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Playable Epilogue

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"There's still work to do here in Arkham City."
Batman in Batman: Arkham City, inviting players to keep playing after the story's over

In the vast majority of RPGs, once you beat the Final Boss and save the world, you don't get to freely explore and experience the world after it's been saved. If you're allowed to save your game file at all after the credits roll, it will probably just start you off from the first chapter (or final chapter) again.

A playable epilogue is the exception to this rule.

Sometimes this simply means that the cutscenes in the usual epilogue are interactive: You can walk around and chat with NPCs at your leisure, but not (e.g.) leave the town for some Dungeon Crawling or Level Grinding. (You probably won't have access to your usual Save Point either, so reloading your save file will necessarily return you to where you last were before facing the Final Boss.)

Other times this is an actual bonus chapter set after the story's epilogue, which allows you to return to the game's world and explore it to your heart's content with no Big Bad or The End of the World as We Know It to threaten you. These are sometimes referred to as a "clear game" or "postgame", indicating that while you've cleared the game (i.e. story), the gameplay continues more or less as normal.

When it's the latter case, expect to see a few bonus side quests or dungeons to provide motivation to keep playing (but do not expect to see a New Game Plus; though not unheard of, the two are rarely combined). Depending on the structure of the game/story, this may be the lurking place of the True Final Boss.

A form of Extended Gameplay, loosely analogous to And the Adventure Continues. See also Mini-Game Credits, in which only the closing company credits are interactive; and the video game version of Dénouement Episode, where instead of an interactive cut scene there's an actual mandatory level/quest set after the Final Battle and before the ending of the game.

This may extend to Post-End Game Content. Compare Modular Epilogue.


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  • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages/Seasons games are unique in canon in that you can continue playing after you win, to allow the password system that connects the games to work. After the end, everyone comments on your saving the world and (in the first game only) a bunch of new NPCs show up ready to take passwords from the other game. If you play the second game in already-beat-the-other-game mode, though, the ending is different, and you can't save afterward.
  • The original Myst allowed the player to continue wandering around the various worlds and exploring after achieving the game's good ending, even though that's what the player had already spent the entire game doing. The remake, realMyst, added an additional world that could be accessed at this point: it didn't deliver any more story, but offered a nice world-builder engine and a cameo appearance by Riven. There's also the opportunity to shoot lightning bolts at whales (don't worry, they have NPC invulnerability). The Updated Re-release realMyst: Masterpiece Edition added a few Easter Eggs that can only be seen after completing the game.
  • In Mega Man Legends, after defeating the Final Boss, you can run around the Cardon Forest, Apple Market, and Downtown areas one last time talking to NPCs, whose dialogues changes depending on what side quests you did. Talking to Roll will then continue the ending and roll the credits.
  • Ecco the Dolphin 2 had a three-stage playable epilogue.
  • ToeJam & Earl and its sequel have epilogue levels where you just walk around and talk to the colorful alien characters.
  • After completing each episode of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, you can access Extended Play via the Save/Load menu, which gives you an opportunity to access any unlockables you might have missed, and talk to all the characters. Episode 4 ("Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective") has the most in-depth Extended Play; Since the episode itself was a movie that the characters were filming, its Extended Play has some extra "Making Of"-style cutscenes.
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum lets you continue playing after beating the final boss so that you can finish up The Riddler's challenges. Or go for a couple Achievements/Trophies. Arkham City is the same, but it also has side-quests on top of the Riddler Challenges. Arkham Origins does the same, and even opens up a new Most Wanted sidequest requiring Batman to round up 20 escaped Blackgate prisoners. Arkham Knight has a slightly different form of this. You can keep playing after the ending, doing side missions and such but due to the circumstances of the story, you don't actually get to see the real ending until you choose to go to a certain place after the final boss is defeated, and in order to see the complete ending you have to actually finish all side-missions (not including the DLC ones), so playing the epilogue might actually be required to see the full ending.
  • Endless Summer from Bully.
  • Overlord II lets you roam about the continent after defeating Solarius and thus killing or enslaving every human. Given that enemies never respawn in zones you've cleared, you can explore at your leisure without fear of losing Minions, extort tribute from the towns you've conquered, look for any collectables you might have missed, and spend some quality time with your Mistresses.
  • After beating the final boss in Dragon's Crown, players discover that defeating the ancient dragon restored power to one of the three goddesses, and to restore the other goddesses' power, you must defeat two more ancient dragons, each more powerful than the last. This unlocks the Hard difficulty setting the first time you beat the game, and Infernal mode the second time. Players also unlock a Bonus Dungeon and PVP.
  • Kameo: Elements of Power lets you run around as much as you want after you beat the Big Bad.
  • Shadow of the Colossus had two short playable sections in its epilogue.
  • Brütal Legend has the "get 100% completion" version of the playable ending, though you can also look up your surviving allies and find out how they're doing.
  • Steambot Chronicles allows you to continue the game a year after the ending starting from your returning from travelling abroad if you got the good ending, or spending a year in prison if you got the bad ending.
  • Every mainline Assassin's Creed game typically lets you continue playing the game after the conclusion to do whatever you want in the world:
    • Assassin's Creed left Desmond alone in the lab, giving him an opportunity to poke around and find all the plot hooks as well as go back into the Animus and replay the missions. Annoyingly, the only new bit of the lab that becomes available at the end is useless if you didn't steal Vidic's USB pen earlier in the game, and once the NPCs leave there's no way to get it.
    • Assassin's Creed II has this. Once the storyline is completed, you can traipse around Renaissance Italy to your hearts content, gather up trophies and complete side missions and whatnot. Of course, there's one single trophy that's missable - Fly Swatter can only ever be gotten during the mission with the flying machine. If you don't have that, well, it's 98% trophy completion for you, buddy! Luckily you can start a separate file to get it (albeit the flying machine is about two-thirds of the way through the story), or purchase the Battle of Forli DLC which adds a side mission where you can use the flying machine around the Wetlands and kick guards as much as you like.
    • Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood follows in the same vein as AC2, although the side missions' flavor text don't take your story progress into account, i.e. descriptions remaining as if the Borgia Regime were still in power. However, a post-credits voiceover suggests that this post-story "free play" is actually an attempt to keep the now comatose-Desmond alive by putting him back into the Animus, and the last memories of the Da Vinci Disappearance DLC were actually experienced during this coma. (The opening dialogue of the DLC differs depending on whether you start its first memory before or after clearing the story.)
    • Assassin's Creed III has one too, allowing you to explore the past-era world freely to complete any missed or unfinished sidequests; however, the new content is brief, including only some post-independence cutscenes and a pivot quest. There's also Tyranny of King Washington, but it's DLC.
    • Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag unsurprisingly contains this, especially so as the piracy aspects were loved enough to return from III. Players have the freedom to continue challenges on land, do the story perfectly, or just sail the seas to kill, plunder, and seek treasure.
  • The movie's plotline for The Godfather: The Game ends with the assassination of the four Dons. After your promotion to Underboss by Michael, though, you're still able to take over the remaining enemy businesses, bomb the other four Family Compounds and collect stuff. You get to rise to Don with the bombing of all the enemy Family Compounds and Don of NYC by getting 90-something percent completion, and maybe fight parts of The Remnant after that with your Bragging Rights Reward of Bottomless Magazines.
  • In the Metroid games, Samus has a penchant for blowing up the planet/space station you just spent hours exploring. Not so in Metroid: Other M, where she returns to the Bottle Ship to find the late Adam Malkovich's helmet, various missed items, and the True Final Boss Phantoon, among other things. The ship does explode, but only after Samus completes her errands and escapes alive.
  • Indiana Jones and His Desktop Adventures: Once you win, you're free to walk around the entire game world, though mostly only two people have new lines to say. Marcus says simply "Well done, Indy!", while Bonifacio the tutorial man explains to you how to begin a new game.
  • In the second Lego Island game once you defeat the Brickster you get a seemingly fitting cutscene to end the game on- then you simply get to run around the Island. It's actually somewhat boring, though- all anybody says is to congratulate you for defeating the Brickster, you can travel to some of the other islands but all you can do on Castle Island is talk to players and you can't even get out of the desert on Adventurers' Island, let alone talk to anyone from that area, and the only real Easter Egg is just an unusual way of doing the credits.
  • ICO allows the player to run along a stretch of beach after the game is finished to discover that Yorda survived the castle' collapse.
  • Tomb Raider and Rise of the Tomb Raider both allow you to continue exploring the game world after completing the main storyline. This allows you to wrap up any challenges, missions, and tombs, and to pick up any other collectibles you might have missed along the way. This is especially the case in Rise, where Lara discusses the future with Sofia when you Continue after the final cutscene, and can overhear Remnant survivors wonder about what they'll do next, or how the Trinity weapons they've salvaged are incompatible with the ammunition they picked up decades ago from the Soviets. Trinity soldiers respawn as well, and it's possible to overhear them discussing anything from how they're going to get out of there, to the deaths of Konstantin and Ana, and that they believe Lara was the one who killed the latter.
  • In God of War, after completing the main storyline Kratos and Atreus are free to explore the gameworld to complete any optional sidequest remaining. There are some changes to the story and setting, such as the constant snow, signalling the coming of Ragnarok.
  • God of War Ragnarök has a much more substantial post-game including some epilogue sidequests, unique conversations as well as the fact that Atreus is now permanently replaced with Freya.
  • In Spider-Man (PS4), beating the final boss triggers a Time Skip of three months. Things are more or less back to normal, with Spidey handling street-level crooks again, plus whatever sidequests you haven't already completed. You can also now switch between day, evening and night at any Research Station.
  • In Cat Quest II, after defeating The Man Behind the Man, two bonus dungeons (Cave of the Wolf/Lion) unlock, and NPCs have new dialogue that acknowledges the protagonists' ascent to kinghood.
  • After defeating the exterminator in the Over the Hedge game, you can hang around the woods once again to get some bonus conversations: the porcupine family and Vincent watch Madagascar while Ozzie and Heather have a heart-to-heart regarding Heather's rescue from Verm-Tech. Each of the four playable characters also gets epilogue-exclusive dialogue when switching to them.
  • Little Tail Bronx:
    • Tail Concerto can let you roam around Waffle's room and neighborhood by loading up a completed save file, giving you the option to look over any photos unlocked or talk to the reformed Alicia, Flair and Stare. Unfortunately, due to it being Waffle's day off, he'll refuse to step outside of Porto, meaning any photo pieces not collected prior to starting the final stage will be rendered Permanently Missable Content.
    • Solatorobo: Red the Hunter has additional quests that can only be played after beating the final boss and choosing to load the completed save instead of selecting the New Game Plus option from the title screen.

