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* At the end of ''Literature/TheDarkTower'', when Roland is sent back in a GroundhogDayLoop, he holds the horn of Eld (unlike in previous iterations), which implies that he could break the loop eventually. He also hears a vague whisper from somewhere which suggests that perhaps this time "it will be different".

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* At [[Literature/TheDarkTower2004 the end end]] of ''Literature/TheDarkTower'', when Roland is sent back in a GroundhogDayLoop, he holds the horn of Eld (unlike in previous iterations), which implies that he could break the loop eventually. He also hears a vague whisper from somewhere which suggests that perhaps this time "it will be different".


* Most endings in the ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'' series are like this. Is keeping the First Flame alive the best thing for the world? Is letting it die? It's never made clear what the lasting consequences will be, only that ''anything'' has to be better than just [[EternalRecurrence putting it out and then rekindling it, over and over and over again as everything slowly falls apart.]]

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* Most endings in the ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'' series are like this. this.
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Is keeping the First Flame alive the best thing for the world? Is letting it die? It's never made clear what the lasting consequences will be, only that ''anything'' has to be better than just [[EternalRecurrence putting it out and then rekindling it, over and over and over again as everything slowly falls apart.]]


* Most endings in the ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'' series are like this. Is keeping the First Flame alive the best thing for the world? Is letting it die? Who knows, because [[EternalRecurrence people won't stopping putting it out and then rekindling it, over and over again.]]

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* Most endings in the ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'' series are like this. Is keeping the First Flame alive the best thing for the world? Is letting it die? Who knows, because It's never made clear what the lasting consequences will be, only that ''anything'' has to be better than just [[EternalRecurrence people won't stopping putting it out and then rekindling it, over and over again.and over again as everything slowly falls apart.]]

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* Most endings in the ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'' series are like this. Is keeping the First Flame alive the best thing for the world? Is letting it die? Who knows, because [[EternalRecurrence people won't stopping putting it out and then rekindling it, over and over again.]]
** The ultimate end of ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsIII'' takes the cake on this. [[spoiler: It's implied that the world will eventually end in the FinalDeath of all things, living ''and'' undead, leaving nothing but a sand-blasted desert hellscape. Fortunately, thanks to the player's actions, the Painter has everything she needs to paint a new world, which hopefully be free from the nonsense that put the ''Dark Souls'' world into this situation in the first place.]]

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* ''[[FanFic/MyLittleTitan My Little Titan's]]'' bad ending: The deaths of [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic the Mane 6]] allow [[WesternAnimation/TeenTitans Trigon]] to manifest into Equestria. Seeing this, Discord activates his GodzillaThreshold and completely destroys Equestria, ending Trigon along with it. He then voices his apologies to the Titans and sends them home. The ray of hope is that Series/DoctorWho managed to save the Cutie Mark Crusaders, who are now humans, from the destruction of their world, allowing them to start new lives in the care of the Titans.

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* The Season One finale of ''WebAnimation/MetaRunner'' ends rather severely borders on DownerEnding, but not enough to keep the heroes down. MD-5's plan has backfired, Sofia has surrendered all of their information on [=TASCorp=], and Tari's involvement in Lucinia's death—a major uniting factor for the group—has been exposed to them. Tari then willingly enters [=TASCorp=]'s service in exchange for her friends' safety, and Theo's been captured and used as collateral to ensure her cooperation. However, Tari's friends (Masa pending) still refuse to abandon Tari and promise to come back for her, Belle finds a backup copy of the data Sophia gave them and keeps it to herself rather than give it to Lucks, the BigBad of the series.


This differs (almost to the point of being the opposite) from a BittersweetEnding, where the protagonists win but at a great cost, and is not simply a Downer Ending with a few happy tones either. This trope means that, despite the heroes being soundly defeated, physically and/or emotionally, there's still some hope left; a reassurance that things are not as bleak as they may look, and there could be a chance to turn the tides around, even if everything that has been lost can't ever be truly recovered. Depending on the circumstances, this kind of ending may be (or become), and is often used as, a SequelHook, as it is promised that things will get better in the sequel. [[TropesAreNotGood Though]], don’t be surprised if the fans are [[EndingAversion pissed off and unsatisfied anyway]], especially if the promised sequel [[DevelopmentHell never]] [[FranchiseKiller comes]] [[StillbornFranchise out]].

