The Standard End, which usually involves the least effort by the player. This is usually very short or unfulfilling, such as a blank staff roll, if the game is trying to push 100% Completion on you. Alternatively, it ends the story on a decently happy note, but leaves some massive plot threads hanging with minimal resolution.
The Good End, one or more character-specific endings on a positive note. Sometimes referred to as the Golden Ending (especially if the lesser options simply aren't that good). In dating sims, this is usually the one where the player character gets laid.
The True End, the primary plot ending of a game that has multiple endings. In many Dating Sims, this ending may not be achievable if other endings are not achieved yet. It basically forces the player to finish the game with the "Good End", in order to unlock the path of the true story. When it is still locked, trying to get the "True End" usually results in the "Standard End" or "Bad End" below. The "True End" usually reveals most if not everything that happened in the other storylines, while some events remain mysterious even when "Good End" is achieved. The "True End" often overlaps with the Golden Ending, but not always. Also, don't be surprised if there's a True Final Boss at the end of this road.
The Good+/Best End, where all the available content is opened up or shown. As the name implies, this is the best out of several possible "Good Ends", and almost always overlaps with the Golden Ending.
The variably-used Poor End, when the player makes an immediately quick, game-ending decision, making this ending effectively a Nonstandard Game Over.
The Joke End, perhaps the rarest of all: some games contain joke endings which are usually the most difficult to obtain, generally requiring the player to use some MacGuffin or play in a totally nonstandard way.
Some designers include truly "neutral" multiple ends, letting the player decide whether they're good or bad.
The major problem with Multiple Endings is that the sequel, should the developers decide to make one, obviously has to pick only one ending from which to continue the story — probably one of the good ones. This invariably occurs in adaptations to other media, such as novels, comics and television. Video games have the technical means to solve said problem with an Old Save Bonus, wherein the previous game's conclusion becomes the player's personal canon in the sequel. The other problem is that thanks to YouTube uploads, being able to view multiple endings no longer requires you to replay an entire game (perhaps in response to this, many games now have in-game rewards for getting different endings). Sometimes multiple endings require the player to do different actions or align themselves to different sides in order to see each ending, even if it means going against the main character's nature and goals to achieve it. This can make the story and characters look disjointed and confuse the player when they see the main character suddenly switching sides because of a few actions they did in a previous scene. When done poorly, having multiple endings can cause the player to have more questions than feel like the story is really resolved.
Occasionally, the Multiple Endings are also couched with a non-linear plot — in which case, it can become frustrating-verging-on-impossible to find any of the multiple endings, especially if there are multiple "threads" in the plot.
Cave Story has an obvious, early bad ending, triggered if you accept a character's offer to run away rather than stay to fight the Big Bad. Defeating the Big Bad gives a rather bittersweet standard ending where the threat to the world is averted, but the floating island crashes, killing everyone who was still in it. But if you complete the sidequest to save Curly (whose requirements are hard to figure out without a guide and very easily Lost Forever), enter the Bonus Level Of Hell, and defeat the True Final Boss, then you get the good ending in which you save the island from crashing, and the Quirky Miniboss Squad finds redemption. Also, for both the standard and good endings, the credits (and the art that's displayed during them) vary depending on your in-game accomplishments. The bad ending gets no credits.
Simon's Quest deserves special mention. The "standard" ending (finish in 8-16 days) says unequivocally that Simon died, but hinted that a new hero would eventually carry on the fight against Dracula. The "beginner" ending (over 16 days, an extremely slow time) says that the curse was destroyed, but hints strongly that the Belmont bloodline was as well, plus the screen is black and white. In the "best" ending (under 8 days), the curse is broken, and Simon survives and is hailed as a hero... but in the very last shot, Dracula's hand emerges from his grave. Since all three, based on future events, are accurate to some extent, it's highly arguable as to which, if any, is the "correct" one, although Konami clearly at least intended for the best ending to be it.
Dracula X was an unusual case. There are three possible ending shots, one for failing to rescue Maria or Annet, one for rescuing only Maria, and one for rescuing both. It is impossible to rescue only Annet; if you don't save Maria, the door leading to Annet will not open. No explanation has ever been offered for this.
Others just have a bad ending and a good ending. Usually, trying to get the good ending opens up another boss battle, if not more areas to explore. Sometimes the bad ending cuts the game off halfway. The requirments can be not taking too long (Castlevania 64//Legacy of Darkness), getting all the Plot Coupons required (Order Of Ecclesia), or finding a certain item and using it at the right point (Portrait Of Ruin and Symphony Of The Night).
Apparently, there was supposed to be another Bad End for Symphony, judging from some Dummied Out dialogue found by hacking the game, in which Maria would've been possessed by a demon.
Bloodlines had two segmented endings, one for each character, that got longer depending on difficulty.
Dracula's Curse has four different endings, depending on whether Trevor fought Dracula alone or with one of his three companions. The endings with Trevor's companions basically tells what happens to them after defeating Dracula. The credits sequence also changes after the second loop.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask has a segmented ending, where the finale Cut Scene is split into a ten short clips, each of which being unlocked by the possession of an appropriate mask, so that the entire ending can only be seen if get the corresponding ten masks. Failing to collect a specific mask simply gives you a picture of the mask you don't get rather than the scene, as the scenes is usually to the things Link has to do in order to get them.
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks has three different endings, depending on Link's answer to Zelda's question about what he wants to become after the adventure, which the player has to choose before the final battle. Choosing "Warrior" gives the player a scene where Zelda watches Link training in the countyard (and apparently hurting himself in the process); "Train Engineer" causes a similar scene, where Zelda watches him driving by the Castle and pulling the steam whistle. When answered that he's not sure, Link apparently leaves Hyrule after the game, leaving Zelda behind with nothing but a picture showing the two of them on the Spirit Train.
1213 has a standard ending, and a special ending. Both are similar in context, but the special ending really has to be seen to be believed.
The original Metroid is famous for its Reveal that Samus Is a Girl, in which she takes off more of her suit if you finish the game more quickly, and all the sequels continue the tradition, in one fashion or another.
Hunters had a standard good and bad endings. You get the bad ending if you beat the final boss without shooting the symbols on the wall; the ending shows the area exploding with Samus stuck inside, then the words "The End?" appears after the credits. If you were able to figure out what the cryptic messages throughout the game meant and used it during the final boss fight, there would be a second part to the fight, and beating the boss there gets you the good ending where Samus escapes.
Cubivore gives you a bad ending if you don't have a large enough number of mutations by the end of your first time through the Chicky chapter.
If nearly all your decisions were red suit-influenced and Spider-Man chooses Mary Jane, Spidey ends up reunited with Mary Jane and New York begins to recover from the symbiote invasion.
If you chose mostly red suit decisions and chose Black Cat rather than Mary Jane, we see Spidey attempting to call Mary Jane to apologize.
If almost all choices were black suit-influenced and Mary Jane was chosen, Spidey becomes ruler of the symbiotes and vows to get Mary Jane back by any means necessary. Meanwhile, Black Widow, now working with Kingpin and the Tinkerer, calls for a symbiote-controlled Wolverine to deal with Spidey.
If nearly all choices were black suit-based and Black Cat was chosen, Spidey turns evil and rules the symbiotes with Black Cat at his side, rejecting the mantra of great responsibilities in the process. Once again, Wolverine is summoned by SHIELD to stop the out-of-control Spider-Man from doing anymore damage.
Phantom 2040 had over twenty endings, and while which one the player earned usually depended on obvious things like which option they took when given a story choice, there were a few cases of a determining factor being just which literal path they took to complete their objectives.
At the very end of Bastion the Kid is given two choices of what to do with the fully restored Bastion. Restoration, or Evactuation.
If he chooses Restoration, the Bastion's primary function is triggered, and the world is reset to the way it was before the Calamity, in the hopes that things will go better this time around.
If he chooses Evacuation, the Bastion triggers an emergency secondary function, and Detonates all the Cores and Shards, turning the Bastion into an airship of sorts, with which the handful of survivors can leave the ruined Caeledonia behind and search for new lands.
The Restoration ending provides a justification for the game's New Game+ feature. In short, the gambit fails. Time is reset, but things don't change enough to prevent the Calamity from happening over again. Rucks exhibits a bit of deja vu, cementing the idea that they're stuck in a "Groundhog Day" Loop, until one of the loops prevents the calamity, or ends with the Kid choosing Evacuation.
In addition, there is a choice at the very end of the last level that decides whether Zulf lives or dies.
The arcade platformer Youkai Douchuuki (AKA Shadowland) has five different endings. Depending on various factors (enemies killed, money collected, choices made), Tarosuke could either end up in heaven, be reincarnated as either a human or an animal, become a preta (in other words, suffer extreme and eternal hunger) or end up in hell.
Rockman Exhaust has two endings by mistake. Beating the final boss normally has the game reset after Wily starts begging. Entering an invisible boss gate during the fight, however, leads you to a Minus World version of the fight with a glitched boss that stays on the right side of the screen. Killing this boss leads to another ending where Mega Man falls through the floor (presumably due to a programming error), and the projector simply falls endlessly. See here.◊
Beat Em Ups
Splatterhouse 3 had four endings. Which you got were decided by if you beat the first three levels quickly enough to save your wife and son. (Note: The endings do not actually have names.)
Bad Ending: Fail to save either your wife or your son. "Alone... all alone..." It is hinted at that Rick goes crazy with grief.
The first Streets of Rage has two endings, the first of which has the heroes kicking ass on Mr. X and saving the city, and the other, which is only possible by having one character accept Mr. X's offer to join him and the other refusing; the winner of the fight between the players will become the new Big Bad after defeating Mr. X. You even get "BAD END" upon the closing of the credits.
If you fail to save the real Chief, the first bad ending has you fighting Shiva as the final boss and when you beat him, Zan interrogates him to find out where Mr. X is, but he won't talk, and the crew is at a dead end.
A bad ending where the final boss is beaten but time runs out. The bombs explode, people die, the city gets ruined, and the trust the people of the city placed in Axel and the gang is damaged. Bare Knuckle 3 attempts to soften the blow by stating that either way, nuclear war between America and Lima has been prevented. That the bombs wrecked the city is incidental; in time this tragedy will be forgotten.
And the best ending, where you beat the final boss and save the city from the bombs/prevent general death and destruction around the world.
Final Fight Guy, the second SNES port of the original Final Fight, along with the two SNES sequels Final Fight 2 and Final Fight 3, each had a segmented ending in which a new scene is added to the ending for each difficulty setting. Thus, the full ending is only shown by the completing the game on the hardest setting. Likewise, the dialogue in the ending of Final Fight 3 will change depending on the characters being used.
Scott's Ending is Ramona moving away, but suddenly dating Kim Pine, Knives Chau, and Envy Adams all at the same time.
Ramona's Ending is the generic one used in the graphic novels and movies. Ramona gets to continue dating Scott and they both go through a subspace door to their future.
Kim's Ending is that Scott and Kim pass by each other one day. Kim has a suggestive smile on her face and she suddenly walks off into the sunset. Holding hands with Knives.