  • Street Fighter EX3 lets you do this, mowing down Mooks with whomever you won the game with. One of the flunkies was a Hugo-esque bruiser who grew bigger every time you decked him. Although you are playing through the credits.
  • In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, after beating Tabuu, the player can proceed to unlock three more characters after finding them in certain stages that were previously completed.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable: The Gears of Destiny features one that you could unlock in Story Mode after beating the Final Boss and winning the 4 hopeless Final Boss Preview matches at least once. The epilogue is set a few years after the events of the game and features the player controlling Yuri, who is now living in Eltria with her Materials and the Florian sisters. The matches in this epilogue are a series of practice battles Yuri is having with the rest of the group, and serves as an And the Adventure Continues conclusion for the God Created Canon Foreigners of the game.
  • The King of Fighters
    • In The King of Fighters '97, it is possible to face the normal Iori Yagami within the ending of the Japan Team and the dialogue will change according to the winner of the fight.
    • In The King of Fighters '99, it is possible to face a secret boss within the ending of the game before displaying the ending of some standard team depending on the score they reached. If the player has reached the minimum score, he will face Iori Yagami and if he has reached the maximum score, he will face the real Kyo Kusanagi.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • Call of Duty 4 features a playable epilogue set on a terrorist-hijacked plane in mid-flight. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the events in the game's story and is only accessible after watching the entire credits. The sequel, Modern Warfare 2, has a bonus mission set in the interactive museum that the credits play over. Do not press the button.
  • The Marathon mod Rubicon had three playable epilogue levels. Two that reveals the historical effects of the players actions, and one where you revive Durandal after you just had killed him.
  • In Halo: Reach, you get to play Noble Six's last stand. You face an infinite wave of Covenant on a planet that's being bombed from orbit, and the level always ends with your death. Only the assurance that you have Flung A Light Into The Future keeps the ending from being a downer.
  • In Killer7, the seventh and final chapter (Target 06: Lion), serves this role, and has two highlights: The Sadistic Choice that determines the fate of the world, all determined in whether or not you kill Kenjiro Matsuoka or not. Then, the Post-Final Boss afterwards with the Last Shot Smile, who has a completely unexplained identity, resembling two people.
  • Far Cry 4: After you have decided the fate of Evil Overlord Pagan Min, the credits roll, you get a cutscene, and then you return to the game world to clear up any outposts, missions or collectibles that are still outstanding. You can also get a secret cutscene in which the Rebel Leader you chose to put in power proceeds to Kick the Dog, with the game then giving you the chance to kill them.
  • Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict: Once the Ascension Rites, the main story mode, is completed, the player unlocks Anubis as a playable character, and his own ladder. The ladder is set after the Rites themselves and includes Anubis joining Thunder Crash, which he rejected during the Ascension Rites themselves. The ladder concludes with that year's Tournament finals, a three-way between him and previous champions Gorge and Brock.

  • Disney Stitch Jam, a tie-in to the Stitch! anime series, has a Bonus Story mode that is unlocked from playing Free Mode (which itself is unlocked from completing the main Story Mode). It's a simple three-stage epilogue where you play as Angel as she roams around Izayoi Island during her date with Stitch, who tries his best to impress and protect her throughout.

