after you. The bad ending results from you not getting [[OneHundredPercentCompletion all the life upgrades]] and the InfinityPlusOneSword.
** Particularly infuriating because many of the life upgrades are really well hidden, sometimes in places you have to backtrack to [[GuideDangIt without any indication whatsoever]] that anything would be there, and quite a few of them can be {{Permanently Missable|Content}}. Made worse by the fact that failing to collect them also means a less effective weapon and a smaller life bar in the final stretch.
** Bypassed entirely on the Gamecube, which gave out life upgrades as you progressed through the game. [[UnwinnableByMistake This caused a major glitch which could make the game unwinnable]]: the glitch goes unnoticed until the very end of the game, when the doors in the [[BigBad Dahaka's]] room never open.
* In ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil'' and its remake, either character path had four endings — one in which the player alone survives; one in which the player rescues the other main character but the support character is killed; one in which the support character survives but the player fails to rescue the other main character; and one in which both main characters and the support character get away.
** Interestingly, ''none'' of them is the canon ending. According to canon, Jill, Chris, Rebecca, ''and'' Barry all escape the mansion alive, but it's impossible to achieve that in-game because Rebecca and Barry never show up in Jill and Chris's games, respectively.
* In ''Videogame/{{Guacamelee}}'', getting the best ending requires the player to gather five of the six Orbs of Chac Mool (you get the last one for beating the final boss). This requires you to find and complete several brutally difficult platforming challenges as well as a combat arena. The end result is that [[spoiler:[[DistressedDamsel El Presidente's Daughter]] survives Calaca's ritual and she and Juan go on to live out a very happy life]].
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild'', the best ending is unlocked by defeating Ganon after recovering all of Link's memories and restoring all four Divine Beasts. After Calamity Ganon is vanquished, Zelda and Link both vow to work together to restore Hyrule to its former glory.

[[folder:Adventure Game]]
* ''VideoGame/BadMojo'' has four endings; only one is good, though, and to get it, you have to meet certain conditions near the end of the game.
* ''VideoGame/ConquestsOfTheLongbow'' had four different endings, each for a different level of player success. Having been captured by the Sheriff of Nottingham, the game's hero Robin Hood is tried for outlawry by the newly returned UsefulNotes/RichardTheLionheart. In the worst ending, Robin is convicted and hanged for his crimes. In the two intermediate endings, Robin and his men are pardoned, but he is not allowed to marry Maid Marian, and the wicked Sheriff remains in office. In the best ending, though, the Sheriff of Nottingham is arrested for his treason and replaced by Little John; the Abbott and the Prior of two groups of corrupted monks are exiled from Nottingham; Robin is ennobled as the Earl of Huntingdon; and Friar Tuck, who is named the new Abbott, presides over the wedding of Robin and Marian, with King Richard in attendance as a guest.
* The endings in ''VideoGame/HeavyRain'' show what happens to each of the game's playable characters. The best ending combination is usually with [[spoiler:Ethan and Madison becoming a couple and moving into a new apartment with Shaun, with Jayden being hailed as a hero for stopping the Origami Killer and later quits triptocaine cold turkey even though he'll go through withdrawal, and with Lauren spitting on Shelby's grave after he was revealed as the Origami Killer]]. However, writer and lead designer David Cage has said he personally prefers the ending where EverybodyDies.
* Completing ''VideoGame/KingsQuestVIHeirTodayGoneTomorrow'' ends at the same place (Alex marrying Cassima), but varies wildly depending on whether you took the long path or the short path. The golden ending requires the long path, which means solving more puzzles, and ends with Alex discovering [[spoiler:Alhazred stole the treasures of the other islands and set them up for civil war by having them blame each other. The long-path ending also involves restoring Cassima's parents to life, being able to rescue the genie, and getting your ring out of hock]]. In that ending, the wedding hall is crammed. [[spoiler:The rulers of the other islands show up, the genie having repaired the ferry. The genie is also able to bring the Daventry royal family there. Cassima's rescued parents are delighted, but decide to abdicate in favor of Alexander and Cassima. Jollo starts dancing for joy and does tricks for everyone after the ceremony is over.]]
** In ''VideoGame/KingsQuestIVThePerilsOfRosella'', if Rosella doesn't complete a certain (easily missed) SideQuest of getting a fruit from a magic tree, her father will die upon her return. If she does do it, and is lucky enough to never run into the [[DemonicSpiders troll in the cave]], he'll live for many more years and see his grandchildren.
* ''VideoGame/{{Primordia}}'' has several endings, most of which are nihilistic: you can destroy Metropol, join the BigBad, get killed, commit suicide, or threaten your way out and return home... only to erase your bitter memories of your fallen friends and start from scratch, if you haven't bothered to save them. To get a better ending, you have to prevent or revert deaths of several characters, and in the case of the best possible variation of the best ending, you also have to solve a couple of additional puzzles without extra help — which, needless to say, [[EarnYourHappyEnding requires a lot of work]]. Getting anything close to a "victory" feeling involves obtaining a certain item which can be ''missed by accident'', and even after you're on the right path, you still have to figure out the most appropriate way to deal with the villains, and ''still'' have to do everything else the best way possible. Of course, due to [[CrapsackWorld the setting]], even the happier endings still have a bittersweet tinge to them, and WordOfGod does not specify any ending as canon, stating that the players are free to interpret Horatio's character however they like.
* ''VideoGame/{{Rime}}'' has two endings: The common ending has [[spoiler: the deceased son show up in his room to comfort his father]], while the Golden one has [[spoiler: his deceased wife join them as well]].
* ''VideoGame/TitanicAdventureOutOfTime'': the best ending (where you get all the vital historical items) results in a world of peace and prosperity, where UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, the Russian Revolution, and UsefulNotes/WorldWarII never happened and the Nazis never even exist. This, incidentally, is also the only ending where you're not violently killed.
** The objects you find prevent Archduke Ferdinand from being assassinated, results in the names of Russian Revolutionists being handed to the Czar, and make Adolf Hitler finally achieve success [[HistoricalVillainDowngrade in painting.]]
* ''VideoGame/TheWhiteChamber'' has four "You have died" endings and four standard ones, but the only one that gives a remotely happy ending to the protagonist is the "[[RedemptionEqualsLife Redemption]]" ending.

[[folder:Beat 'em Up]]
* ''VideoGame/StreetsOfRage'' had two endings. The default is the obviously good ending where you defeat Mr. X and save the city, setting up the events for the sequel. The other ending can only be achieved by reaching Mr. X in a 2-player game and have one player accept Mr. X's offer to join him and the other player refuse the offer. This will force both players to fight each other to the death. The winner can then fight Mr. X to overthrow him and become the new crime lord, making this a bad ending. The 3rd game had several endings ranging from "[[EasyModeMockery you suck for playing on Easy mode so no good ending for you]]" to "you stopped the bad guy but not quick enough to save the city." The golden ending here is when you defeat Mr. X within the time limit, preventing the bombs from blowing up the city.

[[folder:First Person Shooter]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{BioShock 1}}'' and ''[[VideoGame/BioShock2 2]]'', this happens. Three bad endings in each, resulting from Little Sisters being killed, with only one good ending.
* In a first for the series, ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps2'' has multiple variations of the ending, with several story points providing a total of four distinct sets of variations.
** The most obvious one is whether or not Karma is saved, either in the mission where she is first encountered or the "Second Chance" side mission, but her survival is ''also'' dependent on letting Farid kill Harper in "Achilles' Veil", as the double agent has to be present to stop one of Menendez's men from killing her in "Odysseus".
** Alex Mason can be saved, via the player shooting him in the legs instead of the head, causing him to appear at the end of the game at the Vault; if he isn't saved, his son David retires at the end of the game.
** If Menendez is spared at the end of the game, but Karma isn't alive, Menendez breaks out of prison a year later (during the Cordis Die attack) and kills Woods before going to Josefina's grave and lighting himself on fire. If Menendez is captured and Karma is alive, she foils the Celerium worm and gloats about it on TV while he rots in prison. The best ending has everyone alive except for Harper.
* The ''Videogame/HalfLife1'' mod ''VideoGame/AfraidOfMonsters'' has three bad endings and one good ending. [[spoiler:The three bad endings can all technically be considered different parts of the same ending, with the main character in one ending being surrounded in a house by the police, being interrogated by an officer in another ending, and having hanged himself in his cell in the third ending. The final ending results in him being forgiven for his sins and recovering in the hospital the game started at from a drug overdose.]]
* Collecting all 29 audio files in the Mombasa Streets level of ''VideoGame/Halo3ODST'' changes a short section of the Data Hive level; namely, you can access the 30th and final audio file of the game. If you get all 30 audio files, you will actually end up knowing more about what's going on than the intelligence officer who gave you your mission! One of the final cutscenes changes too, in that instead of Dare stopping the Rookie from shooting the Engineer, it's the other way around.
* ''VideoGame/{{STALKER}}'' has 7 endings. 5 are bad, and are based around the "Wishmaker", the alien device that lures people who get inside the nuclear reactor, like a [[JackassGenie genie twisting wishes]]. The other 2 are based upon rejecting the Wishmaker and going deeper, finding the true plot endings. The 6th is a true ending but not a good ending (it's a neutral Status Quo option), whilst only the 7th resolves the plot and saves everyone; it was naturally picked as the canon ending for the sequel ''Call of Pripyat''.