Stephen's Ending is that Sex Bob-Omb plays an awesome concert and money randomly rained from the sky. Maybe it was all just a dream.
Nega Scott's Ending is enslaving the rest of the world and sending the rest of the characters off to the salt mines.
Knives' Ending is marrying Scott against his will.
And finally, Wallace's ending... is a single picture of Wallace sitting on what appears to be Gideon's throne, holding a glass of wine, confetti fluttering down, and no added text to give any sort of context to the situation.
Undercover Cops has a bad ending if the player fails to prevent the final boss from dropping an atomic bomb into the city and seven possible good endings, depending on the number of players and the characters being used.
In Street Fighter Alpha 3, the ending differs depending on whether the player defeats the final boss (M. Bison for every character besides himself and Evil Ryu, Ryu if the player is M. Bison, or Shin Akuma if the player is Evil Ryu): while defeating the final boss will show the player character's ending, losing to M. Bison or Shin Akuma as the final boss will show Bison's ending, in which he uses the defeated character's body (Ryu in Bison's standard ending) to power-up the Psycho Drive and rule the world; losing to Ryu with Bison plays Ryu's ending instead.
Super Street Fighter II (and by proxy, Super Turbo) allowed players to decide whether Chun-Li would continue her career as a detective or live her life as a civilian: choosing the former shows Chun-Li in a police uniform (based on an early design of her character) beating up a group of drug dealing thugs; while choosing the latter shows Chun-Li in a night club beating up a group of thugs trying to harass her. Regardless of which career path she chooses, she still ends up getting into fights.
Rival Schools: United By Fate has a "poor" ending for each character if you didn't fight the True Final Boss, Hyo; these endings are all the same — the character and their partner standing over a defeated Raizo, the narrator noting they had not yet met the "real power" behind the story. Meeting certain requirements unlocks the fight with Hyo, who can be defeated to get the character's "good" endings. Of the "good" endings, the one for Hyo is actually a "bad" ending: his plan to take over the schools succeeds, but Hyo regrets defeating his twin brother Kyosuke in order to do so.
In the sequel Project Justice, one bad ending is shown if you beat the Darkside Student Council story, which focuses around that game's Big Bad, Kurow. His plan to take over the school succeeds, and unlike Hyo, he gloats about his victory — and celebrates by petting the hair of his sister Yurika, whom he has brainwashed into becoming his follower along with most of the game's cast.
The second bad ending in PJ happens in the Gedo High story. If Wild Daigo isn't finished off with a Team-Up or Party-Up in Chapter 4, the player's team of Edge, Gan, Akira, and Zaki fight him again in Chapter 5, with Kurow and Momo backing up the brainwashed Daigo. After winning that fight, an ending is shown where Kurow and his group escape, leaving Daigo dead, Akira in tears over his corpse, and Edge and Gan swearing revenge for Daigo's death.
The all-but-forgotten Killer Instinct 2 by Rare has multiple endings for each character. In the game, each character may have either one ally (Maya), one enemy (TJ Combo, Glacius, Sabrewulf, Spinal, and Kim Wu), an ally and an enemy (Jago, Orchid, and Tusk), or even two enemies (Fulgore). Basically whether or not a fatal move is performed (or if the background is interactive) on a specific character decides the ending; you obviously would want to kill your enemy while leaving any allies alive for the better endings.
For one straightforward example, if the player beats the game playing as TJ Combo, if Tusk is alive, TJ Combo sees there is a possibility to rebuild his name in the past, so he foregoes returning back to the present and becomes a champion. If Tusk is dead, Combo is convinced there are no possible challengers, returns to the present, and starts to rebuild his boxing career.
A more complicated example is Orchid: her ally is Jago and her enemy is Sabrewulf. If Jago is alive but Sabrewulf is dead, on his death bed Gargos reveals Jago and Orchid are siblings and they form a fighting team. If Jago is dead and Sabrewulf is dead, Orchid lives but mourns the fact she murdered Jago. If Jago is alive and Sabrewulf is alive, Gargos possesses Sabrewulf and attacks, but Jago successfully kills the demon. If Jago is dead but Sabrewulf is alive, Gargos possesses Sabrewulf and attacks Orchid off-guard; she dies and Gargos gets his revenge.
Not all the character's endings are happy though; some are just less than others. If playing as Spinal, if Kim Wu is alive he dies; but if Kim Wu is dead, he simply is left to an eternity alone without purpose.
The King of Fighters 2003 has two endings, each with its own final boss, depending on how you beat the character Kusanagi: The real final boss, Chizuru/Maki tag team followed by Mukai, can be reached by beating Kusanagi with a DM (Super Move), while failure to do which pits you against Adelheid instead.
The King of Fighters XIII also has two endings: If your score is too low by the time you beat stage 6, Saiki's plans fail and Ash leaves the scene without doing much. Otherwise, you will have to fight Saiki and later Evil Ash, and get the true ending where Ash is RetGoned.
Several other SNK fighting games also have multiple endings: SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos has a true ending which can be achieved by beating the True Final Boss; otherwise, you'll get a generic ending saying that your character simply vanishes. Then, depending on how well you play, Neo Geo Battle Coliseum gives you four endings (and four final bosses) to choose from.
BlazBlue gives each character three possible endings for their story mode, because the BlazBlue universe is set in a Timey-Wimey Ball. Over the story mode, the player can make choices or do certain things that affect the ending you get. Standard fare. There's the True Endings, the BadEndings, and the GagReels. There's also the game's True Ending, that encompasses multiple characters and concludes the plot so far.
Persona 4 Arena has joke endings for Chie, Yukiko, and Kanji that can be pursued by making certain choices in their respective campaigns.
Chie: Chie finds Akihiko getting around the invisible walls in the TV World's school by jumping out a window. Smelling beef on the other side, she gives chase and fights Akihiko over the last beef bowl in a convenience store. After claiming victory, she awakes in the Junes food court, only to find that while she was chasing meat, the rest of the investigation team solved the case without her. Carnivore indeed...
Yukiko: After defeating Teddie, Yukiko worries that her boxed lunch might've spoiled. She decides to test it out by stuffing it into Teddie's mouth. Considering her culinary skills, the result should be obvious. However, Yukiko mistakes Teddie's suffering for rejuvenating effects. When she finds Yu, she tries to get him to eat it. When he resists for perfectly legitimate reasons, she mistakes this as being under the enemy's control, subdues him, and forces him to eat it. She then does the same to the rest of the Investigation Team. She ends up spending the rest of Golden Week alone, working on her cooking while everyone is recovering from food poisoning.
Kanji: Convinced that everything that happened since falling into the TV World was a dream, when fighting against Naoto, Kanji tells her to stop being formal around him and to just call him "Kanji" instead of "Kanji-kun". Only after subduing Labrys's Shadow does everyone tell him that it was not a dream, that he really did everything that he did, including making his feelings for Naoto more apparent. When Naoto actually does call him simply "Kanji", he freaks out...
Duel Savior Destiny has six endings for the main heroines and then a final route for Princess Crea. Each route gets closer to solving the entire situation than the one that came before it with a rather firmly established route order, though the first two at least are interchangeable.
Jojos Bizarre Adventure Heritage For The Future is a fighting game so everyone has an ending (Young Joseph and Shadow Dio didn't in JJV) but Avdol and Mariah have two different endings depending on what option the player picked, reminiscent of Chun-Li and Thanos' endings...although only problem is, you have to choose between one tarot card from 2 face down cards.
For Avdol, if he draws The World, its implied Dio somehow came Back from the Dead, whereas if he draws The Magician, he decides to reopen his shop.
For Mariah, whatever card the player gets determines what Mariah thinks of the player. If they draw The World, she tells them the're not as good as Dio is, but if they draw Bast, she wonders if they really are more attractive than him.
In the final mission of World at War's the American Campaign: Roebuck and Polonsky get themselves into hand-to-hand combat with two Japanese soldiers that pull an I Surrender, Suckers. The player is given the option to save Roebuck or Polonsky. After the final battle, the character you picked to survive will go up to the body of the other, remove his dogtags, and hand them to you, as Roebuck gives a final narration.
Before the final mission in World at War, Reznov will read a passage from Chernov's diary. If the player went and slaughtered helpless Germans during the Soviet Campaign, the passages will be critical, if the player spared them, the passages will praise the player. If the player did a mixture of both, the passages will paint the character as a moral question mark. The actual logic behind the morality of the choices is a bit difficult to understand though, as your choices involve mercy-killing a group of mortally wounded Germans who are writhing in pain as they bleed out, or gunning down a group that are about to be burnt alive anyway by several vengeful Russians wielding molotov cocktails. Turning your weapon onto the guys committing the atrocity just results in the game rebuking you for friendly fire and restarting from the last checkpoint.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 has a variation wherein you still play every stage, but your actions within those stages will affect on what kind of ending you will get (like spare X in this level while kill Y in another level). To expand on this: Frank Woods can be influenced into killing his long-time friend Alex Mason (forcibly made to look like Raul Menendez, the antagonist of the game). The survival of the scientist Karma also affects whether the Celerium WORM is successfully flushed out the entire network system. Lastly, killing Menendez will trigger a worldwide revolution due to his death being the last step of his plan to influence the world into anarchy.
In Metal Gear Solid, you can get an ending with either the loser sidekick (Otacon) or the love interest (Meryl), depending on whether or not you pass the torture minigame and if Meryl makes it out alive. While the Meryl ending has now been confirmed as canonical, with Meryl reappearing alive and kicking in Metal Gear Solid 4, neither ending is explicitly referred to as the Good or the Bad ending (the game calls them Ending A and Ending B). Interestingly, the revelation from the non-canonical ending of Metal Gear Solid is also confirmed as canon (Meryl is actually Colonel Campbell's illegitimate daughter, not his niece) in Metal Gear Solid 4, setting up a major conflict.
Before that, Metal Gear Solid 2 featured Snake sporting (and explicitly referencing) the infinite ammo bandanna, the player's reward for reaching Meryl's ending in the previous game, as a subtle hint that the Meryl ending was actually canon. The in-game novel, "The Shocking Conspiracy Behind Shadow Moses", offers a different explanation, suggesting that the protagonist of the novel found the bandanna on the beach at Shadow Moses, where Meryl found it in the game. The 'alien' who rescued the protagonist (Snake through the eyes of a Conspiracy Theorist) took the bandanna from him, and escaped with it, thus subtly implying that Snake got the Otacon ending. (Nastasha's book contradicts this again by saying it seemed Snake managed to rescue Meryl. Incidentally, the theme of the game was about choosing the path to follow when presented with conflicting information about the world, and not fussing about absolute reality.)
Substance features five non-canonical 'Snake Tales' missions. Four of these have two endings, and which one is chosen is usually determined by whether the player kills the final boss or not. Snake Tale A has five, as skipping a large chunk of the mission makes it possible to fight the boss almost straight away with two alternate endings. The player can also re-enter the elevator Snake uses right at the beginning to end the scenario on a weird note. This could be considered a Non-Standard Game Over as it does lead the player to a game over screen (with no continue option though).