  • Banjo-Kazooie lets you play even after you've beaten Gruntilda, just in case you may have forgotten some notes or forgot to get the infamous Stop 'n' Swap eggs. You can even visit Gruntilda's (methaphoric, as she is stuck but still alive) grave and dance on it. The sequels Banjo-Tooie and Nuts And Bolts allow this as well.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Most 2D games with postgame bonus world(s), starting with Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels and continuing with almost all New Super Mario Bros. games. Super Mario World is an exception, as you can play both the Star World and the Special Zone before defeating Bowser in the final standard level, so they don't count.
    • Super Mario Sunshine features a playable epilogue in the game itself, and one for each major level.
      • Levels start off filled with graffiti and enemies for which Shadow Mario is responsible. Once Mario cleans up the area and chases him down in Episode 7 of the level, Episode 8 is unlocked as a playable epilogue.
      • After beating Shadow Mario in each level and winning the game, the player is given an updated Delfino Plaza. It now has new NPC dialogue and messages, and a boat back to the game's tutorial area, where an extra challenge and Blue Coin await, is accessible near the portal to Ricco Harbor.
    • Once you finish the Final Boss in Super Mario Galaxy, you then get Purple comets, which makes more Stars to get. If you get all of these though, you still aren't finished. You can then play as Luigi in a New Game Plus, so you can play through the whole game again, beating the final boss again, then getting all the stars again, which unlocks the Grand Finale Galaxy, which returns you to the Star Festival from the beginning of the game, and allows you to get one last star with each Mario brother and a congratulatory message from Nintendo.
    • Super Mario Galaxy 2 has an entire world (World S) playable after the final Bowser battle. And after collecting every single star (normal and green), the Grandmaster Galaxy is unlocked, having two new stars (and two of the hardest to get in the entire game, no less).
    • Both Super Mario 3D Land and Super Mario 3D World have special worlds unlocked after the Final Boss is defeated. And in both cases, you unlock a secret character and (after meeting numerous conditions) a devious Brutal Bonus Level at the end.
    • In Super Mario Odyssey, after beating Bowser for good you unlock the Mushroom Kingdom, which like all the other worlds is filled with collectibles. You also unlock even more Power Moons to collect in the other worlds, including those given to you by Princess Peach after she and Tiara greet you in the visited Kingdoms. Lastly, by collecting enough Power Moons, you unlock two more locations (a setting for a Boss Rush and the game's ultimate Brutal Bonus Level) in the Moon.
    • The Story Mode of Super Mario Maker 2, upon completion, allows you to fund the build of a statue dedicated to Mario, for which you have to keep playing levels. You can also unlock and play some surprisingly difficult levels from Princess Peach.
  • Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! had a Playable Epilogue that unlocked the world Spyro was trying to get to in the first place—an amusement park full of mini-games that unlock the Cutscene Replay Theater. Spyro: Year of the Dragon had a Playable Epilogue for seeking 100% Completion after a The End... Or Is It? ending to the Final Boss, leading to the really-really final boss battle.
  • The first Sonic Adventure lets you keep playing in each story after you've finished it, and the NPCs reflect that you've done so. Besides NPCs gaining new dialogue, you can find a card key to unlock Twinkle Circuit for characters who didn't visit Twinkle Park in their story. Curiously, Amy still has the bird with her, and one of the playable characters should be, well, kinda dead by the end of his story. Mission Mode in Sonic Adventure DX also seems to take place after the main story.
  • Prince of Persia (2008) has a playable Downer Ending epilogue where you free Ahriman, the Big Bad you've just spent the entire game trying to stop, to bring Elika back to life. Confusingly, the Downloadable Content is called the Epilogue, but it's actually an Expansion Pack.
  • Wario Land 4 has an odd aversion of this, the game sends you back to the main area, but the bosses have been revived while the areas are still cleared (and the end 'dungeon' sealed off until you beat the four bosses again). What's truly quite strange is that after seeing the ending, the game actually tells you this: 'If you continue with this saved data, every boss will be revived! Start over and try and get all twelve treasures! - Wario.'
  • I Wanna Be the Guy, to a degree. After the credits and the ending sequence, the game decides to give you one more "screw you" moment. A piece of fruit starts falling, and you have to dodge it or die. In the epilogue.
  • If you complete Demon's Crest with a 100% Completion, you're given a password after the credits. Enter it in, and you can continue the game with the Crest of Heaven Firebrand gained from Phalanx, as well as a new end boss.
  • The Golden Temple in Donkey Kong Country Returns serves this role. More so in the 3DS version which has multiple levels instead of just one (Wii version). There's also Mirror Mode, but there the Golden Temple and every other level is unlocked de facto, so it feels more like an open-ended New Game Plus where you have to clear all levels again regardless of order. All of this holds true for Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, only replacing Mirror Mode with the similar Hard Mode.
  • After beating the Final Boss of Grapple Force Rena, players can explore Rena's hometown and talk to the people there.
  • Unlike the original Psychonauts, Psychonauts 2 doesn't stop with the end of the story, allowing Raz to freely explore the world and reach 100% Completion at your leisure. He can also talk to the NPCs who have some new things to say.

    Real-Time Strategy 
  • AI War: Fleet Command and its sequel do put up a proper victory screen once the AI Home Command Stations/Overlords have been wiped out, and considers you to have won no matter what, but you can continue to play. The decapitated AI will continue to send waves and such at you, but AIP freezes in place so nothing you do will make it more dangerous; thus, you can finally feel free to conquer literally everything that is left, and finish kicking it off the galaxy forever. Cathartic, after a long, long campaign.
  • Pikmin series:
    • Pikmin 2 can be continued after Louie is rescued and after every treasure in the game is collected, letting the player explore at their leisure. For each of those benchmarks, there is a new set of mails that are obtained at the end of the day.
    • Pikmin 4 continues after the Final Boss and the main plot are concluded, despite the ending cutscene showing the Rescue Corps. departing the planet. When returning to a completed file, it appears as though their launch did not happen yet, being delayed either until all the treasures/castaways are gathered if the player had not done so, or until Rescue Corps. HQ is ready to take everyone in if the player already obtained 100% Completion. Unlike Pikmin 2, going to the Playable Epilogue is required in order to complete every quest, as it is the only way to do Louie's requests.

