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OH!MY DEAR LITTLE RED HOOD! THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMING!—Ending to Little Red Hood
You did not disappoint.—The Angry Video Game Nerd in response to the above quote
Let's say you have been through this incredibly long and Nintendo Hard game in one sitting (because you can't save and don't have passwords), until you finally finish the game and defeat the last, incredibly hard boss. The moment of truth has come, you wait for the epic, satisfying ending and you get...
"Conglaturation!" on a black background, in perfect silence, and nothing more (except maybe the credits).
If you're really unlucky, it'll be the same Game Over screen you'd get for dying. And then, after three seconds, the title screen again. They could have at least spell-checked it.
The urge to throw the game out the window is overwhelming, to say the least.
This is most likely to happen with older fighter games, console ports of arcade games and the like.
Cousin to (if not the most extreme form of) Bragging Rights Reward. Compare to No Ending for similar lack of satisfying or suddenly abrupt ending. See also Disappointing Last Level. Even worse is if you lose, this game gives you a Have a Nice Death or an It's a Wonderful Failure screen.
Unrelated to This Loser Is You.
Video Game Examples:
- If you manage to defeat Jason in the Friday the 13 th game for the NES, you're rewarded with the same picture of Jason sitting down you've already seen twice, and the text "You have finally managed to defeat Jason... But is he really dead? We're not telling!! END..." Much better is the losing screen, which, right in the midst of Nintendo's Never Say "Die" period, declared "You and your friends are dead."
- Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver was in its time famous for a disappointing ending consisting of not much more than a screen of very cryptic monologue delivered by a voice belonging to a character who hasn't been seen. It makes sense in the context of the series but is hardly rewarding. This cliffhanger was due to time constraints. The developers had to cut a solid chunk out of the game to meet the release date. Some versions of the game contained voice files hinting at what this chunk would have contained. Those bits that were planned did make it (in very modified form) into the later games.
- Some of the things that was cut can be accessed via cheat codes.
- Of course, they did the same thing in Soul Reaver 2: abrupt ending, cryptic phrase, roll credits. Fortunately the developers redeemed themselves with Defiance.
- Complete the Boss Rush in Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon and your reward is a still shot of Impact over a cheesy '80s-style background and the word "Congratulations!" The Japanese version had a slightly more interesting picture of the dev team in Chibi form. Why it was changed is anybody's guess.
- Woe be unto the only child beating the NES version of Bubble Bobble. If you slogged through the whole game to defeat the final boss, but don't have a second player partner, the game shows the girls being freed, only to have them vanish. To add insult to injury, the game declares "Bad End. This is not a true ending! Try again with your friend." All it takes to see the not-too-shabby (by NES standards) Happy Ending is subbing a second player in just before popping the final boss's bubble.
- The first Tomb Raider game rewarded the player with a FMV about a second or two long of Lara's ship leaving, presumably going home now that it's all over.
- Ninjabread Man: If you actually manage to beat the game despite its broken controls and terrible camera, the screen goes black and you're taken back to the title screen.
- The arcade game The Three Stooges in Brides Is Brides has this ending screen.
- Stop The Express, the old ZX Spectrum classic by Hudson Soft finished with the message "CONGRATURATION! YOU SUCSESS!" and a shot of your guy in the front of the train. Then it loops back to the start, presumably for more SUCSESSful action...
- In the game's Famicom successor, Challenger, saving the princess (yes, there is one) gets you a "CONGRATULATIONS!" banner. Then the next round begins and the game loops back to the "Stop the Express" stage.
- After finally finishing level 80, Bugs Bunny in Crazy Castle for the Game Boy had Bugs walking slowly into the middle of the screen with the message "Congraturations! You are good player!" and his standard "level won" animation.
- Die Hard on the NES: The endings say "YOU WIN. GAME OVER." As opposed to "YOU LOSE. GAME OVER." A normal ending is here. All endings are now listed here.
- Legend of Kage makes you fight over the course of four seasons to save a Princess. Your reward? A brief ending scene that ends with "However..." and the Princess gets kidnapped again.
- It does have an ending, after you rescue Kiri-hime three times. But the game does loop again after that...
- After completing the surprisingly fun Disney's Tarzan video game for Play Station, you're treated to a brief clip from the movie, a screen that says "Congratulations" and a voice-over from a Rosie O'Donnell sound-alike congratulating you. Yep, that's it.
- The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (2001 PC game) ends with Jimmy receiving a whole bunch of this sort of message from the supporting cast.
- Jimmy Neutron vs Jimmy Negatron ends with a box saying "YOU WIN. PRESS ANY KEY TO CONTINUE."
- Waynes World on the NES and Game Boy: "Excellent!" says Wayne.
- The ending in the arcade version of Strider was nothing special, but in the home computer ports by U.S. Gold it was replaced by some cop-out ending in which the whole game is revealed to be a training simulation, just because the programmers couldn't fit the final boss battle into the ports.
- One NES game in particular that ends in a way you'd call extremely unsatisfying is Jim Henson's Muppet Adventure: Chaos at the Carnival. After you find all four keys from the four mini-games, as Kermit, you must defeat Dr. Grump. Upon winning, he has Miss Piggy slowly float down to Kermit and all you get for an ending is where Miss Piggy says "Oh thank you! Oh thank you! But it sure took you long enough!" Yes, you save Miss Piggy from God knows what Dr. Grump was planning on doing with her and the bitch starts chastising you!!
- Not entirely out of character for a diva like Miss Piggy, but still...
- The first Contra had an exploding island and then said simply "CONGRATULATIONS! YOU HAVE DESTROYED THE VILE RED FALCON AND SAVED THE UNIVERSE. CONSIDER YOURSELF A HERO." The unanswered question is why should I have to consider myself a hero? Doesn't anyone else?