Abe's Oddysee features four endings: Standard Good, Standard Bad, Perfect Good, and Perfect Bad, depending on how many of the 99 mudokons you managed to save. The end of the gameplay shows you being captured by the baddies. If you have rescued 50 or more mudokons, they band together and rescue you, and you are hailed as a hero (Standard Good). If you rescued fewer than that, they let you die (Standard Bad). If you rescued all 99, you get the Standard Good ending, but also a teaser for the next game and some production art (Perfect Good). If you killed as many mudokons as possible (some mudokons must be rescued in order to progress in the game), you are appointed Head of Employee Relations by the baddies (Perfect Bad). Oddly, the Perfect Bad ending is arguably the best, as it is the only one that gives you any future advantage in the game — you are provided with a cheat code that will only work once the Perfect Bad ending has been completed. The sequel Abe's Exoddus has a similar ending setup, only the number of mudokons is raised to 300 (with the Good/Bad threshold raised to 150).
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl has a least 7 endings. 5 are "false" early endings obtained by interacting with the "wish maker", often by players who had not fully interpreted the game plot, which wish/hallucination you get is based on your interactions and status in the game (in order of precedence):
Zone goes away. If your reputation is good, you wish for the zone to disappear. You are shown a clear sky, green grass. The characters pupils are gone. You have become blind.
Money. If you have a lot of money but a lower rep, you wish for money. Gold coins fall from the sky. The coins are actually bricks, metal, and other debris you are soon crushed under.
Rule the world. If you kill 2 main characters, you wish to rule the world. The monolith absorbs the character, leaving only a pile of clothes.
Corrupt humanity. If you kill everyone and your rep is very negative, you wish for humanity to be "controlled". The player has a vision of the end of the world, followed by waking in a black void.
Immortality. If you do none of the above, you wish to be immortal. You are transformed into a metal statue.
The 2 main endings are based on the player ignoring the wishmaker, finding the true ending section, and following that. The endings then become:
Join the C-Consciousness hivemind controlling the area, and attempt to fix the zone.
Destroy the equipment, and you are shown a bright, grassy field. It is implied that the zone was repaired and you have succeeded.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat has an ending consisting of 20 segments explaining the fate of important places, characters and factions. Most of them have two variants, some have three.
BioShock had two separate endings. In the better ending, you die in a hospital bed, surrounded by the little sisters you've saved. They are presumably rehabilitated and go on to live long, fruitful lives... coming back to the nest to see you off at the end. Otherwise, you unleash hordes of gene-spliced homocidal maniacs upon the surface world.
Originally, there was only supposed to be one ending (with your decision over whether to harvest or save the Little Sisters affecting nothing other than your conscience), but Executive Meddling demanded otherwise.
The sequel follows suit, with your actions affecting how the impressionable little sister named Eleanor (your former Little Sister now grown up) will mature in the final ending. If you killed the designated NPCs and harvested little sisters, Eleanor drowns her mother Sophia (the Big Bad) during the escape to the surface, then takes your ADAM for herself (killing you), after which she heads off to bring terror to the world. If you killed a few of the NPCs, but showed mercy to others, Eleanor watches Sophia die rather than actively killing her, then tries to save you. You then have an option of saving yourself or letting yourself die: if you save yourself, Eleanor takes your ADAM for herself; if you let yourself die, Eleanor acknowledges you giving her freedom, albeit saddened by her loss. However, if you spare the NPCs and save the little sisters, Eleanor saves Sophia from drowning, then uses her needle to inject your consciousness into her. Your body dies, but you are now a part of her, and she is hopeful for the future as she and the little sisters you saved look over the sunrise.
Blood Omen, the first game in the Legacy of Kain series, had another set of two endings depending on a choice made at the very end: As Kain, the player could either kill himself to restore peace and prosperity to the land of Nosgoth, or choose not to kill himself, condemning the land to an eternity of decay as its vampire overlord. Interestingly, the latter of these two endings was made canon in the game's sequels.
At the end of the original Half-Life, the player has a choice: join the G-Man or die. Each choice has its own Game Over screen and consequences.
The standard ending of Max Payne 2 sees Mona Sax die from her gunshot wounds. Beating the game on the hardest difficulty level, Dead On Arrival, unlocks an alternate ending in which she lives.
No More Heroes offers a segmented ending in its endgame: After Travis becomes the first-ranked assassin in the country, an up-and coming assassin breaks into Travis' motel room to kill him while he's on the can. If the player buys all the katana upgrades, the "Real" ending becomes available where Henri kills the assassin, fights Travis one last time, and announces that he's Travis' long lost twin brother. Then things get even more bizarre...
Setting up the nuke but failing to escape the blast in time (okay ending).
Setting up the nuke and escaping on foot (good ending).
Setting up the nuke and calling in you helicopter extraction team (best ending).
Prince of Persia: Warrior Within has two endings, the standard ending where you kill Kaileena, and the good ending (which is also the canon one) where you kill the Dahaka and leave with Kaileena for Babylon. You can only get the good ending if you find all nine of the life upgrades in the game.
Prince of Persia let you play through to the end even if you run out of time, but when you reach the princess's room, the hourglass is empty, and the princess gone... implying that she's either dead or being forcibly married to Jaffar.
Strife has 3 endings. Good, bad, real bad. In the good ending, the boss dies, humanity is saved, and the mission control chick "rewards" you. In the bad ending, it turns out that she was the boss all along. You still defeat her, but the war still rages on, and humanity's chances of survival are slim. In the worst ending (you die on the final bossfight), humanity becomes extinct.
Professional: Escapes in a police cruiser, managing to salvage a few diamonds in the process.
Slightly-professional: Escape without the diamonds.
Action Doom 2: Urban Brawl features some 5 endings depending on specific choices the player makes at specific parts (including whether you win or lose a specific boss fight), varying from the very good (you reunite with your daughter), through the semi-good (you never find your daughter or find a poor woman's kidnapped son, but marry the woman), down to bad (you take too long and your daughter is gone; you find your daughter, but she is afraid of you and would rather stay with the villain; or you accidentally end up killing your daughter during the final boss fight.)
Massmouth 2 has six endings, depending on whether you manage to save your employer, whether you kill him at the behest of the villain, and whether you side with the villain or kill him. The author tartly noted that this makes a sequel quite impossible, as all the endings may be considered equally 'proper'.
Typing "click heels" at any point during Windham Classics's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz gives a Nonstandard Game Over where you are back in Kansas, safe with your dog... but forever wonder "what would have been" if you stayed in Oz. There are also Nonstandard Game Over scenarios where you stay with the Munchkins, or go with the wizard back to Omaha.
Slouching Towards Bedlam has five endings depending on how you deal with the Logos situation. No ending can be considered the "true" one, and the main point of the game is deciding for yourself if something like the Logos would be beneficial or harmful to humanity.
Galatea, an Interactive Fiction game by Emily Short, has a variety of endings depending on how the player character interacts with the eponymous NPC. The PC can help Galatea become human, become lovers with her, provoke her into killing him, trade places with her... and that's just a small section of the endings. Alabaster, made by the same author, has no less than 18 unique endings, most of them bittersweet.
Emily Short loves this trope, in fact: Bronze has three possible endings (you kill the Beast; you free the Beast from his curse but fail to free his servants; you free the Beast AND his servants), Glass six (depending on which sister you suggest to the Prince, and whether you remain silent during their interaction or speak up about something), and Metamorphoses at least eight endings (depending on which "mirror" you look into after you collect all the MacGuffins).
The Dreamhold has three endings, depending on the course of action you took after regaining your memories. You can choose to complete the diagram you failed to last time, or put the last shred of mask on the mirror, or literally ascend up into the stars with the right equipment.
Escape From St Marys: The two endings are largely the same, but only one lets you actually exit the school.
Choice Of Games is often fairly stingy with these; their games have many and varied choices, but they're more about the journey than the destination, and their writing team considers railroading to be a best practice for a Choose Your Own Adventure-style game, due to the ridiculous amount of writing required otherwise.
Choice of the Dragon is perhaps most notable for averting this trope; at the end of the game, you go into hibernation. Of course, it's possible to get a Nonstandard Game Over before then.
Choice of Broadsides has variations in the epilogue depending on your spouse (or lack thereof), your wealth, your patronage stat, and whether or not you captured Villeneuve's frigate.
The Fleet has five different endings, depending on whether you defeated the alien invasion, whether you sided with or against the Alliance, and whether you prevailed in the final conflict. All of them offer you a chance to ally with the aliens you spent the game fighting, but the circumstances will depend on how you handled the battle for your homeworld and the aftermath.
The Space Under the Window has several short endings which depend on what words from the description text were typed in at the command prompt.
Choose Your Own Adventure and Choose Your Own 3 Hour Adventure depend heavily on this trope.
The Doomwood saga from AdventureQuest Worlds has multiple ways that it can end, depending on who you sent for before the final battle with Vordred and whether or not you chose to help Artix or betray him.
If you sent for Empress Gravelyn, she finishes Vordred off with the weapon that she had made from Noxus' skull. Upon learning that Artix is the Champion of Darkness, Gravelyn offers to make Artix the champion of her undead army, with her slaying Artix to become the Champion herself if he should refuse. Artix refuses, as he is a Paladin of Swordhaven even if he can't use the powers of one and servant of Good King Alteon. Gravelyn renews her vow to finish what her father started when Drakath falls before handing the Noxus Head Staff off to you.
If you sent for Lady Vayle, she protects you from Vordred's final attack before challenging Artix in vengeance for her brother. Artix refuses to fight Vayle, but states that she needs to talk to someone first. A sad scene then ensues where the spirit orb of Vayle's long-lost brother, who she became a necromancer to try to bring back, explains to her that what she did was wrong and that he thanks you and Artix for allowing him the chance to redeem himself. Vayle is moved to tears by this, but she's not forgiving Artix anytime soon — her life's work was ruined by him, and she angrily states that the next time they meet, they will be mortal enemies.
If you sent for Zorbak, he stomps Vordred's form into the ground before claiming Vordred's skull for his collection of thrones (including Drakonnan's helmet from Dragon Fable). The three of you then speculate on who the Champion of Light would be.
If you sent for Daimyo, he does much the same thing as Zorbak, minus the skull-claiming. Artix is confused about a lot of things, but when you try to give him the Shadowscythe Amulet, he tells you to hang on to it, as you are the person he trusts most in the world. We then cut to Sally, who is all alone again and hating every minute of it. Drakath, in one of his rare moments of kindness, shows up and gives Sally Vordred's skull. She vows to rebuild him more powerful than before and rebuild the original Necropolis. This is the True End, and we will be seeing these two again.
Bubble Bobble has different endings depending on how many players.
The Bad Ending If you beat the game in 1 player mode, The girl that you are going to rescue will just disappear out of nowhere leaving you alone. And the message will read "SAD END! This is not a true ending! Try this again with a friend!" No ending credits is shown.
The Good Ending If you beat the game in 2 Player mode, You will rescue the girl and Bub and Bob will turn from their dragon form into human form. Ending credits is shown.
Meteos has a whopping twelve endings, though they're just text with a graphic on the bottom of the screen. The Star Trip mode has three variations, and each has its own unique endings (2, 7, and 3 respectively). One of the endings involves the antagonistic planet being cut up by a gigantic fork.