[[folder:Hack and Slash]]
* [[EarnYourBadEnding Inverted]] in ''VideoGame/{{Drakengard}}''; the first ending is the happiest, and things rapidly go downhill from there. The final ending that requires HundredPercentCompletion is a ShootTheShaggyDog story. And ''then'' [[FromBadToWorse it gets even worse]] in ''VideoGame/{{NieR}}''.
** Of course, it may be a question of which ending is best for the world, not the heroes, since ending one is the one that leads to the sequel, which shows that not all is well just because you got the happy ending...
** And in the second game, the last ending you'll get is actually positive and upbeat. But you literally have to [[EarnYourHappyEnding earn]] the ending by beating the highest difficulty in the game, [[HarderThanHard Extreme Mode]].
*** Played straight in the "prequel" ''VideoGame/{{Drakengard 3}}''. Bad news, all of the above's previous happy endings were retconned: [[spoiler:it turns out that ''Drakengard'' is set in ancient EARTH, meaning that any of the previous bad endings prevent Tokyo from EXISTING as it was in ''Drakengard 1'''s Ending E. To screw things over further, ''Drakengard 2'' Ending C was retconned by connecting it to said 1-E; TimeyWimeyBall says that's where the Grotesquerie Queen ended up. And yeah, all shades in ''Nier'' go insane about a thousand years before the aliens show up, and Emil fights them himself]]. Good news, a time-traveler (if you think this breaks narrative causality, see 2-C == 1-E) manipulates events so that the Grotesqueries' asses are kicked in ending D. And even though there's still a good chance of Earth getting screwed over, it turns out that she's not alone...
** Played Straight in the ''NieR'' sequel, ''VideoGame/NieRAutomata'' with its final Ending: E. [[spoiler:After 9S and A2 have a MutualKill, Adam and Eve state that their conciousness has been uploaded to the Ark, and that the Machine Lifeforms will wander to another planet in an attempt to finally find piece after the war. After that, the Pods go against their code to irreversibly destroy the three fallen Androids, and after an uplifting playable credit scene 2B, 9S, and A2 are all rebuilt, and their fate is left to the player's interpretation. Afterwards, the player is given the option to send aid to another randomly selected player for the final BulletHell sequence of the game, but in so doing, they must consent to [[HeroicSacrifice the deletion of all save data]].]]
* Wu's hypothetical ending in ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriors 8'': [[spoiler:Sun Quan restores the Emperor to power, but keeps all three kingdoms alive as dukedoms with their respective leaders in charge. The only leader (in fact, the only character, period) to not survive is Cao Cao, who is DrivenToSuicide by not being able to realize his ambition. All other hypothetical endings have casualties on the other sides (especially Wei, who basically annihilates the other kingdoms), while Wu's is the one that resolves things most peacefully and happily for everyone]].
** VideoGame/MusouStars has 15 different endings for the player to explore. The game's story revolves around 3 different factions fighting for power. There are 4 endings for each faction; one is the ending for that faction's overall story, while the other 3 are exclusive to specific sets of characters. The remaining 3 endings are for when [[spoiler:the 3 factions realize their common enemy and join forces together. Out of these three remaining endings, one of them is the true, best ending, where Sayo is successfully released from Yomi's possession, and the heroes purify Yomi and restore her to her divine state.]]
* ''VideoGame/TheWitchAndTheHundredKnight'' has a twist on this. The "True Ending" is actually just what's prophecized by Lucchini, where in the middle of you and Metallia fighting him and his father, the Hundred Knight disappears and the game just ends. The Bad Ending is where, by way of defeating three {{Bonus Boss}}es across the game before getting to that point, Lucchini's prophecy is wrong and you get to play through the rest of the chapter and the next two to fix things and get an actual happy ending. Some players have hypothesized that the developers deliberately mistitled the endings [[ItAmusedMe for shits and giggles]].
* While ''VideoGame/NightsOfAzure'' has multiple normal endings based on the RelationshipValues between [[GirlsLove Arnice and Lily]], getting the True Ending requires completing the game normally, loading the completed game file, completing all the side-quests that appear (which includes beating two {{Bonus Boss}}es), before beating the FinalBoss again. Only then will you get the ending where [[spoiler:the world is saved and Arnice and Lily remain together]].

[[folder:Interactive Fiction]]
* Infocom's ''Deadline'' has a number of endings where you arrest a suspect, but fail to get a conviction due to not enough evidence. There's also an ending where you arrest the murderer and get him convicted, but after he's murdered his accomplice. And there's a variant of that where he's only found guilty of the accomplice's death because you didn't have enough evidence to link him with the original murder. The best ending has both the guilty parties behind bars, and an optional summary of the case outlining the murderer's motive for the crime.
* Infocom's ''Suspect'' has one clear Golden Ending and two not-so golden endings. In two of the not-so golden endings, you spook the two guilty parties, and they attempt to leave the grounds to avoid being arrested. Depending on your timing, this leads to two variants of the not-so golden ending: One where one of the parties is accidentally killed trying to escape while the other gets away, and the other while the first one is still killed but the other one is caught. The best ending, of course, is when both are arrested before they try to leave the grounds, and you get a lengthy epilogue text summarizing the case.
* Creator/{{Infocom}}'s ''VideoGame/{{Planetfall}}'' has three endings: one where you fail to save the planet and it is doomed to plunge into the sun, another where you save the planet but fail to fix the communication system or the planetary defense system and therefore are stuck there (but given the consolation prize of an unlimited bank account and a home in the country), and the best ending, where not only is the planet saved and you are found by the Stellar Patrol, but all the loose ends are tied up: Your RobotBuddy (who earlier made a HeroicSacrifice) is repaired, your JerkAss boss is demoted to toilet scrubber, and the game's red herrings are lampshaded.
* ''VideoGame/PlunderedHearts'', Infocom's first and only attempt at a pirate-themed historical romance with a set female protagonist, has four different endings: one where you as the heroine flee from the final showdown (abandoning everyone else to presumably die), take over Captain Jamison's vessel as "Pirate Queen", and vow revenge on the villains; another where you as the heroine thwart an attempt on Captain Jamison's life by startling the attacker but are mortally wounded in the process; another where you thwart the attacker with a slingshot but the heroine's father dies in the process; and lastly, the best possible ending where the bad guys are defeated, the heroine's father reclaims ownership of the island from the now-deceased villain, and the heroine and Captain Jamison sail off together happily.
* In ''Literature/MurderAtColefaxManor'', the golden ending occurs [[spoiler:if you find the evidence in the caverns and don't set off the dynamite, Lord Colefax and his associates end up arrested, the {{cult}} is revealed to the public, you achieve nation-wide fame, and you are promoted to chief inspector]].


* The ''SonicTheHedgehog'' series has had always had good and neutral endings since the beginning, usually boiling down to whether or not Eggman successfully got away with any of the [[MineralMacGuffin Chaos Emeralds]] after his defeat. As of VideoGame/SonicAdventure, there's usually a series of misleadingly happy endings at the end of each character/team's storyline, only to reveal the TrueFinalBoss and real good (though usually [[BittersweetEnding somewhat bittersweet]]) ending once you've gotten all Emeralds or completed all story paths.
** The (arguable spinoff) game ''VideoGame/{{Shadow the Hedgehog}}'' has many endings ranging from good to bad to so-so depending on what objective you took (help the good guys defend the planet against the aliens, help the aliens wipe out the good guys, or just plow on and ignore all of them). [[OmegaEnding The only way to get the true ending is to replay the game repeatedly and get all ten of the endings.]] Once that's done, the [[TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon Last Story]] will become available, and the TrueFinalBoss will reveal himself.
*** [[spoiler:It's Black Doom's OneWingedAngel form]], continuing the tradition of having the final battle consist of the [[EleventhHourSuperpower superpowered hero]] going up against the superpowered villain or the superpowered monster he unleashed [[spoiler:(Black Doom[[note]]or "Devil Doom", as he's known in his One-Winged Angel form[[/note]] falling into the former category)]]. Of course, the Last Story [[ButThouMust throws out the whole "you decide Shadow's moral path" gimmick]], although this is justified by the fact that [[StatusQuoIsGod the Status Quo would be radically altered]] if Shadow [[spoiler:killed Eggman and took his place]], and the possibility of a sequel would be totally ''murdered'' if Shadow sided with the Black Arms [[spoiler:and helped Black Doom achieve his aims [[ToServeMan to "serve" the entire Earth]]]].
** Interestingly, future games seem to imply that the ''bad ending'' of ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehogCD'' (where Sonic fails to save Little Planet) is the canon ending. ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog4 Episode II'' picks up immediately where ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehogCD'' left off, showing the defeated Metal Sonic after his race with Sonic in that game — in Stardust Speedway ''Bad Future''. In ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehogCD'', if you get Stardust Speedway Bad Future, it's impossible to get the good ending, because the next stage after that is the FinalBoss, which means that canonically, Sonic fails in that game.
** ''VideoGame/Sonic3AndKnuckles'' has three endings per character: the bad ending, where you don't get a complete set of MacGuffin Emeralds[[note]]that is, either fail to acquire all of the Chaos Emeralds, and[=/=]or [[DoWellButNotPerfect acquire at least one but not all of the Super Emeralds]][[/note]], the good ending, where you get all of the Chaos Emeralds but none of the Super Emeralds, and the best ending, where you get all the Super Emeralds. The good ending for Sonic's story leads directly into Knuckles's story, via TheStinger showing the Eggrobo that becomes Knuckles's recurring boss rising from the wreckage of the Death Egg. Getting the best ending with all three characters, then beating the game with Sonic (and getting the best ending) again, shows an extra scene of the three main characters posing in front of the game's logo.
* In ''VideoGame/WarioLand'', if you get all the treasures and 99,999 coins, Wario would [[spoiler:get his own planet!]]. Oddly enough, if you don't collect all the treasures and make up the difference with coins instead, Wario will go to the ending with five bags of money instead of six — and fail to get the Golden Ending. [[FridgeLogic Even though the bags contain 99,999 coins in either case.]]
* Namco's arcade game ''VideoGame/YoukaiDouchuuki'' has five endings depending on your performance in the final level. Successfully completing it without killing any enemies or taking any money will send you to the Golden Ending, which is Heaven. in the Famicom port, a sixth ending is added that depicts Tarosuke going to a party alongside other Namco characters, where he becomes a legend.
* ''VideoGame/ClarencesBigChance'': [[spoiler:The two fall in LoveAtFirstSight, and CoitusEnsues. Clarence, beyond all belief, is able to not screw up his new-found relationship, and he and the girl are HappilyMarried and spend the rest of their days together.]] [[CuttingOffTheBranches This is the canon ending, and leads into the sequel.]]

