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I Need Help Conducting Research On Endings

Posted by McJobless , in General Information, Other, Requests, Rock Raiders United 08 January 2013 · 327 views

One of the few things I'm terrible at (;P) is ending a story. It's difficult, trying to think of some amazing way to conclude what could have taken a person hours, even days to read, play or watch. So, I was hoping for some input here.

I want to know your favourite endings and your least favourite endings from anything. Movies, books, games, TV Shows, you name it. Hell, list more than one if you can. This research will help me a lot, so thank you.

For reference, I'm not going to copy an ending 1:1. What I'm looking for is trends in what the endings offer. Did people like a big show of guns and explosions, with a cool pose at the end? Did people want questions answered, or like the ambiguity? Are mind-rape endings alright?

You don't need to tell me exactly what you liked, I just need to know the specific media so I can conduct my own research from there. I've noticed RRU doesn't have many mainstream gamers, and we seem to have a good range of gamer ages, countries and favourite genres so this might be a tad more interesting.
I think a lot of it depends on whether it's going to carry on with sequels or anything.

I quite liked the ending to Killzone 3. It's feels like a ending but there's a bit of a question mark too. I also liked the ending to MGS 4. It felt like the end of that story line but it did it fairly well.

On the flip side you've got endings that feel rushed which I don't really like. One example of the ending feeling rushed is the TV series Merlin.
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First of all, no one likes an ending like the one in Megaman 4, where Dr. Wily escapes through a hidden door right in front of Megaman. It basically says "Thank you for reading/watching/listening/playing! Get ready to fork over your hard-earned cash for the sequel in a few months!".

If you're going to want a good, definitive ending, the ending to Return of the Jedi is a good example (arguably, the special edition is the better example in this case, but either one works). It gives a conclusion to every story sub-arc in the series that hadn't already ended, and it does it well.

Another example would be the ending of Stargate Atlantis. It's essentially a climax and conclusion wrapped into one, which usually doesn't do well but in this case worked pretty well.

For video games, I'd take a look at Final Fantasy 6. You'll really have to play the game or at least watch the ending to see what I mean.

There's also the first-gen Pokemon games, in which, again, the climax and ending are tied together but in a good way, and I personally felt the ending to the main storyline of Pokemon Black and White versions was relatively strong, if a little cliche.

Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations concluded with a massive plot twist, however, if the player had already gotten that far then they would already have come to that conclusion. It's still shocking though, so I won't spoil it.

With books, obviously Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King requires a mention, but also "The Emperor's Gift", one of the Black Library Warhammer 40,000 novels.

For manga, Rurouni Kenshin's ending was pretty good in my opinion.

As for the endings I didn't like... I could go on and on about these.

First off, I already mentioned Megaman 4. Basically, any ending like that where there should be a conclusion but the story continues for no reason should be avoided.

Next, cliffhangers should be avoided in any situation where a follow-up is not intended.

The third thing you should avoid is the classic, villainous scream of "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO". Revenge of the Sith doesn't count, as the villain doesn't exactly die in that situation.

On the other hand, No More Heroes 2. JASPER @#$%&?! BAT JR.!!! He dies... with a smile on his face... AFTER one of the hardest boss battles in video game history. And I must scream.

With video games, if anyone sticks a giant space flea from nowhere at the end, they are to die a most painful and gruesome death after watching their loved ones being pushed into a volcano. No one, and I mean NO ONE, likes a giant space flea from nowhere. Examples: Final Fantasy 9, Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time, Mario and Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story.
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I don't like endings. It means a can't play/read/watch anymore.

I might make a bigger reply when I have some more time.
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Read some of the Discworld books. Start with the first two, they're two halves of a good story. The ending represents the author's view on vacations.

Note: They stories themselves are not about vacations. It's just a plot point.
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HL2: Episode 2
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Jan 09 2013 04:13 AM
I do like the endings of the Star Wars films. The way there was always 2 or more things going on at once, but obviously it's a saga so may not be suitable for a single ending.

I like endings that are conclusive, or otherwise lead on to another film. Cliffhangers need a reason (like in the Italian Job, it was comical). If the film is an action or involves action, I also like climatic battles at the end - as in Avatar, Dark Knight (+Rises), etc. At the moment though I can't think of my favourite ending... I just like coming out of a movie with a sense of 'YES!'.
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Mass Effect 3

I kid, but I did like the ending to the original Dead Space.
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If you want a teary-eyed, heart-felt, moving ending, try any of the episodes of The Waltons before Richard Thomas left. That, or Little House on the Prairie. There is always some stagecoach turning over on that very sappy show. :P

Dramatic ending, try something from Stargate SG-1. I like the time Col. Carter was in a space suit hanging onto a Supergate, and a fleet of Ori motherships suddenly come though it and surround the Odyssey, and she just floats there watching everything.

Again, avoid the long, drawn-out "NOOO!", and if a sequel is not planned, don't do anything that would lead one to think there will be one. Also avoid the question mark at the end, as that is now becoming overused.

For suspense/open-ended, I like the ending to the first Spy Kids movie. We know they are going on a mission, but it allows us to imagine what happens next.

For a cheesy/corny ending, I can't find something that beats the Batman 1966-1968 series. The Caped Pipers of Gotham lead robot mice into Gotham Harbor and play until they splash into the water. When one didn't make it, Batman gets on the ground and plays his little flute until he is finally able to move it into the water. Heh, that entire episode is cheesey. There is so much cheese, even the mass amounts of robot mice would not be able to blow all the cheese into pieces. :P

Avoid endings that leave the audience scratching their heads saying "...Wha...?" Example: the ending the the original B&W The Day the Earth Stood Still. The movie itself was good for its time, but the ending failed. "Join us, and your plant will be spared. Don't join us, and face utter destruction." The alien walks into the space ship, and files off. I was expecting something better than that.

For a happy ending, a combination of anything of the things that you should use would work.
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End it with a broken toilet.
Oh, I forgot something that you shouldn't use. The Lights, Camera, Fire! short film on http://city.lego.com, made by the same people who did Ninjago and other LEGO shorts (and presumably Chima). The best way I can say this: the water simulation at the end, and I'll leave it at that. :P
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