The Death Mode in Tetris: The Grand Master 2 PLUS normally terminates your game at level 500. However, if you reach level 500 in 3 minutes and 25 seconds or less, the game continues, you get the rank of M, and can go all the way to level 999. Surviving all the way to that level yields the true ending and the rank of Grand Master.
Tetris: The Grand Master 3 's Master has something similar; if you take more than 7 minutes to reach level 500, the game ends prematurely — a feature known among TGM fans as a torikan, and you get a message reading "EXCELLENT — but...let's go better (sic) next time." Shirase mode, which has 1,300 levels, has a torikan at both level 500 and also level 1,000.
Braid and Eversion are examples where the good ending is even more of a bad end than the already bad standard ending.
In Braid, the standard ending reveals that Tim is the "monster" the Princess was trying to escape from. To get the alternate ending, you have to collect the hidden stars. And you have to kill the Princess in order to find the last one.
In Eversion's standard ending, you find the Princess shortly before she turns into an Eldritch Abomination and devours you. In the alternate ending, your character mutates into an Eldritch Abomination as well. In the HD version, there's a third ending where both of you turn into intermediate creatures who are stuck forever.
Mind you, both of these aren't so much causing a worse ending as they are revealing that the ending you already got was even worse than you previously realized. At least, that's how they seem...
Escape From The Mindmaster gave you an ending whether you won or lost, in which you would see your score and get a rating from the Mindmaster. If you won, you got a screen saying "A Winner!", and fireworks would shoot out of the "A".
WarioWare Inc. has a secret ending in Orbulon's stage; should you lose 3 lives, but if you beat the boss with one Alien Bunny left without quitting or getting a Game Over, after the message, which involves Orbulon telling the player to be amazed by alien powers, said Alien Bunny will only drop Orbulon off.
There are also two more secret endings; the ending when you have 3 lives remaining, and the one where you have 2 lives remaining. If you view Orbulon's ending again via Options, then you will end up with the 4 lives ending, so the only way to view the three secret endings is to lose a life and make it to the end of the boss and win without getting a Game Over.
Irisu Syndrome has several endings. Which one you get depends on whether or not you get 20,000 points in normal mode, then what you do before/during Metsu mode.
The first ending occurs if you get less than 20,000 points before running out of lives. Irisu murders the other three characters, then retreats back to her room to watch a news story covering their disappearance.
The second ending is earned by getting at least 20,000 points on one of your lives. The murders from the first end are implied to still happen, and we actually get to witness the lead-up to the final one... but upon re-opening the game, it's revealed that it was a joke played on the final "victim" to kick off her surprise birthday party, and everyone is actually alive.
Getting 100,000 points before unlocking Metsu mode and reading the files created in the game's folder as you play leads to a third ending, in which the second ending happened, but Irisu did originally want to murder the other three, but came to her senses and refrained. But after making an unfortunate discovery, she completely snaps and plans to kill everyone after all.
Finally, getting 50,000 points in Metsu mode simply has the four friends become even closer, and Irisu becomes sane.
In Solomons Key, beating all the levels without collecting the hidden items leads to a rather perfunctory ending which simply has Dana walk out of the now-sealed cave. The ending can be improved if you get the Pages of Time and Space and/or the fairy princess.
Note: Real Time Strategy games naturally have multiple endings, since there are usually several factions to choose from. Only when the same faction has multiple endings is it this trope.
In the GDI ending, Kane can be killed in either one of two ways. If you destroy the Temple of Nod with the Ion Cannon, Kane will embrace it as it engulfs him. If you destroy the Temple conventionally, Kane will be crushed by falling debris.
In the Nod ending, Nod hijacks the GDI Ion Cannon, and you get to destroy one of either the White House in Washington D.C., the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Houses Of Parliament in London, or the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.
In Giga Wing, completing the first 6 stages normally nets a Downer Ending in which your character(s) sacrifice themselves to destroy the Medallion. If, on the other hand, you complete the first 6 stages on a single credit, you proceed to a 7th stage, which consists entirely of the final battle between you and the Perfect Run Final Boss; defeating him will net you a better ending, regardless of how many continues you use on this stage.
In Rez, losing to Eden, the boss of the fifth and final area in the game, has her dissolving, presumably shutting down the network with her, yielding you the worst ending. Should you manage to defeat her, you'll see the real ending, and how much of it you see depends on what percentage of the area's enemies you destroyed.
And to get the full ending, you need to defeat her while still in the Final Form (which means taking no damage at all during Stage 5).
Touhou is swimming in this trope. Every shot-type (between one and three for each character, and between two and four characters depending on the game) has its own good and bad (generally achieved by beating the final boss after continuing) endings. Imperishable Night added normal endings as well.
In The Hunt, of all things, has four. Interestingly enough, it's implied that while the enemy is unquestionably evil, your side isn't a paragon of virtue either (or at least has the potential to turn evil now that there's nothing left to oppose it), and the best possible result is for everyone to lose the ability to wage war.
One player, continue at least once: DAS's world conquest plot is destroyed. The sub surfaces and parades past a cheering crowd.
One player, no continues: DAS's plot is destroyed, but the sub is caught in the blast that destroys the base. Scrolling shot of the demolished base, ending with the now-disabled sub nose-down in a wrecked battleship.
Two players: After destroying the last boss, the two subs turn on each other, and they duke it out in a special arena. If one of them wins, it surfaces and takes over the world, travelling through deep sea before joining up with several other subs. If time runs out before either sub wins, they're both caught in the blast that destroyed the base, go out of control, and sink to the bottom.
Razing Storm normally ends at Stage 4, after taking down the huge skull battleship. However, you can also end your game on Stage 3 by allowing the missiles at the end of the stage to destroy the bridge your squad is on. However, the game tries to keep it positive with your squad coming out of the wreckage unharmed and acknowledging that they still completed their mission (which was to assassinate the Big Bad in Stage 3-1).
The unreleased shooter Chimera Beast has a weird twist on this trope. Completing the game properly will give you the staff roll and the "bad" ending, saying that because of you, Earth is doomed to be eaten by the eponymous Chimeras. Lose against the final boss and you get the "good" ending, but no staff roll.
The spirit overload ending in Segment 7: Rex Cavalier transfers his spirit to the protaganists, driving them mad and turning them into Prayers. Now stuck in a state of endless reincarnation one can only pray for a release that never comes.
Satisfaction Lvl 0: The Garland system fails to engage and the protaganists are locked out of it but also end up trapped in the Cardinal Shaft.
Satisfaction Lvl 1: The system is engaged but falls silent soon afterwards. But they come to realise that the island Paradise had captured their hearts and turned them blind to humanity's own strength. Soon humanity starts to rebuild the world without the help of the Garland system. However, still lingering in peoples hearts are questions regarding the Prayers.
The Darius games generally have branching paths leading to a different ending for each final stage. Darius Twin has only one final stage, but you get a better ending the longer you can play through the game without dying.
Syvalion has over one hundred different endings based on various factors as you play.
Cannon Spike has, besides the two characters, guest characters from games. The hidden ones and Mega Man from the series of the same name and BB Hood from Darkstalkers 3. Each character has a ending as does 2P mode, but BB Hood's endings in 2P mode is somewhat different; beat the game with one of the two players playing as BB Hood, and BB Hood will beat up the other character and boot him/her down the Life Saving tube, and the ending plays as if it was 1P mode. If Mega Man is selected, then BB Hood, BB Hood does not beat up Mega Man.
One of the 2P endings had Simone and Cammy getting attacked by Kabuki, and Simone is instructed by Cammy to get out of the base, but Simone wants to fight Kabuki and instructs Cammy to get out of the base, and Simone and Cammy argue while Kabuki attacks. Another 2P ending did away with the base completely, and only showed Shiba and Cammy at a open street, and Cammy wants to go shopping, and Shiba protests that his board is not a shopping cart, but says, "Oh well... Never mind..."
Terminator 2: The Arcade Game: Which ending the player receives depends on whether all the equipment in the CyberDyne building is completely destroyed. If the player fails to destroy the equipment, research at CyberDyne would still continue, and Judgment Day may possibly still happen.
The Command & Conquer series usually has 2 or more sides to play as with different endings. When a sequel comes out, the series developers usually choose the good side as victor and use that for the story.
The expansion pack to Tiberian Sun, called Firestorm, is also unusual in that both the GDI and NOD campaigns are theoretically both canon, as both sides are fighting against a common enemy. In actuality, however, there are still a few discrepancies between the two endings, and the GDI one is considered definitive.
In addition, it's commonly believed that the Command & Conquer universe as a whole branches out into either the Red Alert or Tiberium games depending on who wins in the first Red Alert game. This comes from the fact that the first Red Alert was meant as a prequel to the original series, and there are various hints in that direction in its cutscenes. However, due to later revelations, this no longer makes sense; for example, GDI couldn't come into existence if the Soviets won, as its precursor organization, NATO, wouldn't exist.
Pikmin has three endings: In the good ending, Olimar manages to escape the planet with the three Pikmin Onions in tow, but the Pikmin are left on their own, in the best ending, not only do a number of differently-colored Onions join the mix, but the Pikmin have now learned to fend for themselves, and in the somewhat disturbing but strangely cute bad ending Olimar dies and the Pikmin bring him back as one of their own. Which ending you get is determined by the ship parts you've obtained by the end of the 30th day: If you've obtained all parts, you get the best ending. If you obtained all 25 mandatory parts, but lack one of the remaining ones, you get the good ending, and if you don't have all 25 mandatory parts, you get the bad ending.
If your home base is destroyed but you survive, you're greeted, in the first game, with a message that you're stranded, left to drift endlessly in the void, before being sent back to start again.
In Wing Commander III, you could, by failing certain missions, trigger a series of hopeless missions that eventually led to an escalating fight against harder and harder odds until the nigh undefeatable dreadnought. When you die, a cutscene shows the death of the TCS Victory by ramming a Kilrathi dreadnaught, and get to see a cutscene with a conquered Earth. Eject instead of die, and you're shown being tractored into Prince Thrakhath's dreadnaught, where you're given a choice of responses to his victorious gloating. Both are fatal, but the death details differ.
Depending on your earlier choice, when presented with the option of kissing Rachel, Flint, or no one, you're shown a different winning cutscene of you/Blair in a shuttle returning to Earth accompanied by your choice.
In Wing Commander IV, if you screw up enough times and eject, early in the game, you're pretty much fired by Tolwyn. Ejecting after choosing to join the Border Worlds leads to your being captured and executed by Confed as a traitor.
Successfully prevent war from breaking out, and you get two other possible endings, based either on whether you made a series of morally questionable choices, or who had the higher morale between two of your wingmen (The Blood Knight and The Wide-Eyed Idealist) by the end of the game: Either your character is shown to eventually become a heavy-handed Admiral brutally putting down a rebellion (The "Bad Good Ending"), or retiring to become an easy-going instructor pilot (The "Good Good Ending"). Given that the player's character is played by Mark Hamill, the Admiral ending is from time to time referred to as "The Dark Side Ending".