[[folder:Puzzle Game]]
* ''[[VideoGame/TheSeventhGuest The 11th Hour]]'' has three possible endings, only one of which is good.
* ''Videogame/{{Riven}}'' has at least seven different bad endings. Most notably, one of them punishes SequenceBreaking by having the character get shot and then ''fall into primal chaos as the world ends around them''. Not for the faint of heart.
** In fact, all the Myst games are like this. ''Myst'' has four different endings, following the "3 Bad, 1 Golden" formula. ''Myst III: Exile'' has four endings where you die, one really stupid mistake ending, one WhatTheHellPlayer ending, and one Golden Ending. That's a total of no less than six ways to screw up and only one correct solution. ''Myst IV: Revelation'' is much tamer, having only three endings (two of which are bad and one of which is Golden), and ''Myst V: End of Ages'' also has three (one causes [[NiceJobBreakingItHero immediate, noticeable failure]], one's effects [[UnwinnableByDesign aren't apparent until you realize you can't use the]] {{MacGuffin}} [[UnwinnableByDesign anymore and have no choice but to meet with the baddie]], [[YouHaveFailedMe whom you have failed]], and [[TakeAThirdOption the final one]], which is rather unapparent at first, is the Golden Ending).
** One thing that really sets the Myst games apart is that while there is one ending that's is not ''bad'', per se...you achieve your objective and return home alive at the expense of someone else's personal tragedy, which a lot of people would consider a perfectly acceptable outcome...the game does ''not'' treat it as a victory, and in fact ONLY the Golden Ending is ''ever'' canon regarding future games. In particular, if you only get the ending where you trap Gehn but leave Catherine to her doom in Riven, the ''entire premise'' of Exile will make no sense whatsoever.
* The ''{{VideoGame/Portal 2}}'' mod ''Aperture Tag'' normally ends with the player character being incinerated. You can deactivate the incinerator in the final test chamber, and if you do so, you will instead be led to an escape elevator.
* ''VideoGame/PapersPlease'' has 20 possible endings, 17 of which are either bad endings or [[BittersweetEnding bittersweet endings]] at best. However if the player makes all the right choices depending on the path they choose, they could possibly earn one of the three golden endings; Either the inspector and all of his family members flee the country to start a new life, the inspector aids a radical agency and successfully overthrows their totalitarian government and receives a new job as an agent, or the inspector does a sufficient job at their post, receives a positive performance review, and is allowed to keep their job. Meanwhile, the government is making efforts to make peace with an enemy country.
* In ''VideoGame/TheTalosPrinciple'', two of the three endings can be considered this. After completing all the basic puzzles and unlocking the (definitely non-golden) Eternal Life ending, you have to solve two different sets of puzzles (which overlap in that you have to get to the top of the tower for both) in order to unlock one of the two other endings. One is called Free Will, which involves one hard, timed puzzle at the top of the tower. In this ending, you finally fulfill the plan of the creators of the simulation, making this narratively the golden ending. The other, Blessed Messenger, requires finding all the stars and solving some extra puzzles, making it the most difficult to achieve, thus it is the golden ending gameplay-wise.

* ''VideoGame/NeedForSpeed 2015'' has six different endings, five of which are the respective endings for the five career paths. The sixth and final one becomes available after completing all five of the career paths and winning the final two races that are given to you — doubling it also as an OmegaEnding. Said ending shows [[spoiler:[[GroupPictureEnding the main cast and the five Icons having a group photo]] after a party [[BookEnds in the same club where the entire story began]]]].

[[folder:Raising Sim]]
* ''VideoGame/PrincessMaker'' has many possible endings, but since the goal is for the girl to become a princess, most of them technically represent failure.
** Despite the name, in ''VideoGame/PrincessMaker2'', the objective is to [[spoiler:see just how powerful humans can become]]. The Hero endings are just as good as the Queen Regnant ending for ScoringPoints, though ''arguably'' less cool.

[[folder:Real-Time Strategy]]
* ''[[VideoGame/DawnOfWar Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising]]'' has a Golden Ending that requires the player to keep all squads free of corruption. This makes a few missions difficult and cuts off a number of abilities and items; for example, a "Pure" squad gains a Bonus Trait. A "corrupt" squad can gain as many as ''four'' Bonus Traits. Furthermore, most items that increase corruption have higher stats (they also tend to trigger more and more corruption with use), while those that decrease corruption do little else (tying up the slot they're in) and have drawbacks. However, the Golden Ending makes all this worthwhile: the traitor is [[spoiler:Techmarine Martellus, meaning all of the playable squads survive]], the sources of corruption within the chapter are either destroyed or exposed, Captain Diomedes (who had been misled by his corrupted brothers, but not corrupted himself) is alive, Sub-Sector Aurelia (and thus the future of the Blood Ravens) is secured, and all three champions of Chaos are either dead or [[SealedEvilInACan back in their can]].
** Sadly, the Golden Ending is non-canon. The traitor is [[spoiler:Avitus. Eliphas is alive as well, but it's implied he still died and found a way to come BackFromTheDead. Captain Diomedes was spared and Martellus is still alive.]]
* The first VideoGame/{{Pikmin}} game has multiple endings — one if you fail to collect everything in time, one if you collect enough to get off the planet but not everything, and the golden ending if you can get everything in time.
** ''Pikmin 3'' does something similar, wherein if you beat the final boss and end the game before you get all of the fruits in the game, you will get an ending that states that the heroes' homeworld has been saved for now, but they're only kicking the can down the road on the species' starvation, whereas if you get all the fruit, you get a much more upbeat ending extolling the virtues of teamwork and stating that the planet was never again in danger of mass starvation.

* In ''VideoGame/PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaPortable'', the best ending ensures that [[spoiler:Madoka remains a MuggleBestFriend, and the {{Magical Girl}}s themselves [[EverybodyLives survive]] and accept their unfortunate circumstances]]. Though this is [[OnlyTheLeadsGetAHappyEnding the best ending for the girls]], it is not so for the rest of the world[[note]]that would be the ending that follows the path of the original anime[[/note]] since [[spoiler:Madoka deciding not to become a magical girl means that she can't defeat all witches before they are born, thereby dooming all magical girls to become witches like they always have]], and even the heroes can only look forward to [[spoiler:dying in battle one day]].
* ''VideoGame/EnterTheGungeon'' has [[spoiler:the sixth chamber, Bullet Hell. Defeating the [[OurLichesAreDifferent Lich]] in this level results in the player character being flung out of the Gungeon, instead of being placed back in the Breach if they took the Gun that can Kill the Past.]]
* An inverted example in ''VideoGame/TheBindingOfIsaac'': [[spoiler:Ending 1, the first and easiest ending to get, is the only one in which Isaac may survive]].