- When Hydra Castle Labyrinth ends, it simply tells you how long you took to complete the game and then rolls the credits, which ends with the hero hopping happily with his new crown at the The End message.
- Good as it was, Capcom's Darkwing Duck NES game had an extremely unsatisfying ending. After getting through F.O.W.L.'s floating fortress and defeating the Final Boss, you're rewarded with a couple of screens of text, followed by a brief cinema scene of Darkwing driving along a highway. He hits a rock and crashes, "THE END" appears, the theme song starts playing, and... that's it.
- Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue for N64, If you somehow manage to stay awake to play through one level you are greeted by a uninspired "YAY!".
- Evolva. The ending? After you destroy the Parasite's bomb and defeat the two bosses guarding it, the final cutscene just shows the Parasite agonizing and the spaceship leaving the planet. End.
- Rambo on NES messes up the iconic ending to First Blood Part II. In the film Trautman asked Rambo "How will you live, John?" and Rambo answered "Day by day." The game changed Trautman's question to "What will you do now?" but Rambo still gives the same answer.
- The ending of Bloodwings: Pumpkinhead's Revenge is, at least according to the Spoony One, conclusive proof that the developers never intended or expected anyone to beat their Moon Logic Puzzle-laden piece of crap, and instead just slapped on some B-roll footage (showing an actor in a Pumpkinhead costume and a pair of sneakers dancing around like an idiot for about 7 seconds) as a final insult to whatever player managed to crawl through their impossible mess of a game. Even worse is the alternate ending you get for foregoing the moon logic puzzle and using brute force to beat the final boss: The guy just flips you off
- Nicholas' Weird Adventure 2 introduced the term "congrendulates," used as a parody of this trope. It has since become a part of Internet lexicon in its own right.
- The Secret of Monkey Island parodies this trope by including a "cheat code" (Ctrl-W) which allows you to instantly win the game. If you use it, you just get a screen which says "You Win!" followed by the credits.
- In Night Trap, all you get for winning the game is Kelly congratulating you on your success. However, if you get a perfect game (all bad guys captured, all innocents saved,) you get to trap her right afterward.
- Super Double Dragon, being an Obvious Beta, lacks any actual plot and features a generic text-only ending before the credits after the defeating the final boss. The Japanese version doesn't even have that; you just get the credits.
- The Tick on SNES and Genesis has a total of 44 levels of monotonous gameplay, levels that go on far too long and endless waves of enemies. If you play all the way to the final level and end up defeating Thrakkozog, what do you get? The Tick yells "Spooooon!", and then you see the exact same friggin' "THE END" title card that you see if you run out of lives and continues, followed by the credits! And that's all you get!!
- The Neo Geo game based on Eight Man: After beating the completely random final boss, you get a five seconds cutscene (which is just the intro played in reverse) and a screen saying "Congratulation!".
- Beating Spider-Man & Venom: Separation Anxiety nets you a picture of Carnage and text saying "GAME COMPLETED".
- The Teen Titans game for Play Station 2, "Teen Titans", has not only an unoriginal title, but when you finish you are merely asked "Wanna play again?", and the characters float there 'till you make a choice. If you say no, you get to sit through bland credits. No skipping.
- If you actually manage to play through a race in the video game trainwreck that is Big Rigs Over the Road Racing, you're rewarded with a shot of a trophy and the phrase "YOU'RE WINNER!" Not that it's hard to win, since among other things your opponent doesn't move.
- "Yes, I are winner!"
- It gets even better - sometimes the game doesn't quite register whether you're starting or finishing a race, and so there are times when you start a race, only to instantly win.
- FFX Runner. After getting past the first part of the game twice and going past a very long part near the end of the game, you get... wait for it... the title screen, with a message saying "congratulations! you win!".
- Two of the last examples for the NES are Mario Is Missing and Mario's Time Machine. The latter required only marginally more effort.
- The trope title comes from Pro Wrestling on the NES, where you received the same Engrish conglaturatory message after winning a match. The actual "You Win!" screen consists of a picture of two trophies and your fighter (with one title belt on his waist, and another in his hand), and the message "Congratulations! You are V.W.A. V.W.F. Champion!", while the music repeats endlessly.
- Clay Fighter, an extremely difficult fighting game where the computer cheats ruthlessly on all difficulty settings, ends with just the credits, except on Hard difficulty, where it had a short all-text screen describing what happened to your character after the fight. C2: Judgement Clay carried on this tradition. It wasn't until Clayfighter 63 1/3 that it showed you your character's ending on Normal level.
- In Soul Calibur III, after beating the Nintendo Hard final level in Chronicles of the Sword, complete with a difficult Final Boss.... You get "Emperor died (sic)... The empire collapsed, and the people were left only with devastated lands and the memories of the terrible war. The people, however, eventually forgot the hardships. They rebuilt the raised (sic) village and sowed new seeds upon the destroyed fields. Then, by the fire side, they told the tales--the tales of the great ones who spilt their blood upon those lands...".
- In other words, a generic cutscene that makes little reference to the plot, complete with grammatical mistakes... What makes this example so galling is that the final chapter pits your five men against ten opponents, you have no chance to recover lost units, and each of their units is more difficult than the standard Soul Calibur III controller-smashing difficulty, and the final boss has a sword that can drain half of your health in one move, and take it for himself.
- For custom characters in Soul Calibur IV, you see them obtain both Soul Edge and Soul Calibur, raise them triumphantly... and then the screen fades to black, saying "His/Her name will go down in history for centuries." It is a variation of the description above, as the story mode is pretty much not all that hard.
- There are variations. One of my characters destroys both Soul swords in her ending. Still not satisfying.
- "Wow! Incredible!!" That's what you get for beating the original Super Smash Bros on the hardest difficulty: A variant audio sample. Future Smash Bros. games give you trophies for beating different modes on the hardest difficulty, along with the familiar "Wow! Incredible!" voice clip.