    Role-Playing Game 
  • Aveyond 2: Ean's Quest: If Ean chooses to stay in the Land of Man after defeating the Snow Queen instead of returning to Elfwood with Iya, the players will be able to explore the world indefinitely afterwards.
  • A patch in Baldur's Gate III added in an epilogue taking place six months after the events of the game in the form of a party thrown by Withers. You get a chance to get reacquainted with your party members and learn what they've been up to, though depending on the fates of you or your companions the party might not go so well.
  • Used in the first Baten Kaitos; Malpercio has been vanquished, the islands have descended upon Earth(?), and you fight a Post-Final Boss in the form of The Emperor.
  • BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm has both the first type and the second! After beating the final bosses, you get to wander around town and reunite with all the friends you’ve made, before getting in the carriage that will take you home. Then, after the credits roll, you end up back in the Sphere with plenty of new post-game sidequests to do. If you’ve played your cards right, there are even two new, bonus endings to unlock!
  • Bug Fables continues after beating Chapter 7 and stopping the Wasp King, with a separate achievement for truly completing the game after completing some post-Chapter 7 and all other tasks in the game, bar the Cave of Trials and the B.O.S.S. system.
  • Chocobo's Dungeon for the Wii lets you wander around the city and access several bonus dungeons after the final boss is defeated.
  • In the "canon" ending (and the ending when you keep Crono dead) for Chrono Trigger, you visit Leene Square one last time before the credits roll. The Developer's Room ending is also playable, but it doesn't really count. The ending in which Frog marries Queen Leene and becomes the new ancestor of Marle is playable as well.
  • Cyberpunk 2077 has six endingsnote , four of which see V survive and hence feature a playable epilogue where you control V (or Johnny in V's body) through a simple series of optional dialogues and interactions on the way to the respective final cutscene and credits. Specifically, in "Where Is My Mind?" ("The Devil" ending), V is separated from Johnny by the Arasaka techs, but is informed that their brain damage has progressed too far for them to live, and must decide on a sub-ending of either being digitized completely, or living out their final months on Earth; in "All Along the Watchtower" ("The Star"), V helps Panam and the Aldecaldos smuggle their hovertank out of Night City, as all of them leave it for good; in "Path of Glory" ("The Sun"), V gets to say goodbye to their love interest (if any) before departing for the heist of their lifetime; finally, in the "New Dawn Fades" ("Temperance"), V lets Johnny have their body and disappears into cyberspace, while Johnny visits the NC Columbarium before leaving Night City for good.
    • The Phantom Liberty DLC adds another base game ending ("The Tower"), culminating in the epilogue mission "Things Done Changed" which plays out similarly to the originals in terms of being told through simple dialogue choices and interactions. V returns to Night City after a two-year coma that renders their body unable to tolerate cyberware implants, and spends time with Vic and Misty again, having been given up for dead by most of their allies and any potential lovers.
  • Dark Cloud lets you continue exploring the world after saving it. The one difference is that, as you had restored the whole world to how it was before, you no longer need the magical blue stone on your glove. Plus there is still a Bonus Dungeon.
  • Dark Cloud 2 takes the Playable Epilogue to its logical extreme, combining it with the Infinity +1 Sword for an entire extra chapter. And once that's completed you still have a Playable Epilogue. At the end you fight none other than the Dark Genie, who was the final boss of the first game.
  • Deltarune allows Kris to wander around hometown after sealing the Dark Fountain of each chapter, chatting with the residents and interacting with various areas before going home. Even before sealing the fountain, Chapter 1 features a nod to Undertale's use of this trope, allowing Kris and Susie to briefly go back and say goodbye to everyone that they met and spared. Chapter 2 has a post-sealing equivalent by allowing the pair to revisit Ralsei's Dark World and chat with every Cyber World enemy that the player successfully recruited.
  • The "Reaper of Souls" expansion to Diablo III adds this in the form of Adventure Mode, to replace the original game's New Game Plus.
  • Disgaea games since Disgaea 3 puts you at the epilogue after beating the final episode instead of booting you right into New Game Plus, and they usually involve settling the score with previous bosses or guest characters showing up and acting weird. Being a series heavy on Post-End Game Content, you'll need to get serious on grinding to beat the dozens of levels and bosses left to do. This is true to a lesser extent for Disgaea's 1 and 2 where you can do all the optional sidequests and endless grinding before you finish the game, but there's little point.
  • The original four .hack games as well as the G.U. games have playable epilogues which let the player recruit bonus characters as well as play through a Bonus Dungeon for the epilogue. After you finish a volume you can keep playing even though the story won't proceed until you put in the next game. In fact it was recommended to grind items here when the games originally were coming out and there were months of this before the next Volume was released. However story-wise once you loaded a previous save in the next game it would pick up right from where the story left off, even if you had a month of grinding, though you would keep all the items and levels.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Dragon Age: Origins has a brief moment after the final boss and subsequent cutscene where the Warden get to walk around and speak to the party members and related NPC folk about what happened, ask them what they're going to do, and generally sort of fill out the epilogue before the final FINAL cutscene of the game. That is, of course, assuming that the Warden didn't die killing the Archdemon, in which case it is a good ol' cutscene (with a lot of variations, depending on your earlier choices).
    • Dragon Age II does a variation similar to Mass Effect 2: after the credits, you will find a "Post-Game Save" among your saved games, which contains the state of your party immediately after the Final Battle. If you load it, you'll find that the regular locations from the game have become unavailable and you can only access the Hawke mansion and the Downloadable Content (which was probably the whole point of this).
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition lets you continue to explore the world after the main story; the biggest difference is that Solas leaves no matter what. This is also what the Trespasser Downloadable Content is, depicting what happens two years after the main game, and you cannot continue playing in the open world after starting it.
  • In Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku II and Buu's Fury, once you defeat Cell/Kid Buu you can continue playing for as long as you like before speaking to Dende/going to Bulma's party to activate the final cutscenes. In fact, in the former game, it's only in the Playable Epilogue that you can unlock the Secret Joke Character Hercule, which allows you to choose an alternate ending cutscene if you max out his level; in the latter, Gogeta can be unlocked during the epilogue.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Dragon Quest, Dragon Quest II and Dragon Quest III are the Trope Maker here: after beating the Final Boss, you can wander around a monster-free and hazard-less world as long as you want until you decide to go to meet the King and see the end credits.
    • Dragon Quest IX for the DS does this to a far greater extent than the first game, partially because you can save your game and continue to explore the world after defeating the final boss. After defeating said final boss, there are some loose ends to tie up, after which there's an almost endless variety of randomly generated grottoes to find and explore, extra sidequests to complete, things to make using the Alchemy Pot, a veritable army of Superbosses and even a bit more backstory is revealed. Some dare say that the whole 40+ hour main story is only the beginning of your adventures.
    • Dragon Quest XI's post-game is an entire storyline in itself. It takes you to the past so that you can prevent Mordegon from corrupting the Sword of Light and get a head start in defeating him. While this prevents Veronica's death and the world from plunging into darkness, it also meant Mordegon wasn't there to prevent the chaos god Calasmos from being unsealed, becoming the new antagonist.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim allow you to keep playing after you've beaten the main quest. In addition to completing Faction questlines and sidequests, each game also typically offers some new quests and special items to acquire that are only available once you've beaten the game. Most NPCs also recognize your accomplishments and comment accordingly, though don't expect much more than that from them.
    • The Oblivion total conversion mod Nehrim: At Fate's Edge does this with a lengthy quest chain that activates upon completion of the game's main quest. It serves to wrap up one loose end of the main story.
  • All games in the Etrian Odyssey series have this. After the player conquers the first five strata (dungeons), defeats the standard Final Boss and wraps up the main story, they can return for more. Characters will congratulate you for conquering Yggdrasil, you'll be given quests where you can locate and challenge the Superbosses, and return to the labyrinth to discover that there is actually a sixth stratum, much more difficult and devious, only reserved for truly resolved explorers. Once you do all of that (or reach a point for which you're not prepared yet), you can go to the title screen to restart your playthrough via a New Game Plus (thus managing to combine both tropes).
  • Fable:
    • Fable and the expansion/upgrade The Lost Chapters lets you run around and finish up anything else you want once you beat Jack of Blades.
    • Fable II promises that there are quests available only after defeating the Big Bad. These quests amount to very little: the only quest that's truly only available after finishing the story is exploring a castle to find a Gender Bender potion, as well as the option to finish any quest you haven't already done.
    • Fable III was better in this regard, several quests only becoming available after you've driven off the Final Boss.
  • Fallout:
    • In Fallout 2, you get the obligatory "congratulations" round in most cities, and a free max level/skills item.
    • The original release of Fallout 3 had a definite ending where The Hero Dies, the circumstances of which lead to massive fan outcry. The Broken Steel DLC lets you Take a Third Option that continues the main storyline and lets you keep playing even after completing it.
    • The developers of Fallout: New Vegas considering setting content after the Battle of the Hoover Dam, but concluded every one of the Multiple Endings would drastically change the game world too much to properly reflect in-game. All of the expansions are set before the game's ending. However, the areas added by three of its four story DLCs could be revisited after their main quests wrapped up, with Lonesome Road having two potentially unlockable areas (depending on the player's actions) that could only be accessed after its Final Boss Battle.
    • A brief end cutscene (with no credits) plays in Fallout 4 when you make one of the four major factions the dominant one, then the game continues as usual. There are a few minor differences reflecting which ending occurred and quests set after the game's ostensible ending.
  • Fossil Fighters gives you access to a huge number of new things after beating the main game. Not only do you gain access to two new areas (which you will need to visit in order to find every viviosaur), nearly every storyline character you've fought throughout the entire game becomes a Superboss! Beating these lets you earn access to previously ungettable 'saurs, and you can even face the ultimate superboss, consisting of the three most powerful characters in the game.
  • God Eater initially only had some new base conversations after the Final Boss, with gameplay limited to repeating the endgame quests to improve your equipment. The first Updated Re-release, Gods Eater Burst, added a new story arc nearly as long as the main game itself, with new characters and new monsters to hunt helping tie up some of the game's unresolved plot threads. Then the second Updated Re-release, God Eater Resurrection (itself a free addition to God Eater 2: Rage Burst) added another plot arc complete with True Final Boss, connecting it more firmly with the sequel. In other words, the Resurrection version of the game has more playable epilogue than original plot.
  • All three Golden Sun games end with you in the last town in the game (Lalivero in the first, Prox in the second, and Belinsk in the third). Though you can't leave, the towns are all still fully explorable and most of the NPCs have new dialog reflecting on the events of the game. In the first game, it was actually possible to get stuck by saving here, trapping the player in Lalivero and preventing them from completing any sidequests or locating Djinn they may have missed. The sequels fixed this by making it impossible to save the game after beating the Final Boss.
  • Grandia II had an epilogue where you took control of Roan who, some time after the Final Battle, goes King Incognito again to visit his friends now living all across the land.
  • In Holy Umbrella, after defeating the Final Boss, you get a chance to say goodbye to everyone in Thurgical before going back to your own world.
  • Knights of Xentar. No more monsters or quests, just new lines of dialogue for almost everyone.
  • The first 40 chapters of The Last Story are the main campaign, while chapters 41 to 44 are the epilogue. And outside the chapters' stages, there's the possibility to play (most) previously completed dungeons, as well as some unique events like a souped-up duel with Therius and the third and last battle royale in the Arena (which ends with a Superboss). It's also one of the few games to combine this with a New Game Plus, because talking to a specific character proceeds straight to a memorial for Dagran and Zael's knighting ceremony (after which the credits roll), eventually prompting you to restart the game with your latest level and stats.
  • Live A Live: In the Distant Future chapter, after defeating OD-10, you can explore the Cogito Ergo Sum with Cube to get some secrets and gears before talking to Darthe to end the story.
  • Lunar: Eternal Blue has a playable epilogue that is rather long and completes the game with a happy ending.
  • The remake of Lunar: The Silver Star also has a playable epilogue, though all you can really do is wander around Meribia and watch all the secondary characters wrap up their story arcs.
  • Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time has a playable epilogue, though it is really just a disguised path to the unexpected Post-Final Boss.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Mass Effect lacked this, meaning that if you start the sequel immediately after beating it, you go directly from Saving the Entire Universe to the destruction of the Normandy and your character's death by asphyxiation (with kersplat from high orbit thrown in gratis).