[[folder:Role Playing Game]]
* Marriage with Marian and all three allies alive in ''VideoGame/TheAdventuresOfRobinHood''.
* The VideoGame/RPGMaker game ''VideoGame/AlterAILA'' appears to have three paths through the game. None of these paths, however, leads to any resolution for the CrapsackWorld you're in; in every case, [[HereWeGoAgain the war continues]] [[MeetTheNewBoss with a new resistance and a new tyrant]]. However, if you complete all three paths via NewGamePlus, you unlock a fourth path to [[OmegaEnding the true ending]], where you [[TakeAThirdOption Take A Fourth Option]] that lets you discover and resolve the real secrets of the setting, including just why [[spoiler:White]] was destined for a FaceHeelTurn if he survived, and why Green's allegiance was a UsefulNotes/SchrodingersCat in the other paths.
* ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireII'' features a Golden Ending that's [[GuideDangIt diabolically well-hidden]] ([[ItWasHisSled if you're trying to avoid spoilers, that is]]). First, you need to spare the old man at the end of the Cathedral who's begging you to kill him; given that the machine he's hooked up to is trying to kill ''you,'' and consists of a multi-part boss (which you can't use multi-target spells on, since they'd hit the old man), that's easier said than done. Second, you need to find the engineer hidden in the town of Guntz. Finally, you need to upgrade your Township to the point where you can access the well (and some upgrades will perma-lock you out of getting said well); if you've done everything else up to this point, the engineer and the old man will get the Flying Fortress hidden under the town running again, giving you a mobile base of operations. If you haven't done all this, then in the Normal Ending, Ryu will [[HeroicSacrifice sacrifice himself]] to seal away the BigBad; if you have, however, the old man will perform a ColonyDrop on the Gate, sealing it permanently.
* ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' featured two golden endings, two bad endings (acquired by losing to Lavos or to Magus), and several so-so endings. Out of the two golden ones, the ending in which the Epoch is crashed (the "Balloon Ending") is considered the canon ending, with the "Epoch Ending" being a close second. The other endings don't necessarily wrap up all the plot threads, or are just plain silly (such as Marle and Lucca ranking every male character in the game).
** [[EarnYourBadEnding Inverted]] in the DS remake: the 'real final 100%' ending is actually the one where they reveal that [[UnwittingPawn you screwed up]] [[NiceJobBreakingItHero big time]], tying it to ''VideoGame/ChronoCross''. All the others are pretty cheery/cheesy.
** ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'', meanwhile, has two different main endings depending on how you beat the final boss after going through the entire plot. The bad end simply treats you to a cutscene of the final boss [[VillainExitStageLeft escaping through a portal]]. If you jump through a few [[GuideDangIt very well-hidden]] hoops, then you get the Golden Ending. After getting it, though, you can move on to the NewGamePlus and go after the 8+ other endings.
* The ''Franchise/CodeGeass'' RPG for UsefulNotes/NintendoDS (which covers only the first season) has quite a few branching paths. You can get the standard ending, which is technically kind of bad, you can get a number of terrible {{Non Standard Game Over}}s (including [[spoiler:accidentally driving Nunnally to suicide by saying C.C. is her new mother, or turning Shirley into a vegetable by Geassing her to "forget everything"]]), an "I Guess This Is A Happy Ending" ([[spoiler:choose not to go to Euphemia's ceremony, everything goes off without a hitch]]), and the Golden Ending ([[spoiler:Euphemia lives, Suzaku joins you of his own free will, and your forces go on to defeat the evil twins Castor and Pollux, who are out to kill people ForTheEvulz]]).
* ''Any'' Compile Heart game is going to follow this route:
** ''VideoGame/CrossEdge'' may be the most infuriating of the bunch, because [[GuideDangIt you will need a guide]] just to even know whether you're supposed to kill said character during said battle, view said event at said place, all while having a high random encounter rate. Fail or miss even ''one'' of them, and say goodbye to your Golden Ending.
** The first ''VideoGame/AgarestSenki'' game was infuriating considering that to get the Golden Ending for ''each'' generation, you had to be at a certain KarmaMeter with all three {{Love Interest|s}} at maxed out value at the end of the generation. [[spoiler:And then the game doesn't even tell you that to get the Golden Ending, you need to be at ''neutral'' meter, and that's not even going to getting ''all'' the final generation characters, Dyshana being the hardest of the bunch.]]
** The other two games are a lot easier because it doesn't employ the KarmaMeter anymore and you also have a way to track down what percentage your LoveInterest is at. And even then, you could still [[PermanentlyMissableContent get screwed]] in the third game, because every single event is time-specific.
** ''VideoGame/HyperdimensionNeptunia'' may be a bit easier than the previous Compile Heart game examples, but it's still a GuideDangIt because you wouldn't know how the Share system works the first time you play it. Nor does the game ever mention that if Neptune dies in a battle, some of her shares are lost permanently. Said shares are needed to recruit the goddesses. Fortunately, it's obvious that you need all three goddesses to get the Golden Ending, but the ''how'' part is another story.
** ''VideoGame/HyperdimensionNeptuniaMk2'' is the easiest of the bunch, but without looking up a guide, it's still pretty damn hard, because you could accidentally screw yourself with one of the goddesses’ endings. [[spoiler:You'd need at ''least'' 15% global share for all four cities.]] Anything else below that, and say goodbye to your Golden Ending. Although ironically, getting the DownerEnding is the ''[[EarnYourBadEnding hardest]]'' of the bunch because you'd need to do a lot of stuff that takes a ''long'' time to accomplish. It does give Nepgear her InfinityPlusOneSword at the end of it, though, and you get to keep it in a NewGamePlus.
** ''VideoGame/HyperdimensionNeptuniaVictory'' requires you to see a series of optional events during the childhoods of IF, Compa, and Peashy, leading you to acquiring seemingly irrelevant mementos of their various shenanigans growing up with Neptune and Plutia. [[GuideDangIt There is no indication that these are relevant in any way or when they pop up for viewing.]] [[ChekhovsGun These later turn out to be vitally important]] in restoring a BrainwashedAndCrazy Peashy to normal, averting the bad ending route. Note that missing just one will lock you out of the better endings. Afterwards, depending on whether you see ''another'' series of completely optional events in a number of different dungeons, you may either go to the Good or True Endings. The dungeons in question need to be unlocked via the Scout System, and [[LuckBasedMission there is absolutely no way to influence the likelihood of these dungeons unlocking.]] However, there’s a good chance that a thorough player will eventually unlock those dungeons simply by playing the game.
** ''VideoGame/MegadimensionNeptuniaVII'' continues the trend. Getting the Good ending simply requires watching four very obvious and well-alluded to events in the world map of the game's final arc. The Bad ending (which is simply a scene featured in the normal ending cut short, occurring soon after those events become available) is obtained by ''not'' watching said events. It's in the GoldenEnding where it gets problematic. This time around, the player can lock themselves out of the GoldenEnding ''as early as the first fourth of the game''. This game differs from the rest of the series in that it's divided into three {{Story Arc}}s, and each one has conditions that all need to be met in order to reach the True Ending.[[labelnote:'''The List''']]You must watch a certain event when Neptune gets sent back to Hyperdimension in the Z Arc, complete certain quests during Neptune's episode in the G Arc to unlock more events to see (said quests are completely optional and [[PermanentlyMissableContent time-sensitive, and have relatively small time frames to clear them,]] [[GuideDangIt with no indication of]] ''[[GuideDangIt any]]'' [[GuideDangIt of this anywhere]] save for a throwaway line in one early tutorial), then collect a certain percentage of shares with each goddess in her respective episode to unlock an event to see. Each one ''must'' be done while you're [[ADayInTheLimelight playing the respective goddess's episode]] or it will be {{Permanently Missable|Content}} 'till NewGamePlus. Naturally, [[GuideDangIt there is no indication whatsoever that anything has been unlocked by doing this]] other than [[ProperlyParanoid by constantly checking to see IF anything new has popped up by doing it.]] If you've managed to watch all those events, when you reach the H Arc, just fulfill the conditions for the Good ending described in the beginning and you'll know you've got the ending when the seemingly FinalBoss [[TrueFinalBoss returns later for a couple more rounds]].[[/labelnote]] Like in ''Victory'', there's a considerable chance thorough players will get this ending simply by playing, though the middle of the game can mess them up if they clear it ''too'' quickly. This is perhaps the most fastidious game in the series in terms of requirements, [[EarnYourHappyEnding but it's really,]] ''[[EverybodyLives really]]'' '''[[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming worth it.]]'''
* While the ''Franchise/DragonAge'' series does its best to keep its endings ambiguous, the ExpansionPack to the first game, ''[[VideoGame/DragonAgeOriginsAwakening Awakening]]'', has a clear-cut Golden Ending wherein [[spoiler:the City of Amaranthine is saved and the Vigil's Keep never falls to the Darkspawn assault (protip: earn the "Enduring Vigil" achievement and then save Amaranthine).]]
* ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' has several endings where you join up with a faction to help them control the titular New Vegas and Hoover Dam, or you can simply take control yourself. Each ending has its ups and downs (except for the [[DownerEnding Legion ending]]), but with a lot of work, you can get the Golden Ending, which involves [[spoiler:siding with the New California Republic or keeping New Vegas independent, resolving all their disputes peacefully, and helping them kill off all the various raider groups and other undesirables. This gives you the best possible ending, where the Mojave is plunged into an new era of peace, prosperity, and freedom. Also notable is that siding with the NCR or keeping New Vegas independent are the only ways to get good endings for Primm, Boone, Arcade, the Followers of the Apocalypse, the Kings, and the Brotherhood of Steel. However, to get the best possible ending for Goodsprings, you have to choose independence over siding with the NCR, or else the burden of NCR taxation will prove harsh enough to drive some of the town's oldtimers out.]] As long as you don't side with the Legion (which wants to oppress or kill everyone in the wasteland), whether or not you get the Golden Ending depends more on how you handled faction quests and sidequests than it does on whether you side with NCR, House, or an independent Vegas.
** No matter what you do, the recruitable companions Lily, Veronica, and Arcade will never receive a truly Golden Ending. They will always be varying degrees of Bittersweet (though Arcade's best ending has him simply realize that an Independent Vegas isn't quite what he thought, but content to help see it through).
** For the Dead Money DLC, earning the Golden ending requires you to rescue all of your companions and make sure that they don't die. The most difficult of this is [[{{Narcissist}} Dean Domino]], who, if you passed a Barter check when you first meet him and/or treated him poorly (which, given his [[{{Narcissist}} ego]] and [[ItsAllAboutMe self-centeredness]], means anything less than obsequious subservience in his eyes), will try to backstab you the last time you two meet.
** In Old World Blues, the best ending involves not only upgrading all of the Sink appliances as well as the Stealth Suit, exploring the entirety of Big MT, and creating Roxie the Robodog, it also involves [[spoiler:saving Dr. Mobius and convincing the Think Tank to stay in Big MT]].
** In the Lonesome Road DLC, arguably the best ending involves [[spoiler:talking Ulysses down and disabling the nukes, preventing a nuclear disaster from destroying the wastelands and letting Ulysses live his life out as TheAtoner]].
* It's generally thought that the best ending of ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 4}}'' is [[spoiler:the one where you infiltrate the Institute for the Railroad, initiate the Institute quest ''Battle of Bunker Hill'', and then inform the Railroad of the Institute's plans to attack Bunker Hill and help them defend it from the Institute. This results in your cover being blown and you are advised by Desdemona to lead the Minutemen in invading the Institute and sounding the evacuation order before you blow the place to hell. Doing this leaves the Railroad and the Minutemen as effectively allies, and it also means the Brotherhood of Steel will continue to co-exist with the two allied factions in an uneasy truce provided you leave them alone. In other words, this is the ending which involves the least loss of innocent life. Though trickier, it's also possible in the Brotherhood ending to bypass killing off the Railroad by initiating the Institute quest ''Mass Fusion'' and handing it in to the Brotherhood, leading to a similar situation except the Brotherhood is the dominant military force in the region instead of the Minutemen.]] However, this ending [[spoiler:will lead to your kidnapped son, currently leader of the Institute, to [[NiceJobBreakingItHero despise you for ruining the whole thing]]]].
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'':
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2'' requires jumping through a ton of hoops [[GuideDangIt at just the right times]] to unlock the best outcome, in which Yuna [[EarnYourHappyEnding earns her happy ending]] with the fayth resurrecting Tidus. There's an additional scene if you got OneHundredPercentCompletion, but the only way to see that additional scene is to complete the game at least twice.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXV Episode Ignis'' has an alternate ending where [[spoiler:Ignis trounces Ardyn and gets to keep his sight, Ravus defects to Lucis and befriends the protagonists, Noct successfully becomes the True King, and Ardyn fails to die]].
* ''VideoGame/LufiaCurseOfTheSinistrals'' has an alternate ending in NewGamePlus, where [[spoiler:Erim sacrifices herself in the end, averting Maxim and Selan's deaths on Doom Island. To sum up the Golden Ending in three words: "Jeros, we're home!"]]
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'': you must have upgraded the ''Normandy'' to full and have done everything right to make sure that everybody lives. This includes [[spoiler:going ''immediately'' through the Omega-4 relay as soon as your crew is captured. If you don't, then either half or all of your crew gets liquified]]. Everyone, up to and including Shepard, can die.
** Doing all the loyalty missions is important as well. And assigning everyone the right task during the final mission is crucial, and contains a few traps; Mordin is highly likely to die if he helps hold the line, so taking him with you for the final fight or having him escort the refugees to safety is a good idea. And ignore Miranda when she claims that she could maintain the force field with her biotics; she's not up to the challenge, so pick Jack or Samara instead.
** It can be said that ''Mass Effect 2'' also has a [[EarnYourBadEnding Golden "Bad" Ending]]. It's ''extremely'' difficult to kill Shepard off, to the point where you actually need to ''actively'' try to get it.
* While fans debate endlessly on their personal favorite, in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', Synthesis is the only ending totally closed off until you reach a certain EMS (with a "Shepard survives" scenario in Destroy being the total highest), as well as having the most overtly positive narration.
** And earlier on, the resolution to the geth-quarian conflict. To save both species, you need to have recruited both [[spoiler:Tali and Legion]] in [=ME2=] and kept them alive, and then make enough correct decisions in both [=ME2=] and [=ME3=]. Incidentally, this means that players who start with [=ME3=] are locked out of the Golden Ending for this particular arc, since you need to play [=ME2=] to even encounter [[spoiler:Legion]] in [=ME3=].
** Getting the best resolution of the Krogan Genophage plotline requires that [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure Wrex]] survives [=ME1=] and that Maelon's data was preserved in [=ME2=], and that you refuse the Dalatrass's suggestion of sabotaging the cure in [=ME3=].
* The ''Videogame/NeverwinterNights2'' expansion ''Mask of the Betrayer'' has four major endings (with minor variations). Although whether it is the "best" ending is debatable, the only ending where you end the curse without sacrificing yourself requires completion of a few minor side-quests that are quite easy to miss out on by not taking the right companion with you to areas you can beat the game without visiting at all.
** The ending of ''Storm of Zehir'' depends on your interaction with Sa'Sani. You can kill her, which causes yuan-ti throughout the land to execute their plots haphazardly; you can just say farewell to her, in which case you get a mostly-good ending but with sinister hints about her plans; and in the Golden Ending, you can extract a promise from her to never harm anyone again, which eventually leads to [[GoodFeelsGood her redemption]].
*** Getting the Golden Ending also depends on the completion of a few optional quests, some of which aren't easy to find, unless you're in the habit of going around and talking to everyone over and over again. For example, even if you did manage to save West Harbor from the dragons, if you didn't complete the quest to turn Jan Buckman away from a cult, the village of West Harbor eventually falls. The problem is that the quest only becomes available at level 16 and there are no hints about its existence unless you for whatever reason decide return to West Harbor to speak to an earlier quest giver. Whether or not Samarach, Neverwinter, Crossroad Keep, and Port Last prosper also depend on your actions. Unlike the previous two campaigns, companion choices have very little effect on the ending here, though.
*** Alternatively, you can just yell at the narrator (who is a character in the game writing it "after the fact") until he gives the ending you like.
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' features 3 endings, plus a variant of the "worst" ending which isn't ''quite'' as bad. You first have a choice of thinking you've solved the mystery when you haven't, and this end might actually fool people [[GuideDangIt who didn't look up a guide]], [[FridgeLogic or realize something was wrong]]. The next ending has you beat up some monster that supposedly [[HumanityOnTrial "tests" humans]]. This ending seems even more complete, and is far more optimistic than the {{BadEnding}}s, again fooling more people. Finally, though, if you're persistent enough to ignore the game's claims that it's all over (and by this point, who isn't?), you can discover who's ''truly'' behind it all, unlocking TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon and the best ending.
** ''[[PolishedPort P4 Golden]]'' adds a lengthy epilogue to the best ending if you complete a certain character's S-Link and the resultant bonus dungeon. It also adds an ''[[EarnYourBadEnding utterly horrible]]'' ending if you try to do the right thing by the wrong person at the wrong time.
*** Fittingly, this ending is commonly referred to as the Golden ending.
* ''VideoGame/RadiantHistoria'' has a touching Golden Ending. [[spoiler:The BigBad comes to remember his love for the hero, his nephew, enough to sacrifice himself in his place, so that he can be with those he loves. So all the depressing IWillWaitForYou parts of the ending are suddenly resolved.]]
* Getting the best ending in [[VideoGame/ShadowrunReturns Shadowrun: Hong Kong]] requires that you go out of your way to assemble scattered hints about the nature of the Yama Kings: Crafty Xu's research, [=Is0bel's=] recounting of an urban legend from the Walled City, the dreams you experience when you rest after a mission, and dialogue with Raymond you'll only hear if you stop him and Duncan from arguing. With enough information, [[spoiler:you can trick Qian Ya into a deal that forces her to retreat to her realm, destroy the Fortune Engine, and release the enthralled people of the Walled City — all without having to sacrifice Raymond]].
* ''VideoGame/SigmaStarSaga'' has four different endings based on [[spoiler:killing or saving Psyme and whether or not Scarlet has to sacrifice herself]]. All of the endings in which you don't [[spoiler:save both of them]] involve [[spoiler:Recker regretting his actions to various extents — in order from most to least severe, both girls dead, Psyme dead, and Scarlet dead]]. To make matters worse, [[spoiler:you can't save Scarlet without a virus sample [[NewGamePlus that's locked in a room you can't access during your first playthrough]]]].
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Suikoden}}'' series, you ''have'' to find all [[OneHundredAndEight the Stars of Destiny]] to have a shot at the best ending. Some of the games make this even more elaborate.
** ''VideoGame/{{Suikoden II}}'' makes the player race against the clock to secure ''one'' character's happy ending, has you complete a series of [[CookingDuel face-offs]] to help another, and [[GuideDangIt backflip through metaphorical hoops]] to earn the ''right'' to see the game's true ending. On top of that, said ending saddles you with several final choices that greatly affect how things play out.
** ''VideoGame/{{Suikoden V}}'' has a [[GuideDangIt hidden]] {{Relationship Value|s}} that can lock you out of the best ending ''during the first few hours of the game''. [[spoiler:So be good to your little sister, folks.]]
* A very, very slight example with ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia.'' It's entirely possible to kill off a major character. If you keep the character alive, the ending is an EverybodyLives scenario, and the world, while possibly struggling, is pretty much saved. The only reason why it's a borderline example is that literally nothing else in the ending changes if you ''do'' decide to kill the character, and if you don't like that particular character, this version could be considered your Golden Ending instead.
** The ending where [[spoiler:Zelos]] lives is canon according to the sequel, ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphoniaDawnOfTheNewWorld.''
* A more obvious example is found in the sequel, ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphoniaDawnOfTheNewWorld'', where your actions during the game affect the overall ending, distinguished in the good, the bad, and the neutral ending. Collecting all Centurion's Cores will grant you the possibility to obtain the good ending (also called the "true" or "golden" ending), depending on whether or not you win the fight against [[spoiler:Lloyd and Marta]]. In order to get the good ending, the game expects you to lose the fight. If you do so, you will get the good or neutral ending, depending on whether you collected all the cores or missed some. If you win the fight, you will actually get the bad ending. The reason being [[spoiler:it's all part of Emil's plan to pretend to be taken over by his other half so his friends will stop him and use him to seal the door to the demon world. 'Winning' this fight means you went too far in your act and severely wounded your friends instead]].
* ''VideoGame/TelepathRPG'': You can choose whether you serve Tastidian or not to rescue your brother in the first part. The second part begins in the shadowling empire, and you have been his servant for 3 years.
* ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'s'' best ending is only achieved by completing a True PacifistRun [[spoiler:without having ''ever'' allowed the First Child to destroy the universe at the end of the Genocide route. Doing a Pacifist Run after a Genocide Run is called a Souless Pacifist Run]]. It reveals [[spoiler:the nature of "determination," the cause of the depression Alphys suffers from, and Flowey's true identity]], and it's the only ending that features a credits sequence. [[spoiler:You still get to see all of this if you finished the Genocide route first, but the First Child steals Frisk's body at the last moment, and it's implied that they kill everyone. Again.]]
* ''VideoGame/VampireTheMasqueradeRedemption'' has two bad endings [[spoiler:(both ending with the death of your love interest)]] and one good ending, depending on your actions with the {{Final Boss}}. [[spoiler:If you choose to drink the Tzimisce's blood — killing him in the process, you turn into a villain. If you choose to become his slave, you turn into his UnwittingPawn. But if you choose to fight him, you can save the day and take the girl.]]
* ''VideoGame/VampireTheMasqueradeBloodlines'' follows down to the precise count of unquestionably bad endings. Siding with [[spoiler:La Croix or Quei'Jin will get you either killed or left to torpor from lack of blood on the bottom of the ocean]]. In many other endings, things will work out just fine, though.
** This basically boils down to the player determining which of the [[spoiler:Strauss, Anarch, or Independent endings is the game's Golden Ending. In the Strauss ending, the player is heavily implied to become the new Sheriff of L.A, while the Anarch ending pretty clearly ends with you fighting alongside Nines and the other Anarchs to keep L.A free. And the Independent ending, [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere well]]...]]
* ''VideoGame/TheWitcher2'' has numerous possible endings, but the best one is usually agreed to be the you get by saving Saskia and Triss, creating a free Upper Aeidrn, and sparing Letho. Roche's path, on the other hand, has most of the downright depressing endings.
* While it's a bit less clear in ''VideoGame/TheWitcher3WildHunt'', most of the fandom would agree that the ending where [[spoiler:Radovid dies, you save Roche and his men, and Ciri becomes a witcher]] is the happiest, although this does end with [[spoiler:Nilfgaard conquering Redania, Kaedwen, and Aedirn]].
** In the Skellige Isles, the best ending to the questline to choose the ruler of the isles is generally considered the one where Cerys becomes queen. While Hjalmar can also become king, his ending leads to both increased violence and death as Skellige more aggressively fights Nilfgaard, and also doesn't identify the conspirators behind the plot against his family.
** In the ''Hearts of Stone'' DLC, the golden ending is generally considered to be the one where [[spoiler:Geralt stops O'Dimm from taking Olgierd's soul]], but in order to do this, you have to complete an optional secondary objective to find out how.
** In the ''Blood and Wine'' DLC, the best ending is the one where [[spoiler:Geralt and Regis kill Detlaff, Geralt receives a medal and a monetary reward for stopping him, and Syanna and the Duchess reconcile. Some players dispute how happy this ending is, considering that Syanna's [[KarmaHoudini unlikely to face justice]] for being responsible for everything that's happened, but the [[DownerEnding alternatives]] are much worse]].
* ''[[{{VideoGame/Wizardry}} Wizardry IV]]'', released in 1986, has possibly the first instance of this trope in any video game. You play as Werdna, the main villain from an earlier game in the series, and there are endings where you join up with the good guys or kill them and continue on with your evil ways. Yet all of those end by teasing you with the words "Have you forgotten something?" The final ending requires [[GuideDangIt going through extremely obscure steps with barely a hint of them]], such as [[spoiler:walking on thin air from rooftop to rooftop to a specific spot which allows you to teleport back down ''below'' the level where you started. In this ending, Werdna [[AboveGoodAndEvil throws away the notions of "good" and "evil"]] and [[{{Ubermensch}} sets out to make his own path]].]]
* ''VideoGame/FableIII'' gives the Hero a SadisticChoice as ruler of Albion: do you [[IDidWhatIHadToDo ruthlessly exploit your citizens to prepare your army]] to fight the Darkness or undo [[TheEvilPrince your predecessor's tyrannies]] to the detriment of readiness for the final battle? To TakeAThirdOption and be wholly benevolent while protecting your citizens is possible, but requires you to donate an incredible amount of cash to keep the kingdom and army both afloat.
* ''VideoGame/ParasiteEveII'' has three endings, with each one giving more details than the last. The best ending has a WhereAreTheyNow moment, which includes [[spoiler:Eve, the girl you rescued, becoming Aya's adopted sister and she lives a normal life by going to school — a very far cry from her previous life as an experiment.]]

