This post will contain spoilers on the endings of some games, but said games have already been out for a while now. The oldest game on this list was published in 1998, for example.
This particular Friday I’m sharing a few games that have surprised me, either by giving me deep thoughts or freaking me out, in some way or another with their endings.
Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
Okay, so we all know the ending of the game was going to be Zelda and Link teaming up to kick Ganondorf’s ass, and the final battles are always amazing. What I found unexpected about Windwaker’s final battle was the nature of the last attack. Windwaker’s graphics were a cute, cartoon-y style, so to see little Link leap up and embed the Master Sword directly through Ganondorf’s eyes was startling, to say the least. There was no blood or gore, of course, but in a game that has monsters disappear in a puff of smoke after a few smacks, such a violent end to Ganondorf was unexpected.
Pokemon Sun and Moon: Professor Kukui as the Champion
With Sun and Moon revitalizing the formula for the Pokemon games, it wasn’t even certain that there would be the traditional Champion at the end of the game to battle. When we did go through the new Pokemon League, seeing Professor Kukui at the end was a surprise to me. Never before in a Pokemon game have we battled the professors, except for Professor Sycamore in X and Y to obtain a Kanto starter. There’s a glitch in the original Pokemon games’ code to let the player battle Professor Oak, but having the professor as one of the final tests in a game was new to Sun and Moon. I had expected Hau, Gladion, or another story-centered character to be the Champion that we would battle. Having Lillian be the Champion would have been an interesting twist as well!
Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations
The Ace Attorney games are rife with tricks and red herrings, making them some of the most suspenseful games I’ve ever played. When Rachel and I put our heads together during the last, tense courtroom level, we can generally figure out how to nail the final culprit, yet Trials and Tribulations continued to keep us guessing as we puzzled out the answer little by little (and a lot of saving and restarting). The game had characters that could channel spirits, so not all the suspects were even alive! Once we realized who had been the real mastermind behind every connected case of that game, we were shocked.
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Yes, another Zelda game that I felt fitting for this list. At the end of Ocarina of Time, not only is Sheik revealed to be Zelda all along, but she sends Link back to the past to live out the time he had lost. Considering all of the harrowing dangers Link had put himself through to protect Hyrule, I was surprised when I first finished the game to see that he wouldn’t even stay in the peaceful timeline, to help rebuild the land he saved. Now I find the ending bittersweet, especially since he returned to the body of young boy with the memories and nightmares of a young man without his constant fairy companion to boot.
What video games have your favorite endings? Any that particularly moved or frustrated you?