    • Mass Effect 2 allows you to continue playing after you complete the final mission. You can talk to your surviving party members about your endgame decisions, continue to mine ore, complete any sidequests you have left over, or just explore for any anomalies you missed. Any DLC you did not complete is also still available, with the ability to complete sidequests and the Downloadable Content with Mass Effect 2 leading to the Hilarious in Hindsight moments where the Illusive Man helpfully points you toward these missions after you've quite possibly destroyed the Collector Base he wanted, transferred the loyalty of the Cerberus crew of the Normandy 2 from Cerberus to you, made two of his senior lieutenants quit Cerberus to also join you, have basically stolen the massive investment that was the Normandy 2 (which EDI reveals makes up a rather significant chunk of Cerberus personnel and capacity), and probably told him to go fuck himself. The only DLC that doesn't fall into this is "Arrival," which has you working on behalf of Admiral Hackett instead. Mass Effect 2 is a bit unique in that you can not only continue playing after beating the main game, but you can also start a New Game Plus with bonuses and some things carrying over.
    • Mass Effect: Andromeda: After the credits roll, the player gets to keep on playing, starting with a celebration of kicking the Big Bad's behind, followed by the ability to go out and finish up any quests they may have left unfinished (one or two of which will play out differently).
  • Every single game in the Mega Man Battle Network series bar the sixth game has these, usually revolving around fighting the extraordinarily powerful Navis that reside in the Undernet. You may get a few glimpses of them in the main storyline, particularly in Battle Network 3.
  • All the Might and Magic RPGs (except 2 and 3) let you wonder around the world and complete any unfinished side quests after you've beaten the main game; you can also save at any point after the ending. World of Xeen was a special subtype because after completing each of the two main quests (one for Clouds of Xeen, one for Darkside of Xeen) the game would save then send you back to the main menu. Restoring the game would then let you continue on to the next main quest.
  • In many Monster Hunter games, defeating the Final Boss in the single-player campaign will unlock extra quests consisting of powerful monsters (including, in rare cases, Elder Dragons). In the case of the online or local multiplayer campaign, your reward will be either the ability to indefinitely raise your Hunter Rank, or at least the highest rank available, allowing you in both cases to unlock and tackle the hardest quests, some of which include unique Superbosses. Later games and expansions go further and add more unique postgame elements to keep the player hooked, such as the Guiding Lands exploration in Monster Hunter: World Iceborne and the hunt of afflicted monsters (including Risen Elder Dragons) in Monster Hunter: Rise Sunbreak.
  • Mother:
    • In EarthBound, you can explore the world in its entirety after beating the final boss. Many Non Player Characters in the game are given new and distinct dialogue, and for the first time since before Paula joined the party, you get to ride your bicycle after you take her home (even resulting in a completely new sound effect if you do so in a swamp).
    • Mother 3 has a form of this. The world is torn apart and you're left to control a "The end?" text as your avatar in a black screen while the characters thank you, wish you well and assure you that they're OK.
  • In Octopath Traveler and Octopath Traveler II, after beating the True Final Boss, you can keep exploring the world and finish sidequests and do other stuffs as you like until you start the ending. Additionally, in 2, after the epilogue starts, you control the first traveler you chose (Or Pala if you chose Agnea since the latter is working at the theatre) to gather other travelers and head to the theatre, and you can talk to the various NPCs on your way too.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and Super Paper Mario have these. The first Paper Mario 64 has one too, but only where it's a means to get you to the last cutscenes.
  • Path of Exile's post-game content are done in the form of maps. These maps are items that can be used on a Map Device to create a zone of various environments and bosses. Like most other items in the game, they can be crafted to add difficulty modifiers to improve item drops. The first post-game focused expansion, Atlas of Worlds, added story to the post-game and introduced the titular Atlas as a way to navigate and discover interconnected maps, with the goal of reaching its core to face its mysterious keeper, the Shaper. War of the Atlas adds the Elder, a wandering enemy that fights for influence over the Atlas against the Shaper and the source of his madness. Conquerors of the Atlas serves as the sequel, following the defeat of the Shaper and the Elder, and the exiles that slayed them becoming the new antagonists. Echos of the Atlas introduces the Maven, an otherworldly entity with a curiosity for conflict, who can create a Boss Bonanza for you to defeat and reward you for. Siege of the Atlas continues the storyline after the defeat of the Conquerors, replacing them with two new entities: the Searing Exarch and the Eater of Worlds.
  • Phantom Brave's playable epilogue pits the player against the main characters of Disgaea, plus a little extra background on the world itself.
  • Pokémon:
    • In several of the games, especially the first, third, and sixth generations, defeating the Elite Four only ends the story. After the credits roll, a high-level challenge, like the Battle Tower/Frontier, opens up and gives you a chance to work on getting the Pokémon your Pokédex lacks.
    • Pokémon Gold and Silver literally goes the distance with this, putting it on the border between fake/nominal ending and Expansion Pack: It turns out there's an entire region left to explore, one that should be very familiar to players of the original games or FireRed and LeafGreen and you need to get another eight badges to face the protagonist of the last game to get the real ending.
    • In Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen you visit three new islands south of Kanto after defeating Blaine. The thing is, their name, Sevii Islands, clearly references the number seven. The reason for this? After defeating the Elite Four you go back to the three islands you visited before to tie up some loose ends, after which the other four are opened up. Pokémon originally found in Gold and Silver can be found here, which puts the National Pokédex you received before to good use.
    • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, as well as Platinum, didn't have much in the way of new areas (mostly a small island with three small settlements), but there are several Pokémon to catch that weren't available previously, especially in the original duo of this generation.
    • Pokémon Black and White: After you beat N and Ghetsis and the story has clearly ended, you still haven't even beaten the Elite Four and become Champion, which was your goal in the first place! Becoming Champion is your main goal to work for during the postgame sidequests. In addition, defeating the above allows you to explore the areas of Unova you probably noticed on your map but were blocked by literal Broken Bridges.
    • In Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, which take place two years after their predecessors, the plot is tied up after you become champion, but on the other hand you get to visit areas from these games' predecessors that were blocked off until then, including the previous games' protagonists' hometown. The reason they weren't visited before is because several post-game areas in the previous games are normal areas here, and vice versa.
    • In Pokémon Sun and Moon, you are tasked to capture the Ultra Beasts by Anabel. Also, because you just became champion, there are 10 other trainers that want your title. In Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, Team Rocket resurfaces as Team Rainbow Rocket and has become a full-fledged Legion of Doom consisting of alternate universe versions of previous villains.
    • Pokémon Sword and Shield has a rather long Epilogue quest. At this point, you still haven't captured Zacian nor Zamazenta. You have 2 new antagonists, Swordward and Shieldbert, causing trouble for you by causing Pokémon to Dynamax Rampage on gyms, in which you need to defeat them. Afterwards, you would then battle the antagonists. Then after, you would battle the mascot to try capturing.
    • Pokémon Scarlet and Violet has comparatively little to do in the post game. You can undertake a short sidequest to rematch the Gym Leaders, which unlocks the Academy Ace Tournament, which in turn is one of the requirements to unlock six-star Tera Raids. You can also return to The Very Definitely Final Dungeon to catch the second Raidon.
  • Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia has one of these. After you start up your save file, you're promoted to the highest Ranger Rank (in honor of Saving the World and all that), and your rewards are access to your player records and the hidden Capture Arena, as well as additional sidequests.
  • SaGa Frontier was speculated to have an extreme example in Blue's storyline. When you beat the final boss in his quest the game ... fades to the title screen. There is no epilogue, no ending theme, no "a winner is you," nothing. This caused many confused fans to theorize what happened. Since the whole purpose of Blue's quest was to master magic and defeat his brother, and since you were shown the credits after doing so, a popular fan theory was that everything that happened after you defeated your brother was an interactive ending. Developers later admitted they simply ran out of time and money, and described the ending Blue's campaign would have had if they finished it.
  • While most routes in Shin Megami Tensei IV end immediately after the Final Boss of the ending, the Neutral ending, where you fight both main Final Bosses, allows you to go anywhere you like after beating Lucifer, even areas that were previously locked off during the final arc. As long as you don't go to Cafe Florida in Shinjuku, where the ending proper will start, you can do anything, including quests in the alternate Tokyos and the Fiend fights.
  • Once you beat the Final Boss in DemiKids, part of the Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Children series, you're actually given three different options: letting you proceed with a Playable Epilogue, go back a little bit in time to an Endgame+, or starting all over again with all of your things intact in a New Game Plus. The Playable Epilogue can be considered the "real" ending: In addition to bringing all your deceased friends Back from the Dead, it lets you recruit a whole host of Olympus Mons, including Lucifer, the Big Good himself.
  • Some of the Shin Megami Tensei: Persona games do this.
    • Persona 3 features one of these; although you're really doing little more than advancing the plot by this stage, you can still revisit the different parts of the city between the final battle and the actual end of the game. And in FES, you can talk to people you've established full relationships with to get an extra scene. The FES Updated Re-release, meanwhile, features The Answer, an entire mini-campaign and extension to the core game's epilogue, dealing with the fallout from the game's ending.
    • In Persona 4, like in the FES version of the previous game, you can talk with every Social Link you've maxed out on the final day after you achieve the Normal ending. If, however, you decide not to go home when prompted, instead heading back to Junes, you'll get to another dungeon, the real final boss, and the True Ending.
    • Persona 5 also allows you to talk to any Confidants you have maxed out between the final boss and the ending. Confidants that you have maxed by the end of the game will give you an item that can be carried over to a New Game Plus to unlock one of their Confidant abilities in a second run.
  • Suikoden II has a Playable Epilogue of sorts; after beating the Final Boss, you're able to wander around the world freely (only without the ability to add anyone to your party). However, certain actions will still trigger one of the Multiple Endings, you can't add any more party members and you can't return to playing after that.
  • Sword of Vermilion had a minor one. After defeating the Final Boss and obtaining the last of the Plot Coupons, there are no more Random Encounters and you can freely visit all towns and talk with the Non Player Characters, which complimented you with your achievements. But there is little else left to do except taking the Plot Coupons to their rightful place and watching the credits roll.
  • Tales of the Drunken Paladin: Not only can the player continue playing after beating the Final Boss of Hobotropolis, there are many optional quests that involve tying up loose ends from the boss's defeat.
  • Tales of Graces F has a playable epilogue 3/4 the size of the main game.
  • Tales of Legendia doesn't so much have a playable epilogue as a second half. The credits roll before you get there, though.
  • Both TaskMaker and The Tomb of the TaskMaker have a final level that only appears after defeating the final boss: The former features the game's programmers as NPCs and several random thank-yous, while the latter is a row of NPCs whom the player has encountered earlier in the game all giving randomly-generated statements of praise.
  • At the end of Terranigma, Ark gets to go back to Crysta and relive the good old times with all his friends from there for one day before all of them cease to exist.
  • The Ultima games usually let you wander around and talk to people after beating the game, thus letting you see the aftereffects of your journey, much like in EarthBound. There's not much to accomplish at this point, though.
  • Undertale has one after the True Pacifist Final Boss, where the player is free to explore the areas of the game and see the new dialogue that every NPC has (and this is the one time the game really encourages you to Talk to Everyone). All random encounters are gone, but the clever loose ends that get tied and little changes are reward enough for many players. Once you're done, you initiate the end sequence, including the credits. You can reload to a save from right before initiating the credits if you wanted to see more, though you'll also get a pleading request not to reset the game.
  • Wasteland let you wander around after killing off the Big Bad. Then again, the world was still saved but crawling with dangerous creatures.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X continues after Chapter 12 with the quote "this story never truly ends". Completing the game unlocks new missions, new Skells, new equipment, and new enemies (including the optional superbosses) you were unable to fight before. By the time you complete the main game itself, you most likely completed less than 50% of it. Have fun spending the rest of your hours getting a 100% completion. On the good side, you can play online multiplayer with less worries. However, likely as a reminder of the aforementioned quote, some things are left unfinished: You cannot get Lao back, but at least you know he's still alive. You cannot locate the unknown knight. You cannot find Ghosts in this game. You cannot eradicate the entire Ganglion race in Mira. And certain matters pertaining the supporting characters, such as those between Gwin and Irina, are left unresolved.
  • The Dark Sun games from SSI let you keep playing after completing the game. In the first game in particular you could revisit the villages who helped you in the final battle and they would all acknowledge your efforts.