* There are two slightly different endings in ''VideoGame/StarFox64'', depending on which route you took to Venom. The Golden Ending occurs when Fox takes the "hard" route through Area 6, in which Fox's dead father James guides him out of the exploding fortress. Also, at the very end, Star Fox flies off into the sunset on Corneria. Taking the "easy" route will show a large image of Andross over the sunset, complete with an EvilLaugh. This does not appear in the Golden Ending, implying that Fox destroyed the real Andross.
* ''VideoGame/GigaWing'' has three tiers of endings:
** 1-player, FinalBoss [[NoFinalBossForYou not reached]][[note]]Complete stages 1 through 6 with at least one continue used[[/note]]: Your character commits a HeroicSacrifice in order to destroy the Medallion.
** 2-player, final boss not reached[[note]]Same as above, but finish the stage 6 boss with a second player[[/note]]: Depends on your team. Some endings end with both characters intact, in some others one character is shown alive and the fate of the other is ambiguous.
** 1- or 2-player, final boss reached[[note]]Complete stages 1 through 6 without any continues to unlock stage 7 and the final boss; continues are permitted on stage 7[[/note]]: Your character or team destroys the Medallion, and regardless of character or team, they go home alive.
* Downplayed in ''VideoGame/BlueRevolver'', in which the only effect difficulty has on the ending is a special message from the developers awarded for a no-continue clear on [[HarderThanHard Parallel mode]]. Said no-continue clear includes beating the Parallel-exclusive TrueFinalBoss, by the way.