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This differs (almost to the point of being the opposite) from a BittersweetEnding, where the protagonists win but at a great cost, and is not simply a Downer Ending with a few happy tones either. This trope means that, despite the heroes being soundly defeated, physically and/or emotionally, there's still some hope left; a reassurance that things are not as bleak as they may look, and there could be a chance to turn the tides around, even if everything that has been lost can't ever be truly recovered. Depending on the circumstances, this kind of ending may be (or become), and is often used as, a SequelHook, as it is promised that things will get better in the sequel. [[TropesAreNotGood [[Administrivia/TropesAreTools Though]], don’t be surprised if the fans are [[EndingAversion pissed off and unsatisfied anyway]], especially if the promised sequel [[DevelopmentHell never]] [[FranchiseKiller comes]] [[StillbornFranchise out]].


* Creator/JohnWyndham's novelette ''Out of the Deeps/The Kraken Wakes''. At the end of the story the invading underwater aliens have melted the polar ice caps and caused worldwide flooding. However, the Japanese have developed an unmanned device that broadcasts ultrasonic waves lethal to the aliens. It has wiped out some of the aliens and might succeed in destroying all of them.

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* Creator/JohnWyndham's novelette ''Literature/TheKrakenWakes'' (aka ''Out of the Deeps/The Kraken Wakes''.Deeps''). At the end of the story the invading underwater aliens have melted the polar ice caps and caused worldwide flooding. However, the Japanese have developed an unmanned device that broadcasts ultrasonic waves lethal to the aliens. It has wiped out some of the aliens and might succeed in destroying all of them.

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* The Spanish series ''Victim Number 8'' ends with the FrameUp being successful and our heroes Omar and Edurne serving lengthy prison sentences for a staged jihadist attack, after Juan, a journalist aiding Edurne, agrees to keep a recorded confession under wraps in exchange for a kidney transplant[[note]]The supposed terrorist attack was actually a targeted attack by a wealthy businessman's son on his brother[[/note]]. However, Juan, LoveableRogue that he is, returns to Spain after recovery and promptly shows it to the police chief Olegi, proudly declaring that his word is worth nothing, implying that he intends to publish the confession and free Omar and Edurne.


* ''Literature/TheDraka'': ''The Stone Dogs'' has [[WorldWarIII the Final War]] end with [[TheEmpire the Domination of the Draka]] [[TheBadGuyWins successfully annihilating]] [[TheAlliance the Alliance for Democracy]] and subjecting the rest of the Earth to a [[AtomicHate nightmarish nuclear holocaust]], with the few survivors of the United States of America being hunted like animals while the Draka get to enjoy the benefits of slavery '''forever'''. However, there is ''one'' spark of hope left - [[spoiler:The ''New America'' Project, an antimatter-powered sleeper ship housing the Alliance survivors of the Final War, is successfully launched and they escape to Alpha Centauri so as to continue the war against the Domination]].



* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'': The invasion in the two-parter "The Day of Black Sun" is soundly defeated, [[BigBad Fire Lord Ozai]] and [[TheDragon Princess Azula]] remain in power, almost the entire army is captured, and Team Avatar is forced to flee, as [[MagnificentBastard Azula]] had learned about and planned for the invasion months in advance. However, Prince Zuko ''finally'' makes a HeelFaceTurn and the episode ends with him following Team Avatar in an attempt to join them and help them overthrow his father.

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* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'': The invasion in the two-parter "The Day of Black Sun" is soundly defeated, [[BigBad Fire Lord Ozai]] and [[TheDragon Princess Azula]] remain in power, almost the entire army is captured, and Team Avatar is forced to flee, as [[MagnificentBastard Azula]] had learned about and planned for the invasion months in advance. However, Prince Zuko ''finally'' makes a HeelFaceTurn and the episode ends with him following Team Avatar in an attempt to join them and help them overthrow his father. Additionally, later episodes in the season would show that the Earth Kingdom is still in fervent rebellion against the Fire Nation's forces.


