good game endings

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Win Kang

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Feb 27, 1995, 6:36:54 PM2/27/95
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Played any games where you get to the end and you don't say "that's it?"

I liked the ending of Enchanter from INFOCOM.

--
Z z //////////////_ the
Z O __\\\\@ //^^ _- \/////// sleeping
Z z o _____((_ \-/ ____/ / < < \\ > ant
burp! o 0__________\\\---//____/----//__|-^\\\\\\\\ eater

Christopher E. Forman

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Feb 27, 1995, 8:43:27 PM2/27/95
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Win Kang (eas...@taurus.oac.uci.edu) wrote:
: Played any games where you get to the end and you don't say "that's it?"

I hate, I absolutely HATE games that reward all your hard work and puzzle-
solving skills with a lame congratulatory text message.

: I liked the ending of Enchanter from INFOCOM.

This one was good, but my favorites were Zork Zero and Beyond Zork, because
they gave you several screens of victory text. Some may disagree, but I
like games that have a long introduction and conclusion. The former gives
you an opportunity to get the feel of the story before you start, while the
latter makes you feel like you've accomplished something by rewarding you
with a long epilogue that ties up the story and/or opens the door for
sequels. To me, it's just not any fun to win a game where the ending text
is the same length as a standard room description you can get anywhere in
the game.

Other good endings:

Wishbringer
Zork III
Planetfall

Kenneth Plotkin

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Feb 28, 1995, 1:22:34 AM2/28/95
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Don't forget the ending of the original Adventure. A very satisfying
and just final puzzle, followed by a proper reward.

Ken Plotkin

Sarinee Achavanuntakul

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Feb 28, 1995, 11:33:08 AM2/28/95
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Christopher E. Forman (cef...@rs6000.cmp.ilstu.edu) wrote:

: Win Kang (eas...@taurus.oac.uci.edu) wrote:
: : Played any games where you get to the end and you don't say "that's it?"

: I hate, I absolutely HATE games that reward all your hard work and puzzle-
: solving skills with a lame congratulatory text message.

Not if the text message was well written! My favorite endings are
definitely Time Quest (by Legend) and A Mind Forever Voyaging.

-Sarinee

Win Kang

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Mar 1, 1995, 6:59:56 PM3/1/95
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cef...@rs6000.cmp.ilstu.edu (Christopher E. Forman) writes:

>Sarinee Achavanuntakul (sach...@scunix4.harvard.edu) wrote:
>: : I hate, I absolutely HATE games that reward all your hard work and puzzle-


>: : solving skills with a lame congratulatory text message.

>: Not if the text message was well written! My favorite endings are
>: definitely Time Quest (by Legend) and A Mind Forever Voyaging.

>That wasn't what I meant. I mentioned that I liked a lot of endings to
>text games. What I hate are games that reward you with:

> Congratulations, you have solved <insert name of game here>!
> Would you like to play again (Y/N)?
> >

actually Scott Adams' games weren't that bad.
even if it ended with a line.

graphic-based RPG games however tend to have disappointing endings, tho'.

Jason Dyer

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Feb 28, 1995, 6:06:15 PM2/28/95
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Christopher E. Forman (cef...@rs6000.cmp.ilstu.edu) wrote:
: Win Kang (eas...@taurus.oac.uci.edu) wrote:
: : Played any games where you get to the end and you don't say "that's it?"

: I hate, I absolutely HATE games that reward all your hard work and puzzle-
: solving skills with a lame congratulatory text message.

: Other good endings:
: Wishbringer
: Zork III
: Planetfall

Also, Balyhoo. Not necessarily the ending message itself, but the
situation/puzzle at the ending.
Of non-text, I award Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, in the
same sense of the other one.