  • In Ancient Domains of Mystery, the game just doesn't end after you close the chaos gate (which is the standard victory condition), so you can go on roaming the Drakalor Chain and even die. Rather, it ends only after you leave the Chain — which, if you do it earlier, is a Nonstandard Game Over (as in, sure you can just give up and leave before you've beaten the game if you want).
  • In Hades, after Persephone returns to the underworld Zagreus can continue to attempt to "escape" on the basis of helping Hades test out his security systems. As well as additional dialog and story events, there are also more unlockable items with other characters.
  • All of the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games have a sizable amount of dungeons to explore that only become available after the ending, along with some extra story bits that tie up the loose ends left after the main plot.
    • Rescue Team has additional story that explains that Gengar was the human who got Gardevoir cursed by accident, and you have to bring him to Gardevoir's resting place in the hopes of bringing her back, and you can later visit the meteor that threatened the world, which contains Deoxys as a Superboss.
    • Explorers gives even more to the story, but darker and edgier. You find out that it was Darkrai who set up the Evil Plan to destroy Temporal Tower and plunge the world into darkness, and he's the reason you and Grovyle got separated and you got transformed in the first place. The sister game, Explorers of Sky, adds Shaymin as a recruit should you finish the Sky's Peak.
    • Gates to Infinity keeps it short but sweet, showing a few days of the team's life (Hydreigon and Keldeo now a part of it) during the hero's absence before they ultimately discover a way to bring them back.

