Everyone likes a happy ending. As people, we like it when good things happen to us. Good things are nice. So it’s only logical that we should unconsciously transfer some of that self-directed well-wishing upon an adopted avatar we’ve been in control of for 8 – 10 hours. Games. Happy endings. Good times.
But all of us, if we’re well-rounded beings and not the kind of perma-happy, fixed-grin wearing perky wholesome types inevitably destined for cults, mental hospitals or TV shopping channels, have a shadenfreude side. The side that really wanted to see Luke join the family business at the end of The Empire Strikes Back. The side that wanted Avatar to end with a big blue tree-hippie bloodbath (okay, that was everyone). And because games are capable of more endings than other media, they sometimes indulge that side with multiple denouements of varying degrees of grimitude. And here are the grimmest of the grim.
Oh, and obviously…
So no whining, y’ hear?
7. Metal Gear Solid %26ndash; Meryl dies
If you initially failed the torture sequence in Metal Gear Solid on PSone then hand in your controller because you’re an idiot. Tapping X repeatedly to resist Ocelot’s torture is bloody simple but if your skills at performing the most perfunctory gaming tasks are weak then you can hit Select to ‘give up’ or in this case, ‘Kill Meryl’.
As Snake uncharacteristically bows out with a whimper, he knows only too well what fate he’s left to his red-headed sidekick – especially since Ocelot creepily remarks he’s going to ‘have fun with her’. BEAST! Anyway, it’s not until a few hours of game-time later that you see Meryl who’s as dead as disco. *Sniff*
In place of the dead Miss Silverburgh, you’re left to escape the underground facility on the back of jeep with Otacon, but not before he gives you a wrist-slitting speech about life, living forever and dealing with loss. It’s almost enough to wish the cowardly scientist was the one Ocelot was going to interfere with. Still, allowing Meryl to be sent back to God unlocks a lovely stealth suit for Snake. See every cloud has a silver(burgh) lining.
6. Singularity – You clever bastard
Singularity appears to have a choice of two endings as you stand before your scientist friend Barisov and the bad guy Demicev. It’s the classic moral dilemma – take the spoils and join the bad guy, or follow the good guy’s advice which means you’ll have to kill yourself. Ooh, tricky.
Above: Which is it gonna be? Choose wisely…
Of course, killing Barisov and choosing the ‘evil’ ending would be worthy of this list in its own right, as it starts a new age of terror. But there’s actually one more ending that’s far worse…
This third ending appears if you decide to shoot both men. It’s quite a surprise when it creates a terrible alternative timeline where you’re the evilest of evil, but it is logical if you think about it… you just killed two men in cold blood. Or has CoD desensitised you that much? Here’s the video…
With all memory of the Time Manipulation Device dying with Barisov and Demicev, you are left with the TMD… to rule the world yourself (insert maniacal laughter here). It’s the selfish ending – and one that yields a silver trophy for being so damn clever.