/~\_/~\_/~\_/~\_/~\_/~\_/~\_/~\_/~\_/~\_/~\_/~\_/~\_/~\_/~\_/~\_/~\_/~\
Jason Dyer - jd...@indirect.com - Custom PC programming available
Anyone who consults a shrink should have his head examined. - Heinlein
Never trust a tall dwarf. He's lying about something. - Gerrold

Christopher E. Forman

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Feb 28, 1995, 7:02:12 PM2/28/95
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Sarinee Achavanuntakul (sach...@scunix4.harvard.edu) wrote:
: : I hate, I absolutely HATE games that reward all your hard work and puzzle-

: : solving skills with a lame congratulatory text message.

: Not if the text message was well written! My favorite endings are

Judson Cohan

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Feb 28, 1995, 8:40:15 PM2/28/95
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Win Kang (eas...@taurus.oac.uci.edu) wrote:
: Played any games where you get to the end and you don't say "that's it?"


OK, OK, I realize that my favorite game ending doesn't really fall into
this group's bailiwick, by my all-time favorite ending is definitely Star
Control II, with the credits included.

For interactive fiction endings, I'll have to second the motion for
original Adventure.
--

_______________________________________________________________________________
Jud Cohan
j...@netcom.com

"Old heroes never die; they just reappear in sequels." - M. Moorcock

Industrial Strength

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Mar 2, 1995, 3:03:12 PM3/2/95
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Win Kang (eas...@taurus.oac.uci.edu) enlightened us with:

> Played any games where you get to the end and you don't say "that's it?"

> I liked the ending of Enchanter from INFOCOM.

A Mind Forever Voyaging--all the way. :)

Now that I think of it, I can't recall too many Infocom games in
which I _did_ say "that's it" (except, hmm, Hitchhiker's, for obvious
reasons.)


--
ld...@acs.bu.edu http://acs2.bu.edu:3000/Liza

"Please do not change color while I am speaking to you."

David Gilbert

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Mar 2, 1995, 5:34:05 PM3/2/95
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: Now that I think of it, I can't recall too many Infocom games in


: which I _did_ say "that's it" (except, hmm, Hitchhiker's, for obvious
: reasons.)

I can think of one... Suspended. i worked so hard on thqt game I expected
more from my efforts then just a list of casualties and a rank. I thought the
ending would be something like waking up and being able to explore the complex
yourself... or something. Something with waking up. I don't know. I expected
more, thanks all.

Avrom Faderman

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Mar 3, 1995, 3:19:08 AM3/3/95
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In article <easu928....@taurus.oac.uci.edu>,

Win Kang <eas...@taurus.oac.uci.edu> wrote:
>Played any games where you get to the end and you don't say "that's it?"
>
>I liked the ending of Enchanter from INFOCOM.

Some may disagree with me on this, but I'm particularly fond of the
ending to Infocom's _Infidel_, even if it wasn't overall one of my
favorite games.

Perhaps the least conventional game ending ever.

-Avrom

Matthew Murray

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Mar 7, 1995, 11:05:57 AM3/7/95
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Interesting choice. A lot of criticism I have heard for Infidel's
ending was that it was inappropriate and anti-climactic. Well, I never
really thought it was. I mean, it's just always ASSUMED that the game
will end happily, and you will get the treasure and all that. But when
you look at the information contained in the documentation and in the
game itself both before and after you enter the pyramid, the ending DOES
make sense. Especially given all the traps in the pyramid. It's a
bitter irony and one that I think works well. Besides, the last part of
Infidel is pretty charged as it is, and I think the ending is really the
peak of everything that happens in the last ten minutes of the game.
Personally, though, I think A Mind Forever Voyaging has the best
game ending ever. You spend the entire second third of the game seeing
how the world is screwed up by the Plan, and then you finally get a
chance to see how things actually worked out by implementing the Project
instead. In addition to being the cap to a great game (in my opinion,
Infocom's best), it would be great in ANY game where it fit. It is the
culmination of the events in the game, and certainly is one of the most
detailed and perfectly designed endings I've ever seen. The final two
paragraphs, where the skycab docks at the station, is among the best
writing I've seen in a computer game. It gives a hope for the future
that exists not only in the world of 2091, but also for today, which is
something we need even more.
I love A Mind Forever Voyaging.