- In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, on "Tourney Mode", upon winning, an icon of your character appears with a voice clip saying "The Champion is <Chosen Character>"
- While a less infuriating example, in the original Smash Bros the only reward you got for beating the game (after a long, although enjoyable credit list) is a picture of your character with a loud voice yelling "CONGRATULATIONS!". Granted, the screen is different per character, but its still pretty lackluster.
- Beat Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter with a Secret Character and what do you get? "Congratulations! You've defeated the game with a secret character!". The Japanese version for some reason had endings for Shadow Charlie, Tanned Sakura, and Mecha Zangief that were removed from the international versions.
- The same thing is true for Marvel vs. Capcom, although the Capcom secret characters (Lilith-mode Morrigan, Shadow Lady and Roll) get their own endings.
- The Japanese versions of the Street Fighter EX games actually had text-only endings for each of the characters. For some reason, Arika/Capcom didn't bother to translate them for the international versions (even though they're only two or three paragraphs long each), so they just took them out completely. Averted with EX 3, which kept the endings.
- The original Street Fighter has Sagat saying, "You've outlasted the best. You are now the strongest street fighter in the world!" before the credits roll.
- Dead or Alive 2 had really weak endings. Granted, the game wasn't hard to beat, but even so, all we typically get is 10-20 second endings using the game engine graphics (not FMV like DOA 3 and 4) that are head-scratching. Jann Lee busts down a tree with his fists? Zack goes snowboarding right then and there? Lei Fang looks around at nature? Tina hopping on Bass's shoulders? All lame. (to be fair, though, the game compensated with unlockable outfits as a reward for beating the game)
- WWF No Mercy. Every title has its own set of fights that you can take multiple paths through. Finishing any path for a title showed your character celebrating, and a short crawl of text depending on which title. Fair enough. This trope comes into play for Hundred-Percent Completion. Taking all of the paths for any of the titles takes quite a while, and many of them have sadistic fights (there are paths where you have to throw an easy match, just so you can take the path to a ridiculous handicap match). Your reward for completing every fight available for a title? The exact same text crawl. If you decide to play the title once more and just take any old path, then you'll realize that there was a glitch with the "100%ed this title" flag, and now you'll finally get to witness the celebration you have earned... a slightly different text crawl from before, depending on the title.
- Doom 64 ends with a text saying "Finally, the Mother of All Demons is dead".
- In the Jurassic Park game for the SNES, after hours of slogging through some genuinely hard FPS and top-down gaming, you finally make it to the end only to be given a simple screen stating "Congratulations, you have escaped Jurassic Park".
- Not to mention that the ending sequence before that is exactly the same as the intro... in reverse!
- The otherwise-excellent System Shock 2 suffered from this. It seems that, due to changing hardware specs, the game was no longer able to run the opening and ending cutscene videos, so on completion it simply dumped the player back to the main menu!
- Medal of Honor: Allied Assault just says "The End" and rolls the credits, no victory cutscene, nada.
- Quake ends with an ugly close up of the final boss, identical to ingame footage. She explodes, leaving surprisingly few gibs for such an immense beast. Among the gibs are a couple of parts of other monsters from the game, showing that they didn't even create original graphics for the ending. The player character stands in her place in the middle of a runing animation, axe in hand (which you would never have selected on this level). Then you get a text crawl talking about your skill and cunning and that id software salutes you. Whoop de doo. Nothing original except the text crawl was put into the ending at all, it's all recycled game footage at ugly resolutions.
- Civilization V, unlike its predecessors which featured endgame cinematics of various qualities, now offers you a single picture and three sentences to congratulate you at the end of the days/weeks/months long game.
- Fortunately, it does offer a button for those who just want to continue playing.
- And hilariously enough, the "continue playing" button reads "Just...one...more...turn!"
- Before some patches months after release, it didn't even have the replay, which let's you see how all the civilizations expanded over time. Even after adding it, the feature is tucked away in the corner.
- Fortunately, it does offer a button for those who just want to continue playing.
- Pirate original games developed for now-defunct systems such as the NES and original Game Boy deserve special mention. Suffice to say a single screen with a misspelled congratulatory message is the norm, while many don't even bother with that and just unceremoniously boot you back to the title screen. One of the more infamous examples is the port of Contra Spirits to the NES, which does actually attempt to recreate the original SNES game's ending, but in place of the original's credits it is captioned "THEND".
- There's an entire website devoted to endings (many of which are examples of this trope) on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum computer.
- There's one for Commodore 64, too.
- The Jurassic Park example above is just one out of many. When you beat a JP game, you usually get a small, often lazy cutscene of the hero escaping the dinosaurs' island in a boat or helicopter. And maybe you'll see some dialogue.
- While it does have multiple endings, the SNES/Super Scope game Metal Combat still managed to rub some salt on determined players. It gives rewards beating the first three difficulties: two cheat codes and a piece of really good playing advice, respectively. The reward for beating the hardest difficulty is a Congratulations splash screen with Super-Deformed drawings of the good guys and their Humongous Mecha.
- The original Pac-Man arcade game technically has no end, unless you count a glitch in the programming that corrupts the screen at level 256. The frustration experienced by exhausted Pac Man players is accurately summed up in this flash cartoon by James Jouni.
- The Tower of Druaga: "Congraturations!! Now you save Ki and the adventure is over," followed by a short list of credits. The Turbo Grafx 16 remake, with greater attention to the storyline in general, has a longer ending.
- Parodied like so many other things by Kingdom of Loathing. Your reward for defeating the Naughty Sorceress is being thanked by the Council of Loathing but being told you have to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence because the monsters hate you that much and won't leave till you do.