** ''[[Anime/RebuildOfEvangelion Evangelion 3.33]]''. [[HeroicSacrifice Kaworu dies preventing the Fourth Impact]], Shinji has crossed the DespairEventHorizon to the point of being nearly comatose, Unit-02 has been destroyed. However, Fourth Impact has been averted (though Gendo still proclaims that everything is [[MagnificentBastard going according to plan]],) there's still enough of Unit-02 to salvage, and Rei Q has performed a HeelFaceTurn and joined the heroes.

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** ''[[Anime/RebuildOfEvangelion Evangelion 3.33]]''. [[HeroicSacrifice Kaworu dies preventing the Fourth Impact]], Shinji has crossed the DespairEventHorizon to the point of being nearly comatose, Unit-02 has been destroyed. However, Fourth Impact has been averted (though Gendo still proclaims that everything is [[MagnificentBastard going according to plan]],) there's still enough of Unit-02 to salvage, and Rei Q has performed a HeelFaceTurn and joined the heroes. Also, despite Shinji's world-destroying attempt to save Rei having seemingly been AllForNothing, it's implied that she still lives on within Unit-01 much like Yui does.


** ''[[Anime/RebuildOfEvangelion Evangelion 3.33]]''. [[HeroicSacrifice Kaworu dies preventing the Fourth Impact]], Shinji has crossed the DespairEventHorizon to the point of being nearly comatose, Unit-02 has been destroyed, and despite Fourth Impact being thwarted. However, Fourth Impact has been averted (though Gendo still proclaims that everything is [[MagnificentBastard going according to plan]],) there's still enough of Unit-02 to salvage, and Rei Q has performed a HeelFaceTurn and joined the heroes.

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** ''[[Anime/RebuildOfEvangelion Evangelion 3.33]]''. [[HeroicSacrifice Kaworu dies preventing the Fourth Impact]], Shinji has crossed the DespairEventHorizon to the point of being nearly comatose, Unit-02 has been destroyed, and despite Fourth Impact being thwarted.destroyed. However, Fourth Impact has been averted (though Gendo still proclaims that everything is [[MagnificentBastard going according to plan]],) there's still enough of Unit-02 to salvage, and Rei Q has performed a HeelFaceTurn and joined the heroes.

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** ''[[Anime/RebuildOfEvangelion Evangelion 3.33]]''. [[HeroicSacrifice Kaworu dies preventing the Fourth Impact]], Shinji has crossed the DespairEventHorizon to the point of being nearly comatose, Unit-02 has been destroyed, and despite Fourth Impact being thwarted. However, Fourth Impact has been averted (though Gendo still proclaims that everything is [[MagnificentBastard going according to plan]],) there's still enough of Unit-02 to salvage, and Rei Q has performed a HeelFaceTurn and joined the heroes.

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* As brutal and confusing as ''[[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion The End of Evangelion]]'' is, it ultimately ends with Shinji rejecting Instrumentality and choosing to associate with others even if it causes him pain, Asuka being brought back to life after being EatenAlive by the Mass Production Evas, and everyone who was tanged in the Third Impact having the ability to return to their physical form should they so choose.


* ''Film/ChildrenOfMen''. It's one of the bleakest dystopian films ever made. [[ChildlessDystopia No child has been born for 18 years]], society is rapidly falling apart because there's nobody to preserve it for, every country is gone except for Britain (which is an authoritarian hellhole wracked by political violence), people are depressed wrecks sitting around waiting to die, suicide kits are sold in shops, and there is no hope. [[spoiler:By the end, every named character is dead except for Kee and her baby, who are rescued safely off the coast of England. Cut to black and the final title, [[SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments and the sounds of children laughing and playing can be heard]].]]

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* ''Film/ChildrenOfMen''. It's one of the bleakest dystopian films ever made. [[ChildlessDystopia No child has been born for 18 years]], society is rapidly falling apart because there's nobody to preserve it for, every country is gone except for Britain (which is an authoritarian hellhole wracked by political violence), people are depressed wrecks sitting around waiting to die, suicide kits are sold in shops, and there is no hope. [[spoiler:By the end, every named character is dead except for Kee and her baby, who are rescued safely off the coast of England. Cut to black and the final title, [[SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments and the sounds of children laughing and playing can be heard]].]]

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