*******Matthew Murray at mmu...@wsu.edu or i971...@unicorn.it.wsu.edu*******
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***Actor - Computer game wizard - B5 fanatic - German speaker - First tenor***

Matthew Murray

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Mar 7, 1995, 11:13:04 AM3/7/95
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On 2 Mar 1995, Industrial Strength wrote:

> Win Kang (eas...@taurus.oac.uci.edu) enlightened us with:
> > Played any games where you get to the end and you don't say "that's it?"
>
> > I liked the ending of Enchanter from INFOCOM.
>
> A Mind Forever Voyaging--all the way. :)

Hooray!
Apparently, I am not the only person that loves the ending to this
game. I think it is really the best ending there has ever been in a
computer game, with graphics, or without. Most of the time, endings are
just glossed over and are not integral parts of the game that went
before. But what makes the AMFV ending special is that it is just as
much a part of the game as any of the other parts. A spectacular ending
to a spectacular game.
Hmm...I agree with you about The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy,
and felt kind of the same about the ending to Suspended. But, I think a
weaker ending in that case is forgivable, given what you have to put up
with in order to get to it! <big grin>
<sigh> There are times I wish it was 1981 again...

Matthew Murray

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Mar 7, 1995, 11:17:06 AM3/7/95
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I won't say anything more about A Mind Forever Voyaging (did >I<
just say THAT?), but I will take a moment to reflect on Time Quest, which
is something that I didn't think of. You're right--the ending to that is
good. I remember seeing in some gaming magazines when this game was
released that people thought there wasn't much of an ending, but I have
to disagree. Again, it isn't specifically what happens after you perform
the final action as much as what leads up to the final action being
performed. The whole scene at the end is great in any accounting of the
game. In addition to the interesting (but surprisingly not paradoxical)
things that happen. For instance, is there any of us who really didn't
know who that old man was? :)
With the exception of Companions of Xanth, for obvious reasons, I
think Legend, right now, makes the best games in the industry. Even
Spellcasting 101 was great, despite its many problems (I cite
Spellcasting 301 as a much better example). I hope we see more great
games from Legend in the future. The last game I played from them was
Death Gate and it was great, if a little too easy.

Carl Muckenhoupt

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Mar 7, 1995, 11:22:18 PM3/7/95
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cef...@rs6000.cmp.ilstu.edu (Christopher E. Forman) writes:

>Speaking of somewhat unconventional endings, how about Trinity?

Trinity's ending is excellent. While not exactly happy (like Infidel),
it has a strong sense of closure (unlike Infidel, according to some on
this thread). And it's interactive, like AMFV's ending.

>Or Spellbreaker, for that matter. Not exactly what I'd call optimistic.

Spellbreaker's ending was IMHO a bit weak. Yes, it's the end of an era
and all that, but it seemed pretty much unrelated to the rest of the
game. A bit more foreshadowing throughout the game, rather than just at
the beginning, would have made it better - for instance, Belboz could
have hinted at what was to come.
People have objected to the ending of Zork Zero for the same reason, but
to a certain extent the foreshadowing is there to be discovered. For
example, if you look at the jester in Mirror Lake, you pretty much know
what he is.

--
Carl Muckenhoupt | Is it true that Kibo habitually autogreps all of Usenet
b...@tiac.net | for his name? If so: Hi, Kibo. Like the sig?

James M Mudge

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Mar 7, 1995, 2:03:03 PM3/7/95
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In article <3j6jds$h...@Csli.Stanford.EDU>,

Avrom Faderman <av...@Csli.Stanford.EDU> wrote:
>
>Some may disagree with me on this, but I'm particularly fond of the
>ending to Infocom's _Infidel_, even if it wasn't overall one of my
>favorite games.
>
>Perhaps the least conventional game ending ever.
>

A friend and I had competed with each other to see who could be the
first to finish _Infidel_. I had admitted to him that, as close as I was
to finishing the game, I kept dying. He admitted the same. So we called
Infocom to confirm if this *was* indeed the way the game ended.