- Some of the Game Grid parody-minigames make fun of this trope. Beating Dungeon Fist earns you the message "YOU HAVE ESCAPED THE DUNGEON! CONGRATULATION!" and beating The Fighters Of Fighting gives you "Game Over! You Win!" (instead of "Game Over! You Lose!"). Subverted, though, because after that you get a score tally and a bunch of valuable ticket items.
- Vegas Stakes on the SNES did this once you reached your goal of $10 million in winnings. Your companion asks you what you plan to do with the money. After entering a short phrase on what your plan is, the credits roll and on the black screen after that, it shows some text saying "You will (do whatever) with the money". Then again, it IS a gambling game where you can't do anything else except grind for more money in the games.
- Sonic Heroes has an extra hard mode, unlockable after several requirements are met. The only reward for beating it is a "Congratulations" and a brief generic picture of the three main characters. The same picture that appears on the title screen and the game's case.
- In Chaotix, the good ending is just the title screen with Sonic and Tails making a cameo.
- Sonic Chaos didn't really have endings either. The best you could get was a glorified credits screen showing the Chaos Emeralds.
- A mobile phone ripoff of Sonic, Supersonix, ends with just this text: "Congratulations. The sky is blue, water is wet and you've won the game. You can feel proud, for once again man has defeated machine."
- In Sonic CD as Tails, the ending is a simple credits roll. It's understandable why they couldn't redo the awesome movie at the end of the original CD but its surprising to just get something you can get from the main menu.
- The U.S. release of Karnov for the NES ends with a simple white text on a black screen reading "Congratulations!! The End". Apparently, they couldn't even be bothered to Bowdlerise the original plot or the ending, where Karnov is rewarded for defeating the Big Bad by becoming the successor to God.
- Ghostbusters for the NES, a game which is generally considered near-unwinnable, ends with the poorly translated "Conglaturation!!! You have completed a great game. And prooved the justice of our culture. Now go and rest our heroes!" The Angry Video Game Nerd either was crying or laughing. It was hard to tell since you can't see his face.
- There are several games from that period (like The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros and Ghosts N Goblins) that "rewarded" you by unceremoniously kicking you back to the start to play a Second Quest." If you were lucky, you got an ending screen that was slightly better than the one you got the first time you played through. (Although it was no less likely to be free of garbled Engrish.)
- The Master System version of Shinobi is perhaps the most grievous offender of all time. Fighting one's way through the game requires a lot of skill and not a little luck. The original ending from arcade version, which reveals the identity of the Big Bad to be Joe Musashi's former mentor, is replaced by a Game Over screen in the Master System version. The same screen you get for losing the game.
- Space Station Silicon Valley, a Nintendo 64 puzzle game in which the main character took control of various robotic animals, ended with one of the characters explaining they didn't have the budget for a good ending and just played the credits.
- Though this may be (partly) justified as an instruction to get the rest of the treasures, presumably hinting that then the main character will have enough money for the proper ending. The fact that a bug in one of the levels makes this impossible, though, means that the "didn't have the budget" ending is the only one that can be found anyway.
- The NES game The Krion Conquest, when translated from the Japanese game Magical Doropie, had every plot sequence in the game (except the intro) removed. This includes the ending: when you deal the final hit on the last boss, the screen freezes and the words "You win !! Congratulations !" scroll over it, followed by the credits.
- Flood for Amiga and Atari ST may be a particularly nasty example: After the last level, the player is treated to a very short scene of the protagonist successfully escaping with his life, only to be killed by a passing car. Click here for images.
- The NES game Milon's Secret Castle ends with a "Thank you!" As the game had no Mercy Invincibility, which allowed you to be killed quite quickly when cornered, and a million Guide Dang Its around every corner, this can hardly be said to be anywhere near satisfying.
- The Game Boy version of the game does actually end with cutscenes depicting a Link-esque Milon marrying the princess, who has an uncanny resemblance appearance-wise to Zelda.
- The overly-long, Nintendo Hard, Everything Trying to Kill You Dr Franken 2 on the Game Boy ends with a message saying "Well done Franky, you've saved the chateau!" followed by a full screen picture of Frankie. I could have looked on the game box for a bigger picture in colour, thank you very much.
- The NES game Fox's Peter Pan and The Pirates, while a decent game representation of the cartoon series, featured one of the most pathetic game endings ever. After defeating the final boss, Captain Hook, the player was "rewarded" with a full-screen image of Peter and the words "I win. It's so much fun being Peter Pan."
- The Japanese Disk System version of Super Mario Bros 2 (aka Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels) features a slightly different ending than the original game. For starters, Peach's sprite has been improved, the ending text is different, and the background will turn blue with the seven Mushroom Retainers from the previous Worlds surrounding Mario and Peach. Unfortunately, when the game was remade for the SNES and GBC, they simply used the same ending they used in the remake for the original Super Mario Bros. Compare the Disk System version's ending with the ending in the SNES and GBC versions. This ending was also used for the arcade cabinet remake Vs. Super Mario Bros., and the Japan-exclusive All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros.
- If you make it all the way to the end of Ghosts N Goblins and didn't forget to pick up a necessary weapon and beat the boss, you get rewarded by having to play the whole game over again, with the message that "This room is an illusion and is a trap devisut (sic) by Satan". If you manage to do that, all you get is a brief scene of Arthur reuniting with the princess and the following text: "Congraturation. This story is happy end. Thank you. Being the wise and courageour knight that you are you feel strongth welling in your body. Return to starting point. Challenge again!" Yes, those spellings mistakes were in the game.
- The Sega Master System 2 game Tom and Jerry did this. After playing your way through all the levels and finally catching Jerry, you are Congratulated, then informed that Tom can never really catch Jerry and sent back to play the game over again.