Wing Commander Secret Ops gave you three different endings: win-win, with the command ship being destroyed before activating the accretion device; win-lose, where the device is destroyed, defeating the aliens, but screwing up the Sirius system for centuries to come; and lose-lose, failing to destroy either the device or the control ship, resulting in an ending comm from the captain of the Cerberus, telling you about a Suicide Pill located under your seat.
Luminous Arc 2 has two Dating Sim-like endings. Throughout the game, depending on your dialogue choices, Roland can be paired off with either Althea or Fatima. The differences between the two endings are the unlucky girl fighting the party in a boss battle before departing to Ahrtana, who Roland will formed the Final Bond with and performing the ultimate spell against the Big Bad.
Luminous Arc 3 brings it back by having more options for Refi to be paired off with.
The Dawn of War: Chaos Rising campaign implemented different endings depending on the player's Corruption level, ranging from being hailed as the savior of the Chapter to going renegade and joining Chaos, as well as varying the identity of the traitor depending on their individual level of Corruption. A blatant example of Fake Longevity though, as the missions are identical regardless of Corruption and the endings are ultimately the same (victory over Ulkair and Angelos pledging to purge the traitors from their ranks).
Trapt. There are four possible endings. The first has Princess Allura/Alicia leaving the kingdom at the urging of Hertzog. Choosing to leave will require her to kill Jais, and she will live peacefully in another country... only to hear that a Devil apparently destroyed her kingdom. The second ending occurs if you choose to fight the Princess's handmaiden Rachel. This will result in the Princess murdering Rachel, being possessed by Malphas the Fiend, and going on to murder a magician named Mayate in a Curb-Stomp Battle. If you choose not to fight Rachel, then Rachel will die by a falling rock and Malphas will be summoned, and the Princess will have to fight him. The third ending occurs if you lose to Malphas. Malphas will possess her, and Jais will accompany her, blissfully unaware that "she" is now Malphas. The fourth ending occurs if you win against Malphas. Malphas will apparently die, and the Princess and Jais go back to the castle. The Princess sits on her throne, now a Queen, while Jais goes to find survivors. He finds out that he and Allura/Alicia are apparently the only survivors, and a group of zombie warriors (who evidently were not affected by Malphus's death) prepare to attack him from behind. His fate is left to the player's imagination.
Campaign in Eador has 12 endings depending on your actions and allies, including Chaos devouring all the existence.
Every House of the Dead game has multiple endings. Usually one or two non-canon ones, a canon good/acceptable ending, and an apparently canon ending that alludes to plot points that, as of now, are still yet to be revealed.
1: Sophie is either dead, alive or zombified. Obviously only one is possible, but since she's never mentioned again, we have no way of knowing (which probably was Sega's intention, though Sophie is implied to be alive by Lisa's presence in 3). 2: The normal ending is a plain 'ol group shot with the grateful citizens and your unhelpful allies. The "twist" ending has Goldman turned into a zombie (which we later learn really did happen). The "good" ending is just a little easter egg cameo from Thomas. No conflicts here. 3: One plot point, one "joke" ending (the only one in the series), and li'l Danny may or may not have joined the ranks of the undead. As this is the last game chronologically, it's hard to say what, if anything, is canon. 4: A plot point building off of the one in 3, an emotional eulogy from G, and two versions of Goldman's cryptic final message, one of which confirms the twist in 2; again, nothing contradicts any of the other endings or anything else we've seen.
Parodied in the spin-off Typing of the Dead. The different endings just have the villain jumping off the building with slight variations (flying like Superman, attached to a bungee cord), and the only thing that decides which ending you get is the answers to completely random questions at the end of the game.
The Silent Hill games. Silent Hill 2 was rare in that, rather than the ending being determined by a few specific choices made during the game or via a simple Karma Meter, the game tracked and judged your behavior throughout the game in several areas. For example, if you spent a lot of time fighting and running around with low health, you were more likely to get the ending in which the main character commits suicide; if you paid a lot of attention to a certain NPC and protected her from harm as much as possible, you were more likely to get the ending where you leave with her, and so on. Silent Hill 3 did this as well, but not to the same extent. Silent Hill 4 went back to the old "two important events with two possible outcomes each equals four possible endings" formula. Interestingly (considering the tone of the games), there is a difficult-to-obtain comedy ending in most of the titles. For example, in Silent Hill 2, the dog was behind it all.
The original Resident Evil has seven different endings with additional variations in the GameCube remake: two endings where only one of the two main characters (Jill or Chris) survive alone, an ending where only Jill and Chris survive, two endings in which one of the main characters escape with their partner (Jill with Barry or Chris with Rebbecca), and two "best endings" where Jill and Chris escape with either Barry or Rebecca. According to the sequels, all four of the main heroes escaped the mansion, which is impossible to achieve in the game since Barry goes missing during Chris's game after the opening intro, while Jill never meets Rebbecca in her game.
In RE2, the ending you get is determined by the order in which you play both characters' storyline. You can see the standard ending by completing the first half with Leon and then see the complete ending by finishing the second half with Claire or vice versa.
In RE3, the choices you make throughout the game will determine how the story will unfold, but ultimately there are only two endings that are barely different from each other. The standard ending has Jill and Carlos escaping on their own, while the second ending has Jill and Carlos escaping with the help of Jill's old partner Barry, who just happened to flying his helicopter near the area. The artwork on the result screen will change depending on which ending you get.
The endings also determine whether or not Nicolai lives. Depending on your actions, said character will get away or get killed.
Resident Evil Outbreak has an absurd number of endings. Near the finale, you activate a machine which spits out a cure for the zombie virus, and which also can be used to kill the final boss. The ending you get is determined by how many you take with you or use on yourself. For each of 8 characters, there is a good ending: you escape the city with a zombie virus cure to save the world, a bad ending: You escape without a T-Virus cure and the zombies escape the city, and a really bad ending: You become a zombie in the escape chopper, causing it to crash. Further, each character has a "Partner Ending," where they stay in Racoon City doing something heroic before it is blasted into dust. In total, there are **28** possible ending cutscenes. In the sequel, File #2, there are nearly as many endings but now several of the levels have unique endings too.
Dead Rising has six endings: The worst ending ("F") occurs if you fail to complete a certain plot-related mission; "E" occurs if you fail to progress the plot and don't reach the heliport in time; "D" occurs if you're a prisoner of the special forces at the time limit; "C" occurs if you don't talk to Isabela at 10AM on the last day, but otherwise complete the plot and leave; "B" occurs if you fail to progress the plot but leave; and ending "A" requires the completion of all 8 cases, talking to Isabela at 10AM on the last day, and getting to the heliport at noon. Ending "A" unlocks "Overtime Mode," where Ed gets eaten, his chopper goes down, and Frank will turn into a zombie if he doesn't get some stuff for Isabela to stave off the transformation. Oh, and they have to leave via a tunnel packed shoulder-to-shoulder with zombies, fight off a prototype tank with a Jeep turret gun, and then Frank fights the special forces boss hand-to-hand on top of the tank while zombies mill around. Even after all that, Frank and Isabela are surrounded by zombies with no way out, fade to black. According to the ending epilogue, Frank escaped in one piece and managed to show the information to the world, and thanks to certain lines in the sequel, it can be assumed that Isabela survived as well.
Ending F (Katey dies, return to safe house at the end of Day 3): Zombies break into the safe room. Chuck, however, suffers a Heroic BSOD and offers no resistance when the zombies swarm him. No one survives the Fortune City outbreak, now known as the "Greene Incident".
Alternate Ending F (Run out of time in Overtime mode): Katey and Stacey die when TK lowers them into a swarm of hungry zombies.
Ending D (Do not return to the safe room at the end of Day 3): Chuck is apprehended by the military. As he is being driven through Fortune City, however, the truck comes to a sudden halt as a thick green fog covers the area. No one survives the outbreak following Fortune City's firebombing.
Ending C (Fail a Case File before 6-1, Katey survives; or be in the safe room but out of the security office at 10am on Day 3): Chuck, Stacey, and Katey get ready to leave as the military arrives, but hear gunshots. Chuck goes to investigate, but is shot and killed. No one survives the outbreak when the city is firebombed.
Ending B (Fail a Case File after 6-1, or run out of time during "The Facts): Bombs are shown being dropped on Fortune City. No one survives.
Ending A (Complete all case files, save Katey, do not give TK Zombrex): After dispatching Sullivan, Chuck holds off the firebombing of Fortune City so survivors can be airlifted. While Stacey and Katey board a chopper, Chuck goes to retrieve Katey's backpack, only to be ambushed by a zombified TK. In the epilogue, Chuck is cleared of the charges against him for instigating the outbreak, thanks to Stacey's testimony, but it is unknown if he survived. The incident is known as "Fortune's End". This ending is canon and leads into Case West.
Ending S (Complete all case files, save Katey, give TK Zombrex): The ending starts off like Ending A, but differs when Chuck goes to retrieve Stacey and Katey but finds them missing. This leads into Overtime mode, where Chuck is forced to retrieve items for TK in exchange for Stacey and Katey's safety. TK dies in the ensuing conflict between him and Chuck, and Chuck walks away from Fortune City with Stacey and Katey. Enjoy your Jump Scare.
Dead Rising 2: Off The Record has all the endings from the vanilla version of the game except for Ending F (since Frank doesn't need to give Zombrex to anyone, and failure to give himself Zombrex simply kills him) and Ending A. Some of the endings are also changed due to the game's focus on Frank instead of Chuck.
In Amnesia: The Dark Descent there's three endings depending on how the player finishes the final confrontation. If you allow the boss to escape then it's the bad ending. If you send Agrippa's head through the portal then it's the best ending (even though Daniel dies he's sent on to another "life"). If you just destroy the portal then it's the good ending and Daniel makes his way out of the castle while looking back on everything that happened.
Clock Tower has this in spades. The first game has nine endings, the second ten (five for each character), and the third thirteen.
Haunting Ground has four endings: "Fortes Fortuna Juvat" - Fiona escapes Belli Castle with Hewie after Lorenzo is killed. Debilitas is still alive, but bows to Fiona before she leaves. "Ignis Aurum Probat" - Fiona and Hewie escape, but everyone else they encountered (including Debilitas) is dead. "Dona Nobis Pacem" - Fiona and Hewie escape thanks to a key given by Debilitas, as Lorenzo pleads for Fiona to not go. "Tu Fui, Ego Eris" is the worst ending - Fiona's poor relationship with Hewie causes him to die in the forest. With no one left to save her, she is captured by Riccardo and possibly raped. Fiona wakes up, but is now pregnant, Riccardo's wish fulfilled. She lets out a long, hollow (and freakin' creepy) laugh as the camera pans away from her...
Each of the Fatal Frame games have multiple endings. Usually, the more tragic ones are considered canon.
The first game had three endings: one gotten on Easy/Normal, where only Miku escapes, Mafuyu choosing to stay behind, one on Nightmare: both Miku and Mafuyu escape, and one on the Xboxwhere Kirie is reunited with her lover. Only the first one is canon.
Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly had four endings: one where Mio runs away, one gotten on the easier difficulties where Mio sacrifices Mayu to the Hellish Abyss, one for the harder difficulties, (Mio and Mayu both escape, but Mio is now blind), and another Xbox exclusive ending where Yae and Sae reunite and Mio and Mayu escape. The second ending is canon.
Fatal Frame III: The Tormented only has two endings. In the first one, only Rei and Miku are implied to have survived. The second ending requires a sidequest to be completed but has everyone surviving.
Fatal Frame IV: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse has two endings: one where Misaki's fate is not revealed and one gotten by beating the Hard difficulty where it's clear she survived.
The Wiiremake of Crimson Butterfly, in addition to keeping the four mentioned above, adds two new ones: One where Mio refuses to sacrifice Mayu, so Mayu goes Ax-Crazy and kills Mio herself, and another where Mio is too late to stop the Repentance from emerging from the Hellish Abyss, and instead decides to spend her final moments with Mayu (though it's implied they are Together in Death).
The Suffering had three endings depending on the morality of your criminal inmate protagonist Torque on whether he was actually a good guy, a bad guy, or too neutral to be sorted. You also get Torque's family, the victims of his crime, giving appropriate comments during the final battle on what ending you'll probably get.
Good Ending: Torque was framed and his family was killed by the villain of the sequel.
Bad Ending: Torque did actually kill them, bashing his wife's head in, drowning his younger son in the bath, and throwing his older son out of the window.
Neutral Ending: Torque kills his wife... by accident. The older son sees this happen and goes insane, drowning his little brother in the bath and then committing suicide by leaping out of a window.
The first Dino Crisis has three different endings. In the last branching path in the game, the heroine Regina must choose between letting Dr. Kirk escape or accompanying a severely wounded Gail (her commanding officer) to capture him. In the former choice, the three heroes escape together, but they fail their mission for letting Dr. Kirk escape. In the second choice, Dr. Kirk is captured, but Gail succumbs to his wounds, who reveals before dying that the true objective of their mission was not the capture of Dr. Kirk, but the data disc he was carrying, which contains the research data of the Third Energy project. However, there's also a third alternative: Regina can leave Gail under Rick's care, only to go after Dr. Kirk by herself, allowing all four characters to escape. This is arguably the best of the three scenarios.
Each chapter of Corpse Party: Blood Covered has a few "Wrong End"s and a single "True End". Only by reaching the latter can the player continue on to the next chapter. The fact that these are called "True End"s rather than "Good End"s gives you an idea of the general tone of things.
The PSP version added a few new endings, including some Extra Ends which end the game off on the weirdest notes, where everything just seems to stop and focus on one character, then throw you back to the title screen to play the chapter again. To add to it, the sequel to the PSP version has the beginning of it's story based off of one of the final Bad Ends in Chapter 5.
Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem has the player controlling several characters throughout history, all bound by the Tome of Eternal Darkness, and all trying to stop the resurrection of an evil, ancient god. There are actually three main gods in the game, each one weak to one of the others (along with a fourth god seen to be more powerful, but magically bound by the others). The evil one is determined in the first chapter when the player is in control of Pious Augustus, a Roman centurian in the 1st century. When he is faced with three different idols, he must choose one, determining the antagonist (as well as determining which one the player has to awaken to defeat it). With each successive playthrough, Pious' choices get whittled down until he's chosen them all. When the player has beaten the game three times (and has therefore beaten each of the gods), the True End is shown, revealing that each playthrough took place in an alternate timeline, and now all three of the gods have been defeated. It's also revealed that the fourth god manipulated the humans into destroying each of its lesser guardians, breaking their hold on him and leaving him the only one in power. This is a case where the True End is combined with the Bad End, as the fourth god is said to now be waiting and plotting...
The Bad Ending: Hiroshi takes the way out via rope ladder immediately and flees the mansion without his friends. The closing epilogue reveals that he never saw any of them again, confirming their deaths.
The Good Ending: Hiroshi goes back to collect his friends, but finds the Oni has destroyed the rope ladder. Eventually, they find an alternate route outside and escape together. The ending has Takuro and Hiroshi reflecting on events, hoping it was all a bad dream, while Takeshi has a nightmare about the Oni killing him. The final segment of the ending has a new group enter the house, the camera cutting to outside when the Oni appears. Hiroshi's epilogue states that you should never be as foolish as they were; entering an abandoned mansion may invoke the wrath of the previous owner... especially when no man lives there any more.
Ib originally had seven endings depending on several factors, including how well you treated the gallery, how much you bonded with Garry, whether you saw certain disturbing sights and how much you bonded with Mary.
Ib All Alone: There are three variations; either (if alone) Ib is lured away from the portrait by 'Garry' or refuses to jump in because the player makes her, or (if with Garry) she is lured away by an illusion of her mother.
Together Forever: If you damage too many art works, Garry loses his rose to Mary and dies. If you don't burn her portrait, she'll have been retconned into the universe as Ib's little sister.
The Forgotten Portrait: Same as above, except if Ib burns Mary's portrait, this ending is unlocked. Ib escapes alone, and sees a portrait of a sleeping man, but as the name implies, she doesn't remember him. She leaves to look at other exhibits with her mother.
Memory's Crannies: If you treat the gallery well, but don't bond much with Garry, Ib and Garry both escape, but neither of them remember anything. Garry leaves, and Ib goes to look at more exhibits with her mother.
Promise Of Reunion: If you treat the gallery well, bond with Garry and choose to lend him your handkerchief, Ib and Garry meet after escaping, but don't seem to remember. Suddenly, Garry finds Ib's handkerchief in his pocket, and they both remember, promising that they'll meet again someday. This is the only ending with credits.
Version 1.04 added three new endings:
Welcome to the World of Guertena: If you manage to treat the gallery spectacularly badly, see some disturbing sights, bond well with Mary and fail the doll room, this is unlocked. Garry doesn't recover from the insanity inflicted by the dolls, and Ib collapses in despair. Mary, unable to part with Ib, keeps the two in her world. Forever.
A Painting's Demise: The same as above, except with an inadequate bond with Mary, she leaves Ib behind and escapes... except she ends up in a dark, distorted version of the original gallery, and is reduced to crying for the help of Ib, Garry and her father as the screen goes black.
A new variation of Ib All Alone: Choose not to wake up on Final Stage in the Bonus Dungeon, and Ib will sleep. Forever.
Choose to Grant Mother's Wish: Aya is returned to the mansion alone, with only Maria left to care for her. Maria, driven over the Despair Event Horizon, takes Aya prisoner and decides to 'continue the Doctor's work'. Bad End.
Choose to Abandon Maria: Aya is caught by her father, and without Maria too save her, she is captured. Cut to sometime in the future as Dr. Drevis enters the doll room and kisses Aya - now made into his masterpiece doll - goodnight. Bad End.
Choose to Save Maria: Aya is caught by her father, but Maria comes to her rescue. The two flee the burning mansion after promising to never forget the deaths of the innocent within. Flashforward into the future, Aya is running a free clinic in the woods. Maria, standing in Aya's office near some dolls, notes that "It does indeed run in the family... Doctor."
Another early example is Out Run; there are five goals one can make for, each with its own ending animation.
Star Wars-based games often allow you to choose the Light Side or the Dark Side of The Force, and give a different ending for each, though Word of God is that only the light-side endings are canon:
Drakengard has five endings. The first ending is considered canon and the sequel is based off of it. It's also the ending you have to get on the first playthrough. The second and third endings can be done in any order, and they mostly hinge on how quickly you complete one mission which precedes both. The fourth ending requires that you have all of the available party members, and the fifth ending requires that you've completed all other four endings and have collected every weapon in the game.
One thing to note is that, in a general sense, every ending is more bleak and depressing than each one that came before. To the point that the final ending involves your main characters, being two of the only four characters left alive, following the final boss (which ruined the world) into modern day Tokyo, finally defeating it, and then being shot down by a missile.
Drakengard's fifth ending is also the canon ending starting NIER's storyline. It was confirmed by Cavia itself.
The experimental online game I Wish I Were The Moon has eight endings (plus a secret one) depending on your placement of the people and the objects in the picture. The endings, ranked in rough order from unhappy to happy, are:
Similar to the above-mentioned I Wish I Were The Moon, there's also The Majesty Of Colors'' and its 5 endings based on how your Lovecraftian character interacts with the humans. If you kill at least one of them, you'll get Ending E if you defeat both the bombing boat and the submarine, Ending D if you defeat the bombing boat but get killed by the submarine, or Ending C if you get killed by the bombing boat. If you're friendly to them instead, you'll get Ending B if you don't save the child from being eaten by sharks or Ending A if you do save the child.
F-29 Retaliator, a flight sim, handles this rather oddly — you don't have to complete every mission to get to the end of the game. But, if you complete the minimum number, you have a nuclear war where your side loses and there is nuclear winter; if you complete the maximum number, you have a nuclear war where you side wins, but Mankind Has Lost (nuclear winter). If you complete somewhere between these two, Peace Is Declared.
The Code GeassNintendo DS game features slight variations in its endings depending on which storyline you're playing and who you've recruited or antagonized. Notably, one can avert Euphemia's massacre simply by choosing not to go, earning a "Happy Ending, I guess", as C.C. puts it. As aside, you also get special endings if you perform Too Dumb to Live actions (such as Geassing people into killing you) which causes C.C. to berate you.
The game Lost Colors features a vast number of alternate endings; given that it's a Visual Novel, this should be no surprise. Most famously, the PS2-exclusive Blue Moon Festival opens up most of the show's female cast for romantic endings. Yes, even Nina and Nunnally.
Not to mention, one of the Bad Endings has you geassing Suzaku into joining the Black Knights. That doesn't sound bad, so what's the downside? Lelouch was actually planning to personally recruit Suzaku, so he gets pissed off at you and geasses you into a Convenient Coma. This is especially strange when considering in the Nintendo DS game, an alternate route has Lelouch recruiting Suzaku with this method (though reluctantly).
Another notable thing about the game is that in nearly all of the endings, Euphemia's massacre is averted completely, but unlike the Nintendo DS game, you get to see some more results of this action.
Several Humongous Entertainment children's games (e.g. the Spy Fox series) have an "okay" ending and a "good" ending.
In all three SPY Fox games, there are two possible endings. The sub-par ending plays if Spy Fox manages to thwart the villain but fails to bring them to justice. However, each game has a part where instead of instantly going to the ending, the player could make a quick decision to chase after the villain and play an extra step in the story. Accomplishing the extra part would show the full, high-accolade ending.
In Akrasia (if you plan to download the game, don't scroll further down that page, as there's a spoilery review below the download link and Akrasia is best played without any prior knowledge), you find yourself in a maze with pills to collect and a ghostlike creature to chase. The ending you get depends on how many pills you collect and how quickly you figure out how to escape the maze.
Indie game Virtual Silence has three possible endings. The point of the game is to attempt to train a mute boy to speak using a VR system. In the standard ending, the boy remains mute. To get this ending, fail any of the three challenges pre-endgame and succeed in the final challenge. In the good ending the boy becomes able to speak. To get this ending, complete all three challenges and succeed in the final challenge. In the bad ending, the VR machine kills the boy. To get this, fail the final challenge.