We got as far as the switchboard. "Hello", we said. "You don't have to
answer this question if you feel that it's inappropriate..."

That's as far as we got before we were hung up on.

So we continued to play for days after, trying to be the first to
complete an already completed game. It wasn't until I read in a magazine
about "Infidel's unique ending" that I realized that we *had* finished
the game, and upon informing my friend of this, we fought for days later
on who had actually been the first to finish it. Even to this day, we
still jab at each other.

- - - - -

A fine example of a game that could have ahad a better ending was
_Stationfall_. I was an out-house play tester for this game (well, I
wasn't exactly *in*-house...;), and Infocom wanted my opinion of the ending.

I thought that the game needed (and still needs) an exciting ending, and
offered my opinions. I thought that blasting the pyramid into the
gravity-free elevator shaft and enclosing it in a mirrored lined chest
while avoiding the oncoming elevator was much more exciting then...well,
we know how that all ends, don't we?

Well, someday prehaps we can *all* write the perfect ending to a perfect
story. As for me, I'll just continue daydreaming about that time to come...

-Boston Jim

Christopher E. Forman

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Mar 7, 1995, 3:55:31 PM3/7/95
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Speaking of somewhat unconventional endings, how about Trinity?

Or Spellbreaker, for that matter. Not exactly what I'd call optimistic.

Andrew C. Plotkin

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Mar 9, 1995, 10:23:23 AM3/9/95
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Excerpts from netnews.rec.games.int-fiction: 8-Mar-95 Re: good game
endings Jason Dy...@indirect.com (1236)

(Zork Zero spoilers)

> : People have objected to the ending of Zork Zero for the same reason, but

> : to a certain extent the foreshadowing is there to be discovered. For
> : example, if you look at the jester in Mirror Lake, you pretty much know
> : what he is.

> There are people that DON'T like the ending to Zork Zero!?!?
> I found it very good. I felt pretty stupid too...there was a _lot_ of
> foreshadowing, and I never thought about it.

I didn't like the ending at all, because it was way too foreshadowed.
The jester, at least. I didn't guess bit about the castle, but I didn't
like it much either; no real thematic consistency.

--X

"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the borogoves..."

Jason Dyer

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Mar 8, 1995, 6:39:27 PM3/8/95
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Carl Muckenhoupt (b...@max.tiac.net) wrote:
: cef...@rs6000.cmp.ilstu.edu (Christopher E. Forman) writes:

: People have objected to the ending of Zork Zero for the same reason, but

: to a certain extent the foreshadowing is there to be discovered. For
: example, if you look at the jester in Mirror Lake, you pretty much know
: what he is.

There are people that DON'T like the ending to Zork Zero!?!?


I found it very good. I felt pretty stupid too...there was a _lot_ of

foreshadowing, and I never thought about it. My favorite was
the picture torn out of the Jester entry in the encyclopedia.
Plus, the way it unifies with Zork 1/2/3 is very cool.
As for the ending to Spellbreaker...ever beat Beyond Zork? I think
the ending feels a lot better when unified with the ending for that game.
Of course, you can also include Return to Zork with the storyline
too. I found playing a game in the Age of Science to make the
Spellbreaker ending more meaningful.

Doug Atkinson

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Mar 11, 1995, 2:48:31 PM3/11/95
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> People have objected to the ending of Zork Zero for the same reason, but
> to a certain extent the foreshadowing is there to be discovered. For
> example, if you look at the jester in Mirror Lake, you pretty much know
> what he is.
>
Or if you're able to psych out what the programmer had in mind.
I figured out who the jester was by thinking, "Why is the jester here
and why is he doing all this to me? Obviously there's something more
than meets the eye here..." and from there it was pretty easy.
--Doug

Carl Muckenhoupt

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Mar 13, 1995, 2:22:27 AM3/13/95
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ad...@phoenix.princeton.edu (Adam Justin Thornton) writes:

>On the other hand, I had to ask Brian Moriarty whether Trinity _really_
>ended as bleakly as I thought it did. The answer is "yes". Those of you
>who've played: think about what the _best possible ending_ to the game
>implies. Shudder.