- Aladdin Virgin Games has two bonus levels where you control Abu the monkey. When you lose those levels you get a black screen with the text "Nice try". When you win you get the same thing: "Nice try". The game's ending is not much better: after Jafar is defeated, Aladdin and Jasmine are shown on a magic carpet ride, then doing a Foot Popping clinch in which they freeze as "The End" appears and the credits roll. The other Aladdin Licensed Games have endings like the movie's.
- The ending to the first Rayman game could fall under this trope, especially considering how unfair the game is. After you beat the final boss, you're "treated" to 10 seconds of fireworks, a narration declaring "You've saved the world!" and then the credits. That's it.
- Seems its come around full circle as in Rayman Origins once you beat the last level (no easy feat mind you) all you get is the final boss revealing that its actually a Nymph. Thanking you and saying she had a bad dream before winking at the camera as it irises out. Uh...yay?
- In the Game Boy Color version of Gex: Enter the Gecko, where you have to collect everything in order to reach the final battle, you are only given the credits. This is a far cry from the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 versions, which had an awesome cut scene at the end.
- In Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko, completing a secret level gives you "COMPLETEB".
- Kirby 64 features a variant on this - it has a very difficult Boss Rush, in which you must defeat all 7 of the game's bosses in a row without any form of healing, and you were forbidden to absorb any enemies' powers. Bear in mind that 6 hits will kill you. Normally, after beating this, you simply get a screen showing Kirby's friends throwing him happily into the air with the word "Congratulations!" under the image. But if you beat it without taking a single hit, you get a screen showing Kirby wearing various body parts of the defeated bosses, as though it were his personal trophy, with the word "Perfect!" under the image.
- Inversion: You Have to Burn The Rope. Given that the game is designed to be the exact opposite of old Nintendo Hard games, it features an ending credits song that may well be longer than the amount of time it took to beat the game in the first place.
- Data Design Interactive's Shovelware are even worse in regards to this trope: they merely and immediately send you back to the title screen upon completion of the last stage.
- The Great Giana Sisters, once you reach the crystal in the final level immediately shows a black screen, with the text: "Giana get up. The sun has frightened off the night." Which doesn't even make sense unless you know the game's backstory.
- Wonder Boy in Monster Land: "War is over. Dragon was robot. He may come from star. We regained our peace. People will be happy."
- At the end of the pirate/unlicensed Famicom game Thunder Warrior, after placing the final puzzle piece, the game displays the same "The End" screen as the Game Over screen before going to the credits.
- Mickey Mousecapade: After the Final Boss, Mickey and Minnie exit the castle into a wooded area, and the mystery friend is... Alice in Wonderland! The End.
- The Amstrad CPC version of fiendish Mastertronic game Soul of a Robot, sequel to Nonterraqueous is legendarily poor. The aim of the game is to destroy a "master computer" which controls your planet - but when you enter the final room, instead of a boss fight you're treated to a tiny, crude line drawing of what appears to be a typewriter. Flashed on the screen for roughly two seconds before the inevitable message 'Congratulations! Now go and play the original Nonterraqueous'. Thanks, thanks a bunch.
- The plot of Chakan: The Forever Man has the title character cursed with immortality as a result of defeating Death in a fight. He can only rest in peace after he's destroyed all supernatural evil, and so the game has him fight through Nintendo Hard stages in order to rid the world of evil. After beating the game, he is still not allowed to die, as Death informs him that there is still plenty of evil all across the universe, leading to one last boss battle. Lose, and you merely get the message "Rest will come another day." Win, and you are rewarded with the sight of an hourglass that never empties. Which makes sense, as you've just killed Death, but that doesn't make it any less rage-worthy.
- The very first Spyro the Dragon game has some of the dragons simply saying "Thank you for releasing me!". Woo-hoo. Subverted, however, in that said dragons have an excuse for not having that much to say in that they usually aren't that hard to find, while the ones that are congratulate the player for doing so (one of them once prompted Spyro to comment "You could find an easier place to get stuck"). Then again, the dragons' Stealth Hi Bye that follows makes every dragon found somewhat of an unsatisfying achievement.
- Beating Jumper and Jumper Three rewards you with a screen counting all your deaths throughout the game. Jumper Two's ending on the other hand is... strange, to say the least.
- There's a game for the TI-83 titled Iceclimbers (not to be confused with the NES game) by downloading a program called Mirage. You get a bland screen that reads "A Winner is You. Victoly!"
- Metrocross on the C64 also simply shows "Game Over"
- The ending of Donkey Kong Land consists of nothing but "Congratulations!" followed by the credits.
- This is how the not-by-Capcom Mega Man PC games end. To rub salt on the wound, it's even the same ending screen in both games.
- When you think you beat the Monster in My Pocket NES game, you have to face the final boss again. When you defeat him, the text reads "Yeah" and then your character walks away.
- If you beat Bart vs. the World without collecting all the special Krusty items you just get Krusty telling you "Great work there, Barto... But it's too bad you didn't find all the unique Krusty items. We had a special surprise planned for you. Oh, well. Don't blame me -- You didn't do it!" If you do complete the game with all the special items, you just get a cheap animation of Bart throwing cream pies at Burns and Smithers on Krusty's show.
- The NES The Adventures Of Rocky And Bullwinkle game is another case of a glorified Game Over screen. Wherein losing the game resulted in a large "YOU LOSE!" beating the game results in a large "YOU WIN!"
- Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind has a particularly infuriating one: "I win! I win! Well... I guess you helped out a bit too."
- Lampshaded in the online game Lee-Lee's Quest. You beat the boss, the text "The End" appears on the black screen as the narrator briefly states that Lee-Lee got his "girl" back. Credits start rolling... and that's when Lee-Lee starts complaining about the lack of a proper ending.