[[folder:Space Sim]]
* ''VideoGame/StarTrekBridgeCommander'' has three endings: good (you save the day!), bad (you save the day but are destroyed in the process), and horrible (a sun goes supernova, destroying you, an inhabited world, and several Federation ships, including the ''Enterprise''. Oops.)

* ''VideoGame/ASPAirStrikePatrol'' (known in Europe as ''VideoGame/DesertFighter'') featured multiple endings (including one [[ItsAWonderfulFailure if you fail the final mission]]). Which ending you get depends entirely on your Force, Supplies, and Opinion meters. If ''any'' of these meters are lacking, you merely get an "okay" ending depending on which meter was the lowest (beating the game with a low Opinion rating means that the war is a political disaster, viewed as a second [[UsefulNotes/VietnamWar Vietnam]]). To get the ''very best'' ending, all three meters have to be high, which is infamously hard to achieve — but it's worth it for the hero's welcome you're given.

* The elusive S Ending in ''VideoGame/ClockTower: First Fear'' (not initially present on the ending list) which involves taking a more specific, careful path through the game, since to get it, one of your friends (Ann or Laura, Lotte is unsavable) must survive, you must free the crow in the cage room, '''not''' get caught by Mary and thrown in the shed cell, and pay a visit to the secret room (especially since said room would be empty under different circumstances). However, this ending is considered non-canon, since the sequel establishes that Jennifer was the only survivor.
* ''VideoGame/DeadRising'' and its sequel ''VideoGame/DeadRising2'' has multiple endings, with the best ending only gotten by managing to complete all the {{Timed Mission}}s in time before they become {{Permanently Missable|Content}}. This also grants access to the TrueFinalBoss. In the former, it's the only ending where the outbreak doesn't spread everywhere, and in the sequel, it's ''the only ending where the main character doesn't die''. All other endings are {{Downer Ending}}s, so it's a good idea to get the best ones (helpfully labeled Ending A and S, respectively). [[spoiler:Actually, in ''VideoGame/DeadRising2'', Chuck DOES survive ending A, being saved in the nick of time by the main character in Dead Rising 1, Frank West, but this is only shown with the downloadable content Xbox arcade standalone title Dead Rising: Case West.]]
** Meanwhile, Dead Rising: Off The Record is based off the S Rank Ending (The prequel comic, while it follows the A ending, sort of explains how Frank escaped from that predicament).
* The ''VideoGame/FatalFrame'' series usually have these. The first two games added very evident Golden Endings in their Xbox release. [[spoiler:And these are the only ones you can truly call happy endings.]]
* ''VideoGame/ParasiteEve'' has two endings. The one seen by completing the game is a total MindScrew, as it shows that the threat from mitochondria is not over. The true golden ending deemed canon by Square-Enix comes from beating the BonusDungeon, where Aya defeats the original Eve and she loses her powers after the battle.
** ''VideoGame/ParasiteEve2'' has a total of three endings, ranging from the vague hints on what the President of the United States plans to do after the events of the game, an expanded version of the President scene, and the true golden ending that shows closure with Aya after the events of the game.
* ''VideoGame/AmnesiaTheDarkDescent'' has three endings; The bad ending, where the player does nothing during the final battle and results in [[BigBad Alexander]] fleeing to his home world and leaving Daniel (the player character) to die, the good ending, where Daniel destroys Alexander's portal, which kills him and breaks Daniel's curse, or the golden ending, where Daniel [[ItMakesSenseInContext throws Agrippa's severed head into the portal, killing both Alexander and Daniel]], but with Agrippa's help, Daniel [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence is brought to the Afterlife.]]
* A staple of the ''Franchise/SilentHill'' series. Most games have a happy ending which can only be acquired on repeat plays. They're not usually considered canon.
** The happy endings are usually only [[BittersweetEnding bittersweet]], anyway. If you manage to escape with Cybil and [[spoiler:the baby]] in [[VideoGame/SilentHill1 the first game]], you've still [[spoiler:lost your daughter, Cheryl, when she combined with Alessa]], Lisa [[spoiler:has learned the horrible truth and drags Dr. Kaufman down to hell with her]], and Alessa [[spoiler:dies, shortly after giving birth to the god]]. In [[VideoGame/SilentHill2 the second]], James is free to leave Silent Hill and Laura forgives him, but [[spoiler:you're still guilty of killing your wife and Eddie]], and Angela [[spoiler:kills herself by walking back into the fire to be with her family]]. Dialogue in ''Silent Hill 4: The Room'' reveals that [[spoiler:James is still missing]]. In ''VideoGame/SilentHill3'', everyone except Douglas and Heather are dead. It seems like Heather is going to leave with Douglas, but [[spoiler:she's still an orphan]]. And even if you manage to [[spoiler:save Eileen]] in ''VideoGame/SilentHill4: The Room'', all the previous victims are still dead and doomed to permanently haunt the Otherworld. And, presumably, Henry is homeless.
*** The end of ''VideoGame/SilentHillShatteredMemories'' reveals that [[spoiler:Cheryl has been creating a delusion and warping her memories to keep her father alive in her own psyche]]. Even though she seems to accept the truth at the end and move on, the psychiatrist's notes during the credit scene indicate that [[spoiler:you're not done yet, or even that the cycle is just going to repeat]].
*** A first playthrough of ''[[VideoGame/SilentHillOrigins Origins]]'' will always give you the good ending, but given that it's a prequel, you ''know'' going in that things are about to go to hell. Also, [[spoiler:you just leave Lisa alone in the town]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Pathologic}}'' has a strange variation. At the end of the game, you are required to choose how to deal with the city's situation, with more or less options depending of how you played the game. The [[DownerEnding Inquisitor's option]] is always available, while your chosen character's option requires you to complete your missions and save your Adherents. Saving not only your Adherents, but those of another main hero results in that hero's option being also available; saving all Adherents not only allows you to choose between all 4 options, but gives you an ending cutscene where [[BreakingTheFourthWall the Executor and the Tragedian address the player directly]]. The subversion is that all the options are [[BittersweetEnding Bittersweet Endings]] at best, while the secret cutscene is... weird.