And the amazing thing is that it works. And it fits with the rest of the
game.
Throughout Trinity, the player is called upon to destroy things to
prevent greater destruction, whether it's a harmless lizard or a
mysterious cottage or a rodent that you only recently saved from death.
Every such decision is painful (especially that lizard). The prose makes
you feel the loss and hope that it's really for the greater good. But
every act of destruction helps to build a world where things get destroyed.
The truly tragic thing is that you win. And that the results of your
winning really are preferable to the alternative.

M. Williams

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Mar 20, 1995, 5:16:33 AM3/20/95
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On the general subject of game endings (but not infocom this time), did
anyone understand the end of 'The Pawn' (Magnetic Scrolls)? I won't spoil
it for anyone, but I'm still not convinced I've finished this game.

Mark

Cote Eric

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Mar 21, 1995, 2:14:18 PM3/21/95
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That was a GREAT GAME! It was the first IF I ever completed
on my old C-64. At the time, the graphics were simply
awesome and the parser seemed to do understand a lot of things.
It was really funny! This was ten years ago!

In fact, the characters you meet in the game are really
"talkative". Each character would answer something clever
if you asked them about certain things. You could ask
them about : the wristband, winning the game, life,
death, hell, the weather :-) and also about all the other
characters. (They all know each other).

The game was superb in the coding of the actions. For example,
the verbs "look, listen, taste, smell, feel" were implemented
for every object (if I remember correctly). What a surprise I
had when I listened to the wristband (you can hear the radio!).


The problem is that this game spoiled me! I decided then to try
some other IF (Infocom & al.), but the coding wasn't as rich:
> TASTE KEY
The key tastes like a key.

Also, the other great thing about the pawn is the vividness of
the death scenes. They were really imaginative and funny.
For exemple, there's a ravine not far from where you start.
if you try to jump it, it will take three times before the
"narrator" will let you do it! (Again, all of this is foggy
in my memory! Been ten years!) And the way you die when
you try to kill the other characters is hilarious.

There's the verb "exits", that lists all of the possible
exits. Very useful!

And the parser had some wonderful features:

> WHERE IS HELL
Are you talking to yourself again?

> YES
Just checking!


SOME SPOILERS:

I loved visiting hell. Another fun place was the unfinished cave
where you find some BASIC code on the wall.

I was also taken by the horrible red herring of the wheelbarow.
The wheelbarow in the shed doesn't serve any purpose, but
the description of it is so wonderful that any sensible player
will try to get it. I lost many hours to that puzzle! In
fact, other Magnetic Scrolls games make reference to that
infamous herring!

The ending was truly remarkable. The story was something like
this: You wake up in a strange land with a strange wristband.
After lots of running around in places like castles and hell,
finding the answer to life itself, you finally come the last
room in the game!

Inside, you find the Magnetic Scroll staff in a busy
computer room. They are all amazed to see that you have
succeeded. They finally congratulate you, remove your
wristband, and put you in "debug" mode. The prompt changes
from ">" to "]", and you are now free to roam about the land.
And you now are immortal. You can die safely, without having
to reload. Wonderful way to see all the ways to die.

Since you now have no more wristband, you can go south
of the frontier of the land. Beyond it, there is a
gray colored world with nothing in it except a fountain.

I always wondered what you could do there. Once in the gray
world, there seems to be no way to get out, and nothing
to do with the fountain. There must be something, but I
never found it. Anybody knows what to do?

BTW, it has been ten years, so my comments may
vary from the actual game!
--
Eric Cote co...@jsp.umontreal.ca
Montreal - Sorry, no funny quotes today!

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