- After many long levels, Speedy Blupi/Eggbert ends with a screen showing the hero celebrating by the side of a treasure chest. This silly screen is the same one you get after beating any custom level.
- Not to mention the picture can be viewed in the game's graphics folders. The sequel (which has even more levels) takes this to new extremes, however; apart from all the aforementioned things still being true, the picture displayed after winning is shown on the game's CD case, as well as the official website.
- Ariel: The Little Mermaid for the Sega Genesis ends with a screen showing Ariel, Triton, Flounder and Sebastian posing in front of a rainbow, with the message: "Congratulations! You have defeated Ursula!"
- The ending of Nuts & Milk has the words "Perfect!" and "Congratulations!" framing Yogurt and Milk standing with a Heart Symbol between them (as they do at the end of every stage).
- Super Pitfall for the NES has Multiple Endings. The normal ending is a short text screen saying, "Congratulations! You completed the adventure of the lost caverns. Please try another world." The perfect ending gives almost the same message, except the words "perfect" and "perfectly" are added.
- In Atlantis no Nazo, after playing through the Final Zone and getting the crystal, the enemies stop firing, the dude who you had to rescue comes to life and starts laughing, and the word "CONGRATULATION" is splayed over the middle of the screen. The game doesn't actually end, though.
- Athena has no exciting ending to reward players who completed this Nintendo Hard game. In the NES port, after defeating the Final Boss Dante, it cuts to outside her castle, where Athena stands still as the sky changes. The Arcade Game instead displays a block of text:
NOW, WE HAVE CONQUERED WHOLE WORLDS.
I WANT TO MAKE ANOTHER DRANATIC (sic) ADVENTURE.
WHY DON'T YOU JOIN ME AGAIN?
SEE YOU SOON, MY FRIENDS!
- The Amiga versions of Lemmings and the sequel Oh No! More Lemmings rewarded gamers who had sweated over the often hair-tearingly frustrating 120 levels of the former and the even more sanity-eroding 100 levels of the latter with a brief screen of congratulatory text, followed by a picture of the game's development staff surrounding a lemming sprite while a short sound clip of applause and cheering played. And that was it.
- Meanwhile, the Genesis version featured two animated processions of lemmings walking in opposite directions at the top and bottom of the screen while the credits rolled. The SNES version had a rather more satisfying ending showing a group of four lemmings taking a bow on a stage before the curtain fell, and as the credits rolled, the idea that the game had been a sort of (rather morbid) theatre production was carried on as various lemmings were shown carting off props and scenery, buffing the stage floor, and finally switching off the theatre lights.
- The simply titled Mickey Mouse for Gameboy, one of many Mickey Mouse video games, finishes with the oh-so-gratifying declaration: "CONGRATURATIONS!! YOU ARE GOOD PLAYER!!" while Mickey pumps his arms up and down for your entertainment. Oh, boy. How swell.
- This is identical to the Bugs Bunny in Crazy Castle ending, down to the Engrish.
- The Impossible Quiz features this - your reward for victory is simply a picture of a trophy, with the words "Ur Winnar" [sic] on the front of it.
- The ending of Chameleon Gems (a Zuma clone) consists of the simple message "Congratulations, [nickname]! You finished the last level!" and the endlessly repeating credits sequence which can be viewed from the main menu at any point anyway. Oh, and they couldn't even be arsed to compose some original music for the ending - you are treated to the same tune which you've been tortured with for all the 100 or so levels.
- Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo ends with a mass portrait of all of the playable characters in their Victory Pose regardless of what character you beat it with.
- Arkanoid has this on the C64... After completing the game (which must be impossible without an infinite-lives cheat!) you get the usual "Game Over" screen!
- Arkanoid: Revenge of Doh, at least the Amstrad CPC version, was little better, with two lines of text just saying: "Congratulations you have completed Arkanoid II" before entering your name for the high scores table (which you can do even if you lose).
- The DS shooter Touch the Dead. Your character is a convict in a military prison who must fight for survival when zombies attack (and you never find out why, either). The end of the game consists of you being rescued by an army helicopter, and promptly put back in handcuffs. Cue credits. And rage.
- The Silent Scope games all had amazingly quick ending sequences (and some snapshots during the credits). But the most disappointing has to be 2's, where, after conquering seven increasingly lengthy and enemy-packed levels, then making an all-or-nothing shot to save Laura, you get... the heroes bickering for a few seconds before they go their separate ways, one with Laura in tow. Add the fact that this game raises several subtexts the others don't (not the least of which is Falcon and Jackal have such bad blood to begin with), and that's a pretty massive letdown.
- Beating the PC game Syndicate, which is a time-consuming undertaking that throws at least one ridiculously difficult level at you near the end, "rewards" you with the exact same animated victory screen you see after beating every other level, including the first.
- Paradox Interactive's Victoria an Empire Under The Sun was like this. You start off in 1836, build a massive, wealthy empire, probably defeat the Royal Navy at least once (which in of itself is difficult), and all you get to show for your trouble is a screen saying "You won!" followed by the scores of the top eight powers.
- Every single one of Paradox's games is like this.
- Sins of a Solar Empire ends with the screen "You're Victorious" or "You're Defeated" after spending roughly 3,945 hours completing a single map. There is some consolation as you have the option to continue playing the same map if you've won.
- Though the game IS multiplayer only, so you shouldn't expect an ending every time you complete a game. It just so happens that standard games take a LONG time to play.
- Rise of Nations has this for the different campaign modes. You conquer the entire known world as Alexander the Great and all you get is a splash screen that says something along the lines of "Great job. Your empire will surely go down in history as the greatest."
- Medieval II: Total War has a campaign where the objective is to take 45 territories, but you can choose to keep playing afterward and try to take over the rest of the world map. Your reward for conquering all of Europe, the Middle East, north Africa, spending dozens of turns sailing to the New World, and slogging your way through hordes and hordes of Aztecs, is... the same damn ending mini-cinematic, with the message that Charlemagne and Alexander the Great have nothing on you. Fan-freaking-tastic.