  • City-building games will often give you the option, after completing your set objectives, to either move on to a new game or stay to perfect the city you're working on. Some examples are Pharaoh, Majesty and SimCity
  • While getting married in some Harvest Moon games will make the credits run, this is very rarely the end of the game. (If you're playing Harvest Moon: Back To Nature For Girl, it is). In fact, there's quite a bit more to do after getting married; aside from eventually getting a child, there's new events to see, sometimes new villagers to befriend, 100% Completion to achieve—some items and events are even cut off from you until you get married.
    • It also ends at marriage when you play as Sara in the third Game Boy game and get married.
    • In Harvest Moon DS, the game ends after marriage if you marry a Mineral Town girl. This was fixed in Cute, where marrying a Mineral Town boy doesn't end the game.
    • This gets subverted in Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life and Another Wonderful Life. In those games, if you don't get married by the end of the first year it's actually game over. Another Wonderful Life and the PlayStation 2 enhanced version has an actual epilogue that the GameCube version lacks, called "Heaven".
    • Heaven mode—now called "Beyond"—is present in Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life, letting players play past the end of the story after you die.
    • The offshoot Rune Factory games also let you keep playing normally after the end of the main plot. Rune Factory 3 specifically included a Bonus Dungeon where you could put all of the powerful armor and weapons to use.
    • The fourth installment ends with your friend and guardian dragon Ventuswill sacrificing herself to defeat Ethelberd and save the town, followed by a 15-minute ending cutscene and credit roll. Stick around for long enough after the ending and the villagers eventually put together a plan to resurrect her.
  • In Hometown Story, the story ends when you complete the first blue feather and use it to grant someone's wish, which will usually trigger the credits. However, you can continue tending your store after this, which will reward you by giving you blue feather fragments at a higher frequency than during the main game and enable you to grant the wishes for which you didn't use the first blue feather. On top of this, the Player Character's wedding and Lamisa's wish both have follow-up cutscenes that you will only see if you keep playing after using the blue feather for them.