[[folder:Turn Based Strategy]]
* Most Creator/NipponIchi games, most notably the ''Franchise/{{Disgaea}}'' games. The endings vary from [[DownerEnding depressing]], to [[KillEmAll horrific]], to downright [[NoodleIncident loony]]. The funny thing, though, is that it's usually ''harder'' [[EarnYourBadEnding to get the bad endings]] than the good ones: to get the very worst endings, you usually have to win a HopelessBossFight, beat an incredibly hard BonusBoss, solo the FinalBoss with one specific character at a high level, or carry out a feat that requires incredible amounts of [[LevelGrinding grinding]] through optional content. The notable exception is the original ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea|HourOfDarkness}}'', where it was a challenge to attain the Golden Ending due to how frustratingly easy it was to accidentally kill one of your ally characters (immediately knocking you down to the Normal Ending).
** Due to the series' strong meta elements, defeating the BonusBoss of most games effectively makes the ''player characters'' into ''the new BonusBoss'' rather than the protagonists, and the story has a good time playing with the fact.
** To get the bad endings, you usually have to go UpToEleven to get anywhere in bad behavior (despite [[FridgeLogic being a demon]]). ''Disgaea 2'', for the worst ending, needs you to get ally kills and ''waste over 100 gameplay hours combined with story to get the required amount of Felonies; '''99'''.'' Pay in mind that you need to: 1) Get a felony; 2) Go to the high-risked [[MarathonLevel Item World]], and 3) Go to the ''random'' level, which are often 1-30 and get to the door, then either escape using a rare item or go to the 10th floor.
** The original ''Disgaea'' also counted the throwing of Prinnies (who explode, damaging anyone around them) as an ally kill. This despite the fact that the game outright encourages you to throw Prinnies by making them incredibly cheap (1 HL) to resurrect. Later games did not count Prinny-bombs as ally kills.
** Played with in regards to the controversial "True Ending" to ''VideoGame/{{The Witch and The Hundred Knight}}'', where the Golden Ending is listed, oddly, as the [[MindScrew bad ending]], and the [[DownerEnding regular ending]] as the True Ending, which packs a nasty [[PlayerPunch player punch]]. However, the game [[PlayerNudge advises that you don't save over your current data]], giving a hint that this ending can be averted if certain actions are taken. [[spoiler:In order to unlock the last 2 chapters and the real true ending, the player must [[GuideDangIt defeat the 3 dark witches encountered earlier in the story]] and answer "Affirm" when asked whether or not you're going to save [[VillainProtagonist Metallia]] by Mani after recovering the Green Crystal from the mana caves beneath the swamp, and beat the boss after the credits]].
* Several ''Franchise/FireEmblem'' games have variations on endings, but they don't drastically change between each other in terms of content. A straight example, however, occurs in the sixth game, ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBindingBlade The Binding Blade]]'': Getting all eight [[InfinityPlusOneSword Divine Weapons]] and ensuring that they aren't broken will allow the player to open a BonusDungeon that spans for three chapters, and defeating the TrueFinalBoss with a specific weapon while having one specific party member still alive brings the true ending. If you don't get all the weapons, or one of them breaks before/during Chapter 22, then the game ends after you defeat King Zephiel. [[spoiler:The resulting ending is anti-climactic: the war against Bern is over, but the dragons that have helped Zephiel have gotten away, and nothing comes of the events that happened.]]
** Even earlier was Book 2 of ''Mystery of the Emblem'' and its remake, ''Heroes of Light and Shadow'', the third game of the [[VideoGame/FireEmblemAkaneia Akaneia]] games. Like ''Sword of Seals'', if you don't have the five spheres that are a part of the titular MacGuffin by Chapter 20, then a bad ending occurs when you defeat the boss; get all five, and you keep playing until the true ending at Chapter 24. Interestingly, Chapter 20 has a side chapter, and you can unlock it and play it, even if you get the bad ending — the game will just end then.
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' subverts this: [[spoiler:during the FinalBoss fight against [[BigBad Grima]], you can either have Chrom or [[PlayerCharacter the Avatar]] land the final blow. Chrom slaying Grima with [[ForgottenSuperWeapon Falchion]] will lead to Grima sleeping for another thousand years; the Avatar slaying Grima will destroy him for good, as [[TomatoInTheMirror the Avatar and Grima are one and the same]]. One would think that they'd differ heavily, but they don't. Chrom slaying Grima leads to the Avatar's guilt, yet Chrom's happy, saying that he can't imagine a world without them, and while the Avatar does die when he/she slays Grima, ThePowerOfFriendship revives them sometime later.]]
* ''VideoGame/OgreBattle'', the original, has a ridiculous set of requirements to get the Golden Ending, which incidentally is canon. You need to collect 12 Zodiac stones, which is a GuideDangIt in itself, have the sword Brunhild, and have recruited every character except for two nonessential ones and one which changes the ending to the worst one. And a full Chaos Frame.
* ''VideoGame/ValkyrieProfile'' has three endings, with the A Ending being this trope. Getting it is one of the most frustrating cases of GuideDangIt ever, as the steps needed to have it are either counter-intuitive (with the biggest case being [[spoiler:sending a major character not long after recruiting him to Valhalla in a specific frame of time, and then visiting a specific location in Chapter 7]]), or not shown in-game at all ([[spoiler:which in this case is the KarmaMeter that triggers the A Ending when at a certain level — it's Lenneth's Seal Rating, which must be below thirty points by Chapter 7. Points go down when recruiting characters or witnessing specific scenes, and it goes up when someone goes to Valhalla]]). The standard B Ending is usually the result of not following these steps (or the [[NonStandardGameOver C Ending]] if you screw up).
** ''[[VideoGame/ValkyrieProfileCovenantOfThePlume Covenant of the Plume]]'', though, has a a much more straightforward way of determining it, basing the ending on how often you use the Plume. Given that the Plume [[DeadlyUpgrade effectively murders]] your close friends and allies when you use it, take a wild guess what you have to do to get the good ending.
*** Except the best ending pits you against a ridiculously powerful boss, and the allies you kill will rise to fight you again in the bad ending. Without using it moderately to gain some powers in the first playthroughs, it can be pretty difficult.
* ''VideoGame/VandalHearts 2'': Want the golden ending? Find the InfinityPlusOneSword, and save all three of your childhood friends. Fail at any of that, and it's some form of bad ending, which depends on a question you were asked when you were a child, and then asked again just to make sure. If you do not get the IPOS, you can save ''at most'' one childhood friend, and that means you will live alone.
* Many of the console ''Franchise/SuperRobotWars'' games had Golden Endings, which were obtainable if you were able to beat the game in a certain way. For instance, ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars3'' has its Golden Ending if you reach the final stage in under 350 turns. ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars4'', however, gets its just by saying that you trust Shu Shirakawa and he and his entourage decide to leave.
* ''VideoGame/TheWitness'': Completing the game normally [[spoiler:returns the player to the start of the game with a 0 Puzzles Solved progress status. The true ending is revealed by unlocking a hidden exit concealed in the starting area. This ending also allows players to piece together the game's plot.]]
* ''VideoGame/StellaGlow'': In Imageepoch's swan swong, by reaching rank 7 affinity with [[spoiler:Klaus]] before he leaves your party, the choice to reject a certain character's last wish is made available. In this ending, the aforementioned character survives and you will pick up a powerful character later on in the game.
* ''VideoGame/XCOMEnemyUnknown'' lacks MultipleEndings, but the good ending is both [[NintendoHard incredibly challenging to accomplish]] and outright non-canon; in fact, it's said that when the developers were discussing ideas for a sequel, they decided to go with "LaResistance in the BadFuture" at least partly because so few players could actually beat the first game. What happens if and when a third game is released, given that the cutscene from the ''good'' ending includes a SequelHook this time, remains to be seen.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/AoiShiro'' has five heroines, each with their own set of bad/normal ends and one good end. Reaching the unlock points scattered throughout those routes unlocks the Grand Route, at the end of which (the 56th ending) everyone teams up, solves all their problems, and survives.
* ''VisualNovel/AnalogueAHateStory'' requires you to interact with two [=AIs=], one at a time, and they won't talk to each other. The Golden Ending is the only way to get them to reconcile [[spoiler:and is also the [[MarryThemAll Harem Ending]]]].
* ''VisualNovel/CorpseParty'' has many, many dead ends, with one true ending per chapter, with the final one having [[spoiler:the original 5 from the UsefulNotes/PC98 game survive]]. As it turns out, though, the next game in the series, Book of Shadows, is spun out of the final wrong ending where the characters are stuck in a GroundhogDayLoop.
* VisualNovel/CrossChannel to an extent. However, when your golden ending is only bittersweet, you ''know'' that the rest must be horrible. [[spoiler:All endings generally tend towards {{kill em all}} or are filled with {{squick}}.]]
* Most of the endings in ''VisualNovel/DateWarp'' range from downer to bittersweet until you unlock the Golden Ending. Before that, the closest to "happy" is Linds' good ending, in which no one in the main party dies and [[spoiler:Bianca]] ''might'' be saveable in the future, but [[spoiler:Susan]] is still missing.
* ''VisualNovel/{{Ever 17}}'': three bad endings, four "good" endings (some of which are still tragic), and one spectacular, all-revealing ending that you can only unlock after clearing the four good endings.
* The second ''VisualNovel/FragmentsNote'' implies that Yukitsuki's second ending is the Golden Ending mainly since it's the only ending where Yukitsuki finally manages to get over the events of the first title and live happily. However, Shizuku's second ending is noted to be the "canon" route.
* ''VisualNovel/FrozenEssence'' is notable in that its "True End" is a BittersweetEnding with [[spoiler:Rune, Mina's main love interest, dying]]. However, the True End differs from all other endings in that it's the only one in which [[spoiler:Mina is separated from the Death Sphere and hence is able to lead a normal life, in contrast to the other "happy" endings where she gets to be with her love interest but is still confined or restricted in some way due to her status as the feared Death Sphere]]. Additionally, many players consider the Water Path's Light End to be another "true end" of sorts because it's the only one in which the mysteries surrounding Mina's identity and her dreams that remain unexplained in even the True End are resolved, with [[spoiler:her regaining her memories and reuniting with her childhood love]].
* ''VisualNovel/TheLetter'' allows you to get an EverybodyLives ending, and depending on your choices, it's even possible to obtain your preferred friendship and romance outcomes. [[spoiler:However, this is not the true ending of the VN. That ending requires triggering multiple character deaths that are otherwise avoidable, and ends with only three of the story's seven main characters surviving.]]
* ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' has five endings (one for Fate, two for UBW, two for HF) and a bunch of {{Nonstandard Game Over}}s. Its UpdatedRerelease, ''Realta Nua'', has a sort-of Golden Ending accessible only after unlocking and finishing all three routes' true endings, which [[DistantFinale takes place far after the events]] of ''Fate''. [[spoiler:It sees Saber and Shirou re-united in Avalon, despite [[StarCrossedLovers the events that forced them apart during "Fate"]].]]
* ''VisualNovel/GrisaiaNoKajitsu'' has ''Amane's Route''. The game itself has ten endings in total, one ''bad'' and ''good'' for each heroine, still either Amane's good or bad ending are the most developed out of all the others. Amane's good ending is the one who goes the furthest in the future, to the point that it actually shows the main characters dying, making it a complete story with no scope of continuation, while Amane's bad ending is the one which seems to reveal some vital plot details about Yuuji's life, loosely connecting this route with the sequel.
* ''VisualNovel/KanaLittleSister'' has SIX endings; only one of them has Kana live, and it's [[BittersweetEnding bittersweet]]!
** Though admittedly, being a DownerEnding doesn't necessarily mean that it's a bad ending. This trope is, however, played straight with the "Snow" and "Memories" endings, which are essentially shortened versions of "Live Now".
* ''VisualNovel/LittleBusters'' has the ending of the refrain route, which is unlocked when [[OmegaEnding all the other routes have been completed]], where [[spoiler:everybody lives in the real world]].
* ''VideoGame/MatchesAndMatrimony'' is a PC game which mashes three of Creator/JaneAusten's novels (''Literature/PrideAndPrejudice'', ''Literature/SenseAndSensibility'', and ''Literature/{{Persuasion}}'') into one game. There are nine possible outcomes to the story, and the player is encouraged to unlock them all. Two involve the {{player character}} remaining unmarried, and the other seven marry her to one of the potential suitors she meets. Most of the endings are good, but the one that is considered best is the one that follows the full plot of ''Pride and Prejudice'' to the marriage of the player character to Mr. Darcy.
* ''VisualNovel/MonsterProm'': THE SUPER SECRET ONE ending is an OmegaEnding that requires, in the best case, 13 runs of the game and 6 secret endings, but, appropriately for a SexComedy game with a LovableSexManiac player character is [[spoiler:an orgy, in which all your love interest show up in the CG waiting for you to join them in a hot tub]].
* ''VisualNovel/NineHoursNinePersonsNineDoors'' has MultipleEndings; although only one can really be considered a ''good'' ending, the game is distinct for having ''all of them actually happen''. [[spoiler:The visual-novel style narrative is actually being narrated by ''June''. Each ending represents a possible future that she can see from the past, and the multiple playthroughs are her exploring each of them to see which chain of events will allow Junpei to save her child-self from an incinerator. The Golden Ending is the one where she survives.]]
** This is done again in its sequel, ''VisualNovel/VirtuesLastReward'', [[spoiler:which treats the Golden Ending of the original game as canon. However, even the best ending is a DownerEnding as well as a SequelHook.]]
* VideoGame/ShiraOkaSecondChances has many endings, one for each character you meet in the game, but completing them all allows you to get [[spoiler:Kasumi's Story, which is the final, Golden Ending]]. However, WordOfGod suggests that the player is free to accept any of the endings as the canon ending, pointing to the fact that each one has its own ending credits sequence with the other students commenting on the main character's life after high school in that altered timeline.
* In Empress' ''Starless: Nymphomaniac's Paradise'', in the Ending Room, the one good ending "New World" is literally represented as a large golden key on a keyring.
* The ending of the final route ([[spoiler:Phorni's route]]) is the only unambiguously happy ending in ''VisualNovel/SymphonicRain'', where even the good endings are bittersweet at best.
* ''VisualNovel/{{Tsukihime}}'' has nine endings (and a bunch of {{Nonstandard Game Over}}s). The Golden Ending is Kohaku's True ending, where everybody is happy and sunshiny. [[DemotedToExtra Except Satsuki.]]
* In ''VideoGame/AviaryAttorney'', the best ending is when you [[spoiler:save Cocorico from getting shot]] at the end of Act 3, and thus enter Act 4B "Égalité", where the revolution becomes (relatively) peaceful.