- In Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars: Kane's Wrath, after one of Kane's many apocalyptic speeches, he activates the Tacitus, giving the player a CGI sequence for winning the campaign. The catch? It's the opening of the Scrin campaign of the normal game, only BACKWARDS.
- After beating the last mission in UFO: Extraterrestrials, you get a dull 20 second movie of the alien mothership exploding and then a text box saying "Victory! You have destroyed the alien overmind and freed Earth from slavery. Rejoice!"
- Complete Take A Walk without messing up even once and you'll unlock the final reward... a short cutscene of the player character getting hit on the head by a falling fruit. And not even that hard.
- Nethack: A game so hard it can take years to finally beat, and when you do, all you get is a couple of lines about how an invisible choir is singing your praises and your god is granting you immortality. And then the game ends.
- The infamously difficult and obtuse NES strategy game Bokosuka Wars gave you a goofy little animation and the message "BRAVO! YOU WIN!" if you actually managed to beat it. Of course, most gamers probably saw the infamous "WOW! YOU LOSE!" game over screen far, far more often.
- The reward for beating twice the incredibly repetitive Evolution Worlds RPG for Nintendo Gamecube is a simple "Congratulations" screen with a main cast group shot.
- The original Eye of the Beholder is notorious for crashing to MS-DOS immediately after beating the final boss, with a blue "Congratulation A Winner Is You" window. The authors planned several more puzzles to open the path to the surface, a final cutscene and saving the party for the next game (like in EoB 2), but it was all scrapped to reduce the game size. Some remnants can be seen with a level editor or in the Amiga demo.
- Blue's quest in SaGa Frontier. Once you deliver the finishing blow to the final boss, the picture freezes in mid-strike and fades to black and white as "THE END" appears on it. This is especially Egregious, as SaGa Frontier is an RPG for the PlayStation, and its storyline wasn't exactly minimal; it certainly wasn't minimal for the endings to the six other characters' quests, some of whom had Multiple Endings each. There's actually a reason for this, however; despite being so according to game mechanics, that isn't the finishing blow. As revealed in the accompanying book, Blue/Rouge and his friends never win the battle, and indeed, it can't be won. Blue and Rouge weren't being prepared to defeat the King of Hell -- or at least make Sealed Evil in a Duel. That is, they were being trained to keep him busy so he couldn't finish the invasion. For all eternity.
- The "reason" was because the developers ran out of time to implement everything they wanted, including a whole scenario, some much-needed elaboration on the universe and its workings, and, of course, Blue's ending. The plot they originally planned was for Blue to battle Hell's Lord for all eternity until he was saved by The Power of Friendship.
- Neverwinter Nights 2, of all games, ends with a bored-sounding narrator informing you that everyone was killed by the Collapsing Lair of the final boss. In other words, a video game ends with Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies.
- This is more or less what happens when you catch all 150 Pokémon in the original Pokémon Red and Blue games. You go to the Developer's Room, and the producers gives you a diploma that doesn't do anything.
- Lampshaded, with a Shout-Out to the original line!
Earl: Want to be a winner is you?
- In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl/Platinum, the clown that gives you the Coin Case actually says the line without a hint of irony, in what appears to be another lampshade.
Clown: Congratulations! A winner is you!
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II. A 30-plus hour story-driven RPG, and what do you get at the end? A fifteen second FMV with no dialogue. It's well-known KotOR 2 didn't have time to put in a decent ending, as the game was rushed for the holidays.
- X Men Legends II ends with a way-too-short cutscene showing the parting of the X-Men and Brotherhood, who'd teamed up in an Enemy Mine situation. Magneto says exactly what anyone who knows the character would expect him to say, we find out that, predictably, Sinister had sabotaged Apocalypse's machine, and they fly off. It takes approximately twenty seconds. Quicksilver and Polaris, kidnapped before the start of the game and worried about by various characters throughout, are never seen, let alone given the reunion this player had been waiting to see, even as part of the scene where the two groups walk back to their respective planes.
- The boss battle in Gothic ends in a nice cutscene depicting the death of the boss and the collapse of his lair, apparently killing the hero, but destroying the Barrier and freeing the colony. Unfortunately, we don't get to see the latter, because the screen goes black after the lair collapses and all we get is a voiceover.. Pirate versions had a glitch causing the game to crash at precisely the moment that the cutscene should have started. As Gothic crashed rather a lot anyway, it could take players a few attempts (or a glance at a walkthrough) to realise that the game was actually over.
- Should you beat the PS One game Team Buddies, the ending FMV features a random character walking onto the screen and asking "So you won the game. Whadaya want, a medal or something? Get outta here!"
- The Bob-Omb Mafia, a ROM hack of Super Mario RPG has its ending shown affter you collect all four MacGuffins: you immediately return to Bowser's castle and find Bowser and Peach waiting for you. Bowser says, "Hey, good work Mario. Here's the princess." The screen scrolls up as it fades out, and you are greeted by this message:
You beat the hack.
Now kill yourself.
- In Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, Fawful actually quotes "A WINNER IS YOU!" as the first thing he says in the game.
- Lands of Lore 2 has an ending so disappointing it might ad well simply say "A Winner Is You". After an epic game filled with awesome cinematics, after finally defeating the evil god Belial, what do you get? The Draracle walking in on Luther and Dawn in bed, telling them he is leaving. That is all.
- Ishar has a weak plot to begin with, but the ending reeks: You fight the red wizard from the opening cinematic. You haven't seen him since then, and he's explicitly not the Big Bad, since you beat him earlier. Win, and you watch a scene of your character sitting amidst a circle of magical pillars while triumphant music plays. You never find out why you were collecting Rune Tablets, what Ishar's power is, who the guy in red was, or why you fought that turncoat character earlier.