    Stealth-Based Game 
  • If you complete at least two of three story objectives (save the cruise ship, save Hisham Hamza and save or kill Lambert) in Splinter Cell: Double Agent, you get to play one brief segment after the credits roll out where you sneak onto a coast guard boat, take down Carson Moss, and disarm the Red Mercury bomb before fleeing the exploding ship and getting "To Be Continued..."
  • Hitman: Blood Money has an interesting variant. The game leads up to the supposed death of Mr. 47, and if you sit through the ending credits you will see his funeral. However you will notice that his health meter is on the screen during the credits, with just a pulsing sliver of health, and if you mash the controls enough he will revive from his death-like coma and the ending credits are interrupted while you play the truly final mission of the game. However, this is totally optional and easily missable - if you don't do this, 47's still-comatose body is lowered into an incinerator.
  • Hitman: Absolution has a playable epilogue which takes place in a cemetery. The Agency is trying to locate Diana Burnwood's dead body because Benjamin Travis has become extremely paranoid that Diana might not be dead. She isn't.

  • The Civilization games have the "Wait!!" option to play on after you've won a victory.
  • Spaceward Ho!: "When you kill all enemy colonies, you win. You're free to keep playing, but there won't be any resistance from the bad guys, since they're dead."

    Survival Horror 
  • Rule of Rose features a very elaborate one, where you play as child Jennifer, walking around the orphanage to say farewell to the precious memories she had about the place despite of all the bad that happened. It culminates the storyline masterfully and provides some of the strongest Tear Jerker fuel in video game history.
  • SOMA, after the credits roll, provides a nice surprise. Before the credits, Catherine's cortex chip shorted out mid-sentence after an angry telling-off from Simon Jarret, leaving him all alone, underwater, with no power to the building he's in. But both of them were copied onto the ARK just before it launched, and the epilogue shows us what happened to those copies. We see Simon, looking like he did when he first was in Toronto, within the simulated world of the ARK. After a slow walk in the daylight through a forest, and a brief survey at a kiosk, he arrives at a cliff looking out at a huge futuristic city, and Catherine as a full human. Then as she turns to him and assures Simon that everything's all right, the camera fades to the ARK as a satellite in space, slowly drifting away from a devastated Earth.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries allows the player to take on random missions even after completing the last campaign, keeping all of the assets they have acquired.
  • Spec Ops: The Line has one that is only unlocked by shooting the Konrad hallucination. A rescue squad shows up for Walker, but what the player does from that point will result in 3 different endings. Shooting the guy trying to help you will result in the entire squad opening fire. Dying in the confrontation will yield a Downer Ending, taking down the entire squad will yield a horrifying ending. Dropping your weapon however, will yield what is at best, a Bittersweet Ending. It's quite the understatement to say that the game doesn't end happily.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance allows Marche and his party to continue to explore Ivalice after defeating the Final Boss, and some of the newly recruitable story characters will mention the absence of Mewt.
  • Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones returns the player to the world map after the final chapter is complete and starts the "Creature Campaign", allowing them to fight random skirmishes and go through the Tower of Valni and Lagdou Ruins at their leisure. There's also a number of units that can only be obtained in the Creature Campaign by reaching certain milestones in the Tower and the Ruins.
  • Subverted in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. If the player chooses the Silver Snow route, after Chapter 20, there are apparently no more enemies, but the player can still explore the monastery and talk to people, give tutoring sessions, and go out to side battles. But when the player gets to the end of the month or just says yes to Seteth, the mission suddenly changes to "The Final Battle." Why? Rhea goes berserk, forcing the player into one last mission to Mercy Kill her.

    Visual Novels 
  • Downplayed in Melody. The Girl Next Door Ending and the Cool Aunt Ending both have these, but they’re limited to choosing a bonus sex scene out of two.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Alba: A Wildlife Adventure: After the end credits, you're let loose on the island for your last day with no time limit, allowing you to talk to everyone, finish off any remaining quests, and find those last few animals.
  • The Grand Theft Auto games featured this, especially the GTA 3 story arc games. In San Andreas, CJ even mentions he just wants to go around. This is useful for those who are looking for 100% Completion and figure the first step is to finish those annoying storyline missions...or for those who just like the game for its more cathartic qualities. Also, beating the last storyline missions ends the riots in Los Santos, which was a state of the world a lot of players really ENJOYED, so they would leave the last mission unfinished rather than blemish their completion rating (prior to 100%) by using a cheat code to achieve the same result or save to a different file.
  • Grand Theft Auto V features this, with various depending on the ending you chose: if you chose to kill either Michael or Trevor, you will be left unable to party up Franklin with the survivor, and whoever you chose to kill is Killed Off for Real. If, on the other hand, you chose the ending with Michael and Trevor surviving, you can have them travel together. There is even special dialogue between the characters which wraps up the interpersonal conflict between Michael and Trevor, in addition to a post-game mission featuring Trevor's mother.
  • Just Cause 2 calls it Mercenary Mode. Not much really changes after you finish the last story mission, except that each time you load the game or respawn, it shows MERCENARY MODE in big red lettering, and whenever you find an item, complete a challenge or mission or destroy a piece of government property it shows your increasing completion percentage.
  • The Like a Dragon titles feature Premium Adventure mode, which can act as either this or New Game Plus if you decide to use your complete save file or not. If you choose to do so, you are free to explore the game's open world and finish off any substory you haven't cleared yet as well as all progress on the Completion List. Some titles that feature Kiryu and Haruka let you choose to bring her along in order to play minigames together.
  • A variant of this happens in Red Dead Redemption. After John Marston dies and the "final cutscene" plays, you will have control over Jack Marston, and you can continue on in freeplay mode. However, the end credits won't play until you head to Blackwater, talk to a random bystander and complete the "Remember My Family" mission, where Jack finds and kills former Blackwater Agent Edgar Ross - achieving his revenge.
    • Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare, a What Could Have Been DLC, plays this trope; following the credits, the non-DLC normal story ending comes about (wherein John is killed), only with the twist that Seth steals the treasure that caused the dead to rise before when taken, thus bringing the dead (including John) back to life, allowing the player to finish side quests and to free roam.
  • Like its predecessor, Red Dead Redemption 2 also has an epilogue that takes place after the death of the main protagonist. In it, you play as John Marston about eight years after the events of the main game. This time however, the epilogue is much longer and consists of several missions, culminating in an assault on Micah Bell's gang with Charles Smith and Sadie Adler.
  • All of the Saints Row games (except the first one) let you play after the credits roll, allowing you to continue participating in activities and diversions. However, Saints Row 2, in addition to already allowing you to replay past missions, also has one last mission for the player to pursue after the credits: unraveling the mystery of who tried to kill you in the yacht explosion from the end of the previous game.

Alternative Title(s): Clear Game, Post Gameplay Roaming