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Alignment-Based Endings

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A subtrope of Multiple Endings, where said endings can be mapped onto the Black-and-White Morality, Order Versus Chaos, occasionally Neutrality, or some other form of Character Alignment. Which ending you get is usually either based on your Karma Meter standing at the end of the game (making it a subtrope of Algorithmic Story Branching), or follows from a Last-Second Ending Choice.

Rule of thumb to tell if an instance of Multiple Endings falls under this subtrope is to check whether they are mainly referred to as "Good/Evil/Neutral Ending", etc.

Often results in No Canon for the Wicked if the evil ending is retroactively declared non-canon. Compare Faction-Specific Endings and Modular Epilogue.


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    Star Wars 
Since all of Star Wars media are deeply rooted in the franchise-spanning Light vs. Dark Side of the Force dichotomy, it gets its own section. Also notably, the Dark Side endings are NEVER canon.

  • In Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, the ending is determined by a Karma Meter which is affected by which Force powers Kyle learns and whether or not he attacks non-combatants in Nar Shaddaa and Barons Hed.
  • In Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, you explicitly choose whether to murder Rosh in a blind rage and fall to the Dark Side or put down your lightsaber and remain true to the light in the penultimate story mission.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic, the player is free to choose the ending, although the ultimate decision takes place shortly before The Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, by contrast, the ending you get depends on your alignment in the endgame. However, because you can influence your companions' alignments over the course of the game, each of them gets a different forecast of their future in the narrated "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue.
  • Both The Force Unleashed and its sequel feature Light and Dark side endings.
    • In The Force Unleashed, you fight Darth Vader as the penultimate boss. After you beat him to within an inch of his life, you get a choice: continue fighting him, or go rescue your allies from the Emperor. Choosing the former means a much-harder Final Boss and the Dark Side ending, while the latter is easier and leads to the Light Side ending.
    • In The Force Unleashed II, after a very long fight against the Final Boss Darth Vader, you are presented with a choice between sparing or attacking him. Sparing him leads to the (good) Light Side ending, while attacking him (despite your mentor's pleas) gets you the Dark Side ending, where the player character, the mentor, and all the good guys present get killed by Darth Vader's other apprentice.
  • The class-specific campaigns in Star Wars: The Old Republic are mostly linear, but the player's moral choices alter them cosmetically. Also, while the Light Side path is canon for Republic characters, the Dark Side is this for the Empire classes, e.g. the Sith Inquisitor is referred as Darth Nox (a Dark Side title) rather than Darth Imperius (Light Side) in the later canon materials. The last is unprecedented: in every single previous game where there has been a choice between the Dark Side and the Light Side, the Light Side has been established as the canon choice.

    Action Adventure 
  • In inFAMOUS, Cole's actions affect the story's endings. He can either be good, or he can be evil. The choices are rather obvious as to whether they're good or evil, though. It continues on in Infamous 2 and its sequel series, inFAMOUS: Second Son.
  • Enclave features two campaigns, Light and Dark, and accordingly a good and an evil ending.
  • Shadow the Hedgehog has ten possible endings, with Pure Dark, Pure Neutral, Pure Hero, and True Ending as the main four, plus an Omega Ending for getting all ten. And, for some reason, the game keeps track of all 326 possible paths to reach those endings.
  • The Suffering has three endings based on Good/Neutral/Evil by actions Torque takes throughout the game by either killing none of the inmates or guards, some of them, or all of them. Each ending changes just how Torque ended up in Abbot State Penitentiary.

    Adventure Game 
  • In the Tex Murphy game The Pandora Directive, you can get up to eight different endings depending on where your Karma Meter is along the Nice Guy/Jerkass axis.
  • In Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers, Gabriel can choose at the end whether to try to save the possessed Malia from the pit she's dangling over, simply let her fall to let Tetelo die, or try to actively kill her to achieve the same.
  • There's a bunch of endings in an adventure game the white chamber based on the main heroine's (and therefore player's) attempts to act good and to redeem her sins, none of which actually affect the gameplay otherwise.

    Fighting Game 
  • In BlazBlue, each character's ending can be affected by their decisions; for instance, if Hakumen gets too confident and tries to beat Terumi alone, the ending may change.

    Immersive Sim 


    RPG — Eastern 
  • Liar Jeannie In Crucifix Kingdom: The game has a hidden variable that decreases by one when Jeannie frees a human slave, decreases by three if she kills an undead merchant, and increases by one if she kills a slave. This is actually a measure of whether she is pro-human or pro-undead. If she gets to 15 in either direction, Jeannie will commit genocide on all humans in the kingdom to turn them into undead or genocide on all undead to protect humans. If she doesn't go far enough in either direction, she will get a neutral ending where she doesn't commit genocide and instead maintains her sanity.
  • Most Shin Megami Tensei games will have you choose between Order, Chaos, or Neutral alignment ending. However, considering that this is a setting where God and Satan Are Both Jerks, all the endings except for Neutral would be what most would consider 'bad' endings. Terrified of The Evils of Free Will, YHVH and his angels install Lawful Evil rule where all free will and expression is quashed under God's supreme will in Order endings. Meanwhile, being the ultimate rebel, Lucifer desires the death of all society and order, no matter how much bloodshed his Legions of Hell cause in the process.
  • Ogre Battle series also have multiple endings based on Law and Chaos alignments. However, unlike Shin Megami Tensei, the "Neutral" path isn't often the best path.
  • In Agarest Senki, whether you keep to the Light, Dark, or Neutral path will affect your ending.