[[folder:Wide Open Sandbox]]
* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV'' has three endings — one where Franklin kills Michael on top of a factory tower, one where Franklin kills Trevor by setting him on fire, and one where all three of them kill the BigBadEnsemble: Steve Haines, Wei Chang, Stretch, and Devin Weston. The third one is the only ending that allows the player to keep playing as all three protagonists [[spoiler:and keep the ability to hang out with friends]]. It's also the most satisfying and par for the course for the series, as in the other two endings, the villains get away scot-free.
* The ''VideoGame/WayOfTheSamurai'' series has roughly 7 endings per game (plus more than double that in variations and the odd end for OffTheRails, such as waiting for the time limit to end, or killing the BigBad early), but "ending 1" is always the best, rewarding both the highest "samurai point" total (which awards unlockables) and ShaggyDogStory [[DoomedByCanon thanks to historical events]]. They involve a path of getting all the warring sides to unite against a common foe, with the exception of the 2nd game (which ignores them both). These ends are, however, the trickiest to get, and often have a way to screw up that leads to an outright DownerEnding.
* In ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamKnight'', beating the game normally has [[spoiler:Batman activating the Knightfall Protocol after his identity is exposed to the world by Scarecrow, leading to the destruction of Wayne Manor with the presumed deaths of Bruce and Alfred]]. If one beats all the non-DLC challenges, the ending is expanded on by revealing that [[spoiler:since that day, James Gordon became mayor of Gotham City, his daughter Barbara is now engaged to Tim Drake, Gotham City is now a much safer place, and, hidden away, a mysterious bat-like figure still protects the city...]]

[[folder:Non-Video Game Examples]]
* ''Film/GroundhogDay'': After being trapped in the loop for God knows how long and getting God knows how many endings, Phil manages to help everyone in the town with all of their problems, woo Rita, and bring about a perfect day. Only then does the loop break. Unfortunately, even on a perfect day, someone just has to die... [[spoiler:Even after literally thousands of loops and ''decades'' of time passing within those loops, Phil could never save that homeless man from freezing to death...]]
* This is also the plot of the film, ''Film/MrNobody''. The plot centers around the character of Nemo Nobody, who is aware of all the possible versions of his existence. His ultimate goal is to get to live as long as he has to in his current timeline, so he can go back to the perfect timeline he is now aware of and be with the woman he loves.
* In ''Ride/MenInBlackAlienAttack'' at [[Ride/UniversalStudios Universal Studios Florida]], if the riders get an average score high enough, they'll receive the "Galaxy Defender" ending, where it's said that they'll be accepted into the MIB, and an alien is shown tailoring their future black suits. However, for no given reason, [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption Agent J decides to wipe the riders' memories of the experience anyway and send them back home]].
* The Golden Ending in ''Inside UFO 54-40'' can't actually be reached from any option in the book.
* ''Literature/InvadersOfHark'' has exactly one path to the good ending where your character manages to rescue the princess and get the highest possible score, but it's {{permanently missable|Content}} with a single decision you make early on in the plot.
* In the ''[[TabletopGame/TombOfHorrors Return to the Tomb of Horrors]]'' module of ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', there are several options for defeating the BigBad Acererak. Outright destroying his SoulJar results in a PyrrhicVictory that annihilates Acererak but leaves thousands of innocents DeaderThanDead, while the more heroic ending frees the souls he trapped and neutralizes him for centuries but leaves him alive to terrorize future generations. The real GoldenEnding is to destroy ''every single undead'' in his fortress to keep him from [[BodySurf Body Surfing]] while blocking all of his [[VillainExitStageLeft escape routes]], and ''then'' releasing the trapped souls. Players who manage this get over twice the XP for the conventional good ending and are acknowledged as "very powerful, determined, and lucky."
* Pretty much any pre-written adventure for a given tabletop role-playing game has multiple possible endings, including a golden ending for a PlayerCharacter team that did everything they're "supposed" to do and a BadEnding for if the villains win. For examples, pick up almost any published adventure for any tabletop role-playing game.
* ''Roleplay/RubyQuest'' has a variation. The players got a ''very'' good ending for a CosmicHorrorStory — they escaped the Metal Glen and brought another survivor with them. However, it wasn't because they played it exactly right, but because they ''[[OffTheRails didn't]]''. Had they not [[SequenceBreaking sequence broke]] their way into the medical cabinet or exercised VideoGameCaringPotential by giving Stitches the group photo and saving Jay, the ending would have been bittersweet at best.
* In the ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'' [[BadFuture Dark World Arc]], this trope is one of the driving forces of [[spoiler:the true BigBad, Nightmare Eclipse, who often uses video game metaphors (such as referring to everypony who's ''not'' her past self, [[FutureMeScaresMe Twilight Sparkle]], and Discord as [=NPCs=]). Her ultimate goal is to create a 'Golden World' with her [[PsychoRangers Nightmare Gallery]]. This is impossible, as she's far too obsessed with {{Revenge}} on Discord [[RevengeBeforeReason to ever stop punishing him to actually achieve it]], and thus would have kept resetting the GroundhogDayLoop she trapped the world in for eternity. Thankfully, Twilight and company manage to put and end to her and Twilight ultimately creates a 'Golden World' of her own (by sacrificing herself to create the [[StealthSequel prime timeline]] as a seperate universe).]] The irony of this is that, according to LooseCanon, [[spoiler:[[https://www.fimfiction.net/story/334941/pony-pov-series-fading-futures-final-cut had Eclipse actually done the right thing]] and saved her version of the timeline rather than throwing it away, she'd have gotten a much happier end than even the final group of Mane Six actually managed, due to not having her own meddling making things worse. Cadence, Pinkie Pie, and Fluttershy aren't KilledOffForReal, Magica, Poison Apple, and Amethyst Star never have to experience death in the first place (a still traumatic experience for them even after their revival), Twilight ascends naturally to become an Alicorn, Fluttercruel and Discord both have a chance for redemption while still alive, and the Princesses are still at full power and Celestia still has her memory. This is on top of a great many changes Eclipse made that worsened the timeline considerably never happening to begin with and the countless lives she sentenced to Oblivion never being erased. The only negative compared to the final timeline is Mortis not permitting Libra to do a mass resurrection to bring all of Discord and his minions’ victims BackFromTheDead and Rarity not becoming Libra to begin with, but compared to the damage Eclipse caused, it's a fair trade-off.]]
* ''Film/{{Clue}}'' has three possible endings, which were originally chosen randomly by the theater. In the home video release, the endings play in sequence, with the last identified as "what really happened". It gives the most complex explanation to the {{whodunnit}}, and is the only one in which every single one of the main characters kills or directly contributes to the death of at least one person.
* In the card game ''TabletopGame/{{Hearts}}'', the aim in each round is to get the minimum score. You score 1 point for each heart you acquire and 13 points if you acquire the queen of spades, therefore you want to avoid acquiring these cards. However if you acquire ''all'' of the penalty cards, then you actually win the round and each of the other players gets 26 points, instead of you. This is known as ''Shooting The Moon'', which is a Golden Ending of sorts.