Colosseum: Road to Freedom has five endings, including a Golden Ending (although it's not quite as upbeat as you'd expect the good ending to be). Not surprisingly, doing the stated objective in the instructions, i.e. paying off your debt and walking away a free man, results in the shortest and most boring ending.
You Don't Know Jack: The Ride has a rather unbelievably bizarre application of this trope to a trivia game. Since The Ride was the first of the Jack games to not feature randomly-selected questions, the game knew when it had run out, and, in addition to the semblances of plot building up to "The Bottom", the game presented you with a video scene of the five hosts talking with each other, before they offered you a choice of what sort of ending you wanted.
The "Saw" videogame has two endings, the Freedom, and the Truth. All includes the canonical death of Detective Tapp.
Standard Ending: Fail a challenge or accept the reality that you are going to die.
Worst Ending: Embrace escapism all the way though the end.
Gainax Ending: Embrace escapism until you meet the ship's driver. Tell him to wake up so he can turn the ship around. This allows you to save the passengers from oblivion. Except not really.
Best Ending: Embrace escapism until you're asked if you want to save the passengers. You can't actually save them, but since you achieved enlightenment, you end up giving them comfort in their final hours.
Super Mario World had a subtly different version of the enemy role call for you at the end if you found all of the "exits", with the enemies taking their fall forms instead of their summer ones.
The Three Stooges video game have different ending depending on how much money they saved to save Ma's Orphanage.
Bad Ending: If the Stooges pay less than $5,000, The Orphanage is shut down by the evil banker named I. Fleecum (No Ending Credits is shown).
Okay Ending: If the Stooges pay between $5,000-$10,000, they saved the Orphanage but not enough for the repairs. (Ending Credits is shown).
Good Ending: If the Stooges pay between $10,000-$15,000, they save the Orphanage and make repairs (Ending Credits is shown).
True Ending: If the Stooges pay more than $15,000, they save the Orphanage, make repairs, and The Stooges gets to marry the three daughters (Ending Credits is shown).
Catherine has a plethora of endings depending on Vincent's Karma Meter and his answers to the confessional questions in the final level.
Bad Lover: Vincent asks Katherine to take him back and she refuses.
Good Lover: Katherine and Vincent plan on getting back together.
True Lover: Katherine and Vincent get married in the Stray Sheep.
Standard Neutral: Vincent rejects both girls. He borrows some money from Boss, bets on a wrestling match, and loses.
Good/True Neutral: Same as Standard, except Vincent wins the bet, then uses his winnings to pursue his dream of space travel.
Bad Cheater: Vincent proposes to Catherine and she turns him down. Then he gets hit by a truck.
Good Cheater: Vincent and Catherine have a fairly stable relationship.
True Cheater: Vincent becomes a full demon, and takes over the netherworld with Catherine and dozens of other succubi fawning over him.
Finally, there's a bonus ending accessible only by unlocking and completing all four Babel stages, in which Midnight Venus reveals herself to be the goddess Ishtar and asks the player to become her new consort.
The horror game Gyossait has two possible endings, depending on whether or not you used the gun to kill anything during the game.
If you killed anything using the gun, you will have to fight Gyossait, your former lover, as the final boss of the game. Defeating her will yield you the bad ending, in which both you and her must remain apart forever.
If you did not kill anything with the gun, you unlock the Unholy stage, in which Gyossait doesn't seek to hurt you, but you must free her by reflecting your enemies' arrows at her using your shield. Doing this will yield the "Altruist" ending, which finally sees the two of you reunited.
Worst Ending:Luka kills Alice,and it just goes downhill from there. The goddess Ilias comes down, mocks Alice's dreams, and takes Luka to Heaven and rapes him. Then she destroys the world and remakes it, repopulating it with a new race of people who will obey her every whim.
Bittersweet Ending:Luka loses to Alice. Alice then seals both of them in a force field that no one—including Ilias or even Alice herself—can ever break. Ilias shrugs and carries out the same plan as above, since with those two sealed away, there's no one to stop her. Alice and Luka, on the other hand, spend eternity making love.
Good Ending:Luka defeats Alice, but refuses to kill her. Luka gives a big "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Alice, explaining how her Heroic Sacrifice won't solve anything, and he refuses to kill his best friend for something stupid like the world. Ilias comes down from Heaven to chastise him for not killing the Monster Lord, and Luka finally confronts the fact that his goddess is the one causing all the problems in the world. Luka raises his sword against Ilias and declares war on her, but Ilias responds by releasing an army of chimera beasts and angels, who easily defeat the weakened Heavenly Knights. The last scene is Luka and Alice meeting the enemy army head-on.
"A Painting's Demise": Ib and Garry both go utterly insane and remain trapped forever. Mary attempts an escape on her own, and while she does manage to escape the painting world, she ends up collapsing and dying before she can really find freedom.
"Ib All Alone": There are actually four variations of this ending depending on whether Ib was lured away from the Portal Picture by a fake version of Garry or her mother, dozed off at a bad time, or she simply didn't take the way out when she had the chance.
"Together, Forever": Garry still dies/sleeps forever, but Ib doesn't anger Mary by breaking into her room. She returns to her world and finds out that Mary has managed to escape to her world too and her parents believe her to be a second daughter of theirs. Is a "Together Forever" ending with a Cute and Psycho painting-come-to-life who killed a person to be able to escape to the real world cute or disturbing? You decide!
"Memory's Crannies": Ib doesn't anger Mary enough for her to steal her rose, which allows Garry to live and follow Ib back to the real world. However, he has also lost all memories of their time together in the painting world and they part ways without truly remembering each other.
"Promise of Reunion": Ib also has a high enough relationship with Garry to give him her handkerchief. When she finds him in the real world, he initially doesn't remember her but the discovery of her handkerchief in his pocket triggers his memory and he promises to meet her again in the future. This is the only ending with actual credits.
Non-Video Game Examples:
Anime & Manga
Several TV anime adaptations of the NeoRomanceDating Sim series achieved this by deliberately leaving the heroine's choice at the end ambiguous, and then packing the DVD release (usually only Limited Edition) with omake segments showing the possible outcomes, allowing the viewer to choose one of the pretty guys themselves instead of forcing a particular ending on them:
Strategy Hint: Think about where you made the wrong choice.
Was it alright to hold a strategy meeting at Eva's resort during the night of day two?
Was it alright for you to enter the Mahora Martial Arts Tournament so carelessly?
Was saving Chao and accepting her time machine the right thing to do in the first place?
Return to the previous save point and try again.
You should be able to discover the clues to advancing!
Asuna: Hey hey! Don't end the story on your own! At least pick "continue"!
Later played straight, with a movie as an official alternate series ending to the manga's.
Paradox Blue employs the trappings of video games to tell its story including multiple endings, usually framed like a Non-Standard Game Over. The first chapter of a story sets up a "paradox," a puzzle posed to the main characters by an angel, which they must solve for a boon or else they're likely to be killed. At the end of the chapter, the story then tells the reader to skip to various pages depending on whether they choose to solve the paradox themselves, let the characters do it, or give up. Giving up always leads to an apocalyptic bad ending where one of the characters is the only person left alive on Earth, while solving the paradox or letting the characters solve it (in the next chapter) allows the story to carry on toward the true ending.
Possibly in a jab at Kirino's obsession with visual novels (and possibly to entice people to buy the DVD/Blu-Ray since only one aired), the first season of Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai! had two endings. One where Kyousuke convinces Kirino to stay in Japan and the other where Kirino goes to the US to train in track and Kyousuke convincing her to come back.
Right before the end of the Two-Face themed issue of Joker's Asylum, Joker breaks the fourth wall, demands the reader get a coin and flip it to determine a character's fate: Heads: The character happily reunites with his wife. Tails: He ends up killing himself. Panels are presented for both endings, though, as the Joker explains, only the coin flip determines what "really" happened.
The final issue of the Countdown to Mystery mini-series provided four different endings for the Doctor Fate storyline.
The Ed, Edd n Eddy fanfic What The Ed? by Dyl Man has 3 endings. The Sad Ending, the Happy Ending, and Silly Ending. The Sad Ending has Tuluta Bottoms a.k.a. The Red Guy calling the dog pound and having Ed and Nazz end up working in a glue factory. The Happy Ending has Eddy realizing that he loves Nazz, not Tuluta, and sics SuperCow on Tuluta. The Silly Ending has Tuluta butt-walk on Nazz, Nazz retaliating, Ed butt-walking on both girls, and Edd and Eddy butt-walking on Ed.
The first Ed Abuse originally had two endings. In the second ending, Ed did not forgive to Sarah before dying, and she is eventually Driven to Suicide. This ending was removed by the author for being too dark.
In Relationships Series, there is an Alternate Universe story called "Pain", which details what happens if Yuuno had been sent into combat. He gets injured and overtaxes his linker core, sending him into critical condition. In Ending A, he dies, leaving Nanoha and Fate devastated, and the fic ends with his funeral. In Ending B, he lives, but the main characters still have to protect him from some unethical scientists who want to get their hands on his damaged linker core. The authors indicated that this was already a hypothetical situation, so they should explore both outcomes.
The Axis Powers Hetaliadoujinshi "From the New World, With Love" has a cautiously optimistic ending that would best be described as bittersweet, but there are two sequels for it, one giving the characters a Happy Ending and the other giving them a Downer Ending instead. The good ending has one character coming back wrong and ultimately dying, and the other character destroying himself to prevent the Enemy Within him from surfacing, and both of them being reincarnated as normal humans. If that's considered the good ending, you don't want to know what the bad ending is like.
Third ending: Similar to the first and second, except Scootaloo becomes a loner and never reveals the truth of the facility to the public since she is more or less implied to be forced to keep her mouth shut.
There is a fan-made ending for Death Note in which Light wins and lives to be an old man. He instructs Ryuk to go ahead and kill him, which he does. The rest of the chapter includes all of the deaths Light had written being inflicted on him. In the sense, he is becoming a Shinigami himself and is enduring the deaths of all his victims.
Yet another MLP:FIM example: The Heart of a Dragon branches midway through, with an older Spike pursuing a relationship with either Rarity or Celestia.
The movie Clue had three different endings; during its theatrical run, different endings would be shown in different theaters. On the home videotape release, all three endings were shown, with title cards between explaining that any of them could have happened, but only the third actually did happen. In the DVD version, the viewer may choose to see one particular ending, see all three (as in the VHS release), or even have the DVD player choose an ending at random.
Spoofed by the ending(s) of Wayne's World, which are, in order, the Sad Ending, the Scooby Doo Ending, and the Super Mega Happy Ending. Wayne's World 2 had the sad ending, the Thelma & Louise ending, and the happy ending.
Only the two happy endings are "canon"; Wayne and Garth simply rejected the others.
Chase had two endings: in the first the protagonist chooses Suicide by Cop, but it turns out just his imagination. In the proper ending, he escapes with the help of his hostage.
The DVD of Peter Pan features an alternative ending where Peter comes back, Wendy is grown up, but she has a daughter Jane, who flies off with Peter.
The theatrical ending has possessed!Katie tossing Micah's dead body into the bedroom before leaping at the camera.