    RPG — Western 
  • Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal has three endings: Good God, Evil God, and Mortal.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 has the canonical good ending where the Knight-Captain and Player Party defeat the King of Shadows. The non-canon evil ending has the Knight-Captain pull a Face–Heel Turn and join the King of Shadows after killing the party. The Expansion Pack Mask of the Betrayer has several variations on its endings.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, the ending depends on your Karma Meter and on which side you take: the NCR (a democratic but corrupted government), Caesar's Legion (a dictatorship based on Rome who use slavery and violence), Mr. House (a dictator who wants to restore Vegas' past glory but doesn't care about anything else), or the chaos ending (where you basically reject the three latter factions to ensure New Vegas' freedom by yourself).
  • While the ending of Deus Ex: Human Revolution is mainly determined by the Last-Second Ending Choice of who wins the information war, the tone of Jensen's final narration that shows his Character Development depends mainly on how many people you've killed and how helpful you were to others throughout the game.
  • GoldenLand (a.k.a. Heath: The Unchosen Path) has two endings, Good and Evil, depending on whether you decide to fight the Big Bad Drakh Shu or the Big Good Belobog in the Final Battle.
  • In Mass Effect, depending on whether you were a Paragon or Renegade and whether or not you saved the Council, the ending speech Captain Anderson or Ambassador Udina gives will differ. The Paragon ending has a Rousing Speech basically along the lines of "We will rebuild, and we will fight side-by-side." As a Renegade, the speech consists of how humanity will protect the galaxy at any cost.
    • Mass Effect 2 has the end choice be whether to destroy the Collector Base or spare it for future research, and your pick changes the colour of the star behind the Illusive Man and the tone of the conversation with him in general.
    • Averted in Mass Effect 3, at least as far as the selection of options go: they're deliberately designed to have both positive and negative results so that none of them are perfectly positive or negative. A slight exception is the Control ending, where Shepard's narration will be Paragon, Renegade or Neutral depending on their ratios in your Reputation bar, since it's the only ending shown from Shepard's perspective.
  • The full 3D editions of Spider-Man: Web of Shadows has four endings, determined first by your alignment (but only when the sonic bomb is reached), then by whether or not you used the symbiote to heal Black Cat.
  • Undertale has the True Pacifist ending (everyone in the game survives one way or another and the barrier is destroyed, allowing monsters to leave the underground and reintegrate into human society), which you see if you kill absolutely nobody; the Genocide ending (you kill everyone in the underground and the Fallen Child destroys the entire game world), which you see if you kill absolutely everybody; and the Neutral endings (the monsters remain underground and mostly lose hope for escape due to the disappearance of the human souls; who takes up the throne after Asgore's death depends on which bosses, if any, were killed), which vary depending on how many monsters (as well as which monsters) you've killed. There's also a special ending if you completed Genocide before Pacifist (since you had to sell your soul to the Fallen Child to play the game again, they suddenly possess your player character in an ominous post-credit scene, the game's way of punishing the player for thinking they were above consequences). And then, if you do a Genocide run ''three'' times in a row... Yes, even Chara begs you to stop doing genocide runs.

    Real-Time Strategy 
  • Dawn of War II Chaos Rising has multiple endings depending on the corruption of your squads (which fills in for the Karma Meter in the game) as well as several choices you make over the plot of the story. They range from your Commander replacing Davian Thule as captain of the Fourth Company and helping Gabriel Angelos and Apollo Diomedes cleanse the Blood Ravens of corruption to your Commander fleeing with your squads into the Eye of Terror and joining the Black Legion.
  • Republic: The Revolution has three endings, one of each of its dominant ideologies: in the Force ending, you launch a Military Coup to take over Novistrana; on the Influence path, you start a Velvet Revolution instead; and with Wealth, you simply force the President for Life to resign by crashing the economy and putting the blame on him. There are no elections in the game, by design.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Court Of Darkness, which ending of a consort path a player can play through depends on if the player got enough Magic points or Mischief points to unlock the Magic ending, Mischief ending, both and gets to choose, or unlocks neither and can either buy more Magic or Mischief points in the shop or restart and replay the path.

    Wide-Open Sandbox 
  • In Red Dead Redemption II, your honor slightly changes the final cutscene. While Arthur Morgan's death warrant is already signed with his tuberculosis, a high honor results in Morgan being left to die somewhat peacefully watching the sunrise, while a low honor results in Micah finishing him off. The former is considered as the canon ending.