The second ending has Katie (no longer possessed) walk into the bedroom with a knife used to kill Micah. She sits on the bed, knees drawn up to her, for what is presumably hours. The next morning the police arrive and Katie walks downstairs. She is shot for being considered a threat, as she still has the knife and was not listening to the police's orders.
The third (and most horrific) has possessed!Katie calmly enter the bedroom with the knife. She locks the door and looks at the camera, a smile on her face. She then slits her throat and falls down dead.
Willaim Castle's Mr. Sardonicus allegedly had two endings, shown depending upon whether the audience gave a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down." But Castle only ever filmed the "thumbs down" version.
The Korean movie Resurrection Of The Little Matchstick Girl features two endings. One "bad" where the game ends and the main character returns to his normal life and one "good" where he manages to save the eponymous matchstick girl.
The Little Shop of Horrors Director's Cut Blu-Ray allows viewers to choose whether Audrey II eats Audrey and Seymour, then takes over the world (as seen in test screenings), or Audrey and Seymour survive, then Seymour blows Audrey II up (as seen during the original theatrical release).
This trope was pretty much the entire point of the Choose Your Own Adventure book series. There were other books of this ilk published at the time, but this was by far the best known and longest-running.
Most of the "endings" to the books resulted in your death, but there were typically a few endings where you won.
It depended on the story. Some were just for fun, and the whole point was simply to have a wild adventure and see where it led; some had multiple outcomes which could reasonably be deemed successes; some had a mixture of clearly good and clearly bad endings...and a few went the Failure Is the Only Option route. One memorable tale in the latter category was a search for a legendary aquatic dinosaur. There's exactly ONE path where you find the beast (which requires you to lose your boat and spend several days alone and adrift with no food, water, or equipment), and even then, all that happens is that you report your experience and get to go on a new expedition with a better-equipped vessel. (Okay, I suppose missing several weeks of school to continue an adventure would be considered a triumph for some kids, but still nothing compared to making a monumental scientific breakthrough right then and there.) There's another ending where you earn $10,000; sounds nice, but a cold consolation prize compared to what you came here for.
Books that had you gather Plot Coupons usually had a Nonstandard Game Over amounting to "Since you failed to gather the relevant things, you cannot defeat the Big Bad/open the last door/return with honor".
The Jeffrey Archer short story One Man's Meat begins with a man meeting the woman of his dreams, and then has four separate endings. There's a reasonably Happy Ending where they hit it off and agree to meet up again, but before that there are three more unfortunate endings: either the guy finds out she's a lesbian, or he finds out that she's married (but not before she has a one night stand with him), or he finds out she's married right away and his evening just gets worse from there.
Three Worlds Collide has a Normal End: the humans destroy the place where the story happened, destroying their ship in the process and a True End: the Superhappies re-engineer the other two species to be happy and not eat as many babies. Incidentally, the author is very much a Nasu fan.
"Preserve and Protect" the fourth novel in Allen Drury's "Advise and Consent" series, was followed by two alternate endings in "Come Nineveh, Come Tyre" and "The Promise of Joy".
The Little Prince has an in-universe example where the author realizes that he has made the sheep's muzzle impossible to wear and therefore there are two possible outcomes for the little prince's rose; either the sheep eats the rose or it does not. The author notes that the world appears to change depending on what he thinks has happened.
The Web Original FictionThe Story Of My New House has two endings, a "good" one and a bad one. In the bad ending The father of the main character is possessed by a demonic force and he murder his son and wife. In the good ending, he is able to resist his Demonic Possession and saves his son and wife, before dying. The story concludes with the main character expressing how much he misses his father.
Kamen Rider Ryuki has the ending to the TV series, the film EPISODE FINAL and 13 Riders, a televised special which was an alternate retelling of the whole series which had viewers vote on the ending. Subverted, since all the endings save for the TV series presumably ends with a timeloop back to square one.
The Red Dwarf episode "Only the Good" had an unfinished alternate ending where Rimmer successfully returns with the formula memorized (after several tries, too, and the group's still there) and they save the Dwarf. The evac ships are left to fend for themselves. And Rimmer still ends up shot with a can by the vending machine. All in all it matches up to "Back to Earth" better than the ending that was used. (It explains why they're alone on the ship again and why Rimmer is a hologram).
Jeopardy had three different endings that viewers selected via phone-in.
"Empty Cans", the final song off The Streets' Concept Album "A Grand Don't Come For Free", has this. In the first ending, our protagonist blames everyone else for his problems, tells his friend Scott to fuck off, ends up fighting the TV repairman who comes to fix his set, and decides humanity is generally against his existence. A tape rewinds, and we are brought to the second ending. Mike decides to let Scott come over anyway, who finds the aforementioned "grand" when repairing Mike's TV. Mike realizes everyone's got their own problems and responsibilities to take care of, and looks at life with a new perspective. The beat and chorus even change accordingly.
Almost Here, a duet between Delta Goodrem and Brian McFadden, featured a video showing Brian going to meet Delta at an airport. The two of them have difficulty finding each other, until Delta leaves in a taxi. In the 'sad' ending, shown on music TV shows, she is driven away alone. The CD single had the video on it as CD-ROM content, and this version has the 'happy' ending where he catches up with the taxi and they're reunited.
Ocean Avenue by Yellowcard. Three possible endings to the video's plot are shown.
Vocaloid artist Cos Mo featured this in one his series. "Demise of Hatsune Miku" was the worst end, "Disappearance of Hatsune Miku" the bad end, "∞" the true end and "Intense Singing of Hatsune Miku" was the "Happy End."
There's a term in music called a deceptive cadence. Basically, it's that sequence of notes where you feel like the song should end, but something seems off.
Russian urban romance song Kirpichiki (Little Bricks) comes in two variants of lyrics. In one, the heroine's significant other perishes in the trenches of World War I. In the other, they both survive, find happiness and rebuild the titular brick factory.
Each volume of the audio drama Yandere Heaven has the listener in the role as a silent protagonist trapped between two Yandere male interests. The last two tracks on each volume are alternative endings with each boy. For example, the track seven on volume one is being locked in the house by your Not Blood Siblings brother and track eight is being locked in the house by your Stalker with a Crush/boy from school.
The spin-off Yandere Heaven BLack has three endings in the first volume for Yumiyoshi: one with Kei, one with Nabari and one with both of them.
The Ravenloft boxed set adventure "Bleak House" provided for four different possible endings, as determined by players' choices throughout the last portion of the campaign arc. While many RPG adventures provide two or more concluding text-blocks to read, depending on whether the heroes win or lose, "Bleak House" went much farther, arranging for a prolonged buildup to whichever climax was selected to occur.
The original Dragonlance adventures had six different possible win conditions; the Dungeon Master chooses one in secret before running the final module. One of them was used as the canon ending in the Novelization (the Dragonlance Chronicles trilogy), but woe could come to Metagamers who play the adventures after reading the books, as in one of the other endings, performing the action that seals the gate in the novels actually makes the game Unwinnable.
Ayn Rand's play Night of January 16th featured an unusual form of Audience Participation: a jury is selected from the audience, and at the end of the play, they determine whether the defendant is guilty or not.
Donald Marguiles' play The Loman Family Picnic features 4 endings performed in quick succession, each dramatic in a different way, until the final "real" ending.
The Lieutenant of Inishmore has two alternate closing lines depending on whether the cat playing Wee Thomas eats food offered to it or not. Required since it's pretty impossible to train a real cat to do the same thing every night.
The 100th episode of Red vs. Blue. The link to the video is actually three different links to video whose only difference were the endings. The first was probably the "bad ending" with everyone killing each other, the second would be a "weird ending" with the entire canyon destroyed and the series is shown to be a Halo multiplayer match, and the relatively good ending with the two teams returning to their endless stalemate.
The DVD Commentary and future series confirms the good ending was official (which you would already figure if you had any sense) and also has four more endings: one in which aliens suddenly show up, kill everyone, and reenact the first episode; a remake of the "fight ending" with Where Are They Now text added in (false Where Are They Now text when later seasons are considered, it should be noted); an All Just a Dream ending where the entire season was hallucinated by Church after being shot by the tank; and one where Andy doesn't detonate, with Tex instead just turning the ship around and blowing everyone up.
The infamous interactive Quicktime movie Play With Me features multiple endings. Subversion: They're ALL the bad ending.
This Bytejacker Episode has the host run all over town looking for a UV filter for the cameraman. After searching for maps in trees and fighting strangers via rock paper scissors he ends up getting a bad ending for taking too long.
In Today I Die, the protagonist can free herself from a metaphorical depression on her own, or with the help of a young man. Although they're both happy endings, people tend to find one more appealing than the other.
Bowser's Kingdom episode 666 has two endings. One has Geno breaking free from Zombie Steve's grasp and taking out the rest of the zombies. The other has Hal and Jeff turn into zombies and talking about the positive side about being zombies while feasting on Luigi's corpse. Jeff complains about how bad they smell.
SpongeBob SquarePants: The episode "Shanghaied" allowed the viewing audience to pick the ending. In the episode, SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward get captured and enslaved by the Flying Dutchman. Eventually, the Dutchman promises them Three Wishes. After wasting the first two, they begin fighting over who gets to make the third one. The viewers were then asked to call in and vote on who they wanted to get the third wish. The winner was SpongeBob. Before the winning ending was played, the audience was shown what the two alternate endings would have been. Subsequent airings played like a normal episode, with only the winning ending shown.
Total Drama Island: Once everything came down to the final two contestants, the viewers in each country were allowed to vote for which one they wanted to win.
El Tigre did this for its series finale. After spending the whole series unable to decide if he wanted to be a superhero like his dad or a supervillain like his grandpa, Manny was forced to make a final choice. Viewers were asked to vote online to decide if Manny would pick good or evil. The winner was good, with Manny defeating Big Bad Sartana of the Dead and becoming hero of the city. The "evil" ending, which was shown on Nickelodeon's website, has Manny join Sartana instead, help her conquer the city, and then betray her and rule the city himself.
South Park: "The List". It ends with Stan and Wendy getting back together after exposing a list of who the cutest boy in school was. But there's a bonus after that with Cartman sitting at the ugly kids' table.
Cartman: This is bullcrap!
There are five ways for the universe to end: The Big Crunch, where gravity ultimately stops the universe's expansion, causing it to collapse back on itself and implode; the Big Bounce, where a new universe is created from a Big Crunch; the Big Rip, where dark energy literally tears the entire universe apart, the Big Chill, where dark energy accelerates the expansion of the universe until everything fades away, and finally the Big Halt, where gravity slows down the universe's expansion, but cannot stop it.
Most situations in real life (depending on the context of course) will undoubtedly have different endings, as well as branching paths. Do you ask that Sexy Secretary out to coffee? Or do you just shot the occasional glance and go to your meeting? Where does it go from there? Does she say yes? How do you do in the meeting?
Subverted by the fact the life always ends in death.
However, if reincarnation is real, then it's double subverted. Even more so if you are a Buddhist, and you believe that Karma affects your rebirth, or a Sikh, and you believe that you could return to God.