- Requital - your reward for hacking through this linear derivative action RPG with terrible voice acting is either a bald "Game Complete" message if you choose the easy ending or a round of applause from all unique characters if you complete the hard ending. That's it. No ending cinematic, you can't interact with the clapping characters at all, they just stand around afterwards.
- In Hydlide, after the Egregious Fake Difficulty of the Final Boss battle, the three fairies appear and combine to form the princess, and... "CONGRATULATIONS!" That's all there is to the ending.
- Dragon Slayer, at least in the Game Boy version, ends with the message, "You are the greatest Dragon Slayer! See you next game!" Considering the game doesn't bother to explain who the player character is supposed to be, it's perhaps to be expected.
- In Legacy of the Wizard, after Roas kills the dragon, he leaves the dungeon to find the rest of his family waiting. They all walk over to the house, and wave to the player, and cuts to the credits from there. The original MSX version didn't even have any of this, skipping straight from the Final Boss to the credits.
- The normal ending of Chrono Cross: the Time Devourer breaks apart and vanishes into a portal, then you get a black screen with the word 'Fin' in the corner. Getting the good ending is a big Guide Dang It.
- The NES version of Dragon's Lair: "Congratulations! Our hero has triumphed! Daphne is saved from Sirges evil clutches. May you both live happily ever after?..."
- Subverted in Mother 3. After you watch the Dragon destroy the world, you get a black screen with 'The End...?' on it. However, if you use the D-Pad, you can still move around...
- Heavy Barrel: "Congratulations. You have accomplished your mission. Dismantle your secret weapon. You saved the land from disaster. Thank you for playing. Data East USA, Inc." Then again, the plot wasn't much to begin with...
- XBLA Mind Screw-fest Space Giraffe concludes each level with phrases such as the Trope Namer and "But our giraffe is in another castle", along with a few others.
- Nintendo Hard shoot-em-up Xenon 2 has the anticlimactic ending of showing the mid-level shopkeeper again, who briefly informs you that this is the end, followed by a black screen with a white dot.
- The obscure Turbo Grafx 16 shoot'em-up Sinistron/Violent Soldier ended with a bunch of pictures of the various levels of the game and a Black Screen saying "Congratulation!".
- Defeating the final boss in the semi-obscure but Nintendo Hard Neo-Geo shoot-em-up Blazing Star gives you a rather disappointing wall of Engrish text, followed by some credits.
- Although the character endings can be seen here. Most likely it was cut out from the game or something.
- Alien Breed: Special Edition '92 hung the lampshade on this thing, it so did.
- The NES version of 1942 is 32 stages loooooong. After you clear the last stage, you get a "CONGRATULATIONS" message typed out, and then your final score is displayed, sending you back to the title screen. At least the translators at Capcom managed to spell "CONGRATULATIONS" correctly...
- The arcade ending is even more gratuitous: "We give up! Game Over. Presented by Capcom. Hope our next game."
- In the ZX Spectrum version they didn't bother even that much. If you manage to beat all levels (which is almost impossible without using cheat codes), all you get is the exact same "game over" message as when you die.
- While the arcade version of Commando loops indefinitely after level 8, the NES version ends after the fourth mission (16th level) with the Engrish "Your all misson is all over. Your great player. Thank you for playing. This game was ended".
- Transformers: Mystery of Convoy for the Famicom, as expected for a nut-bustingly hard game with camouflaged projectiles everywhere on screen that kills your character in one shot, only awards you with a paragraph of Japanese text after you beat it, saying that the Decepticons have come back and you need to defeat them all over again with Rodimus. If you then beat the game with Rodimus Prime (who plays exactly the same), you'll simply get "Congratulations".
- Legendary Wings for the NES has an ending like this. "You have saved human race from its extinction. Thank you for playing". And then the game starts over on a higher difficulty.
- The arcade version says "Thanks to you, the world is saved", followed by the Game Over screen.
- Arcade version of Wonder Boy III Monster Lair: "The invaders from the space were destroyed by your courageous fight. They had in advance stolen the Legendary equipments from us which were the threats in their past defeated war. But the Legendary arms were no use for the vicious invaders. The Legendary equipments were put back to the original position and peace was brought to the Earth again." The Turbo Grafx 16 CD version had a much less gratuitously translated ending.
- Andro Dunos for the Neo Geo ends with a message telling you "PLEASE TRY THE NEXT STAGE". But even if you play on the hardest difficulty and loop the game, the endings stay the same.
- Truxton II has the standard "Conglaturations" upon beating the Final Boss. The original, of course, has No Ending.
- The arcade version of Zero Wing, while it doesn't have "All Your Base are Belong to Us", has a similarly gratuitous Engrish text in its ending: "Congratulation!! AD 2111, all bases of Cats were destroyed. It seems to be peaceful, but it is incorrect. Cats is still alive, Zig-01 must fight against Cats again, and down with them completely! Good luck." Sounds like a Sequel Hook, although no sequel was made.
- After beating the Amiga/Atari ST shooter Frenetic, you get a single screen featuring prose that would make Tolkien jealous:
Well done. You kicked some butt!!
Congratulations from Rob And Lee.
The enemy forces are regrouping now go get em ......
- The Touhou spin-off game, Double Spoiler, has this. You Are Super Player! Something of a weird example, considering that this is immediately followed by unlocking half of the game.
- NARC. After defeating the game's Big Bad, Mr. Big, players are rewarded the message, "You have completed the NARC training mission... CONTACT YOUR LOCAL DEA RECRUITER."
- Beating Robotron 64 gives you an ugly render of the last human family and a message saying "Thanks to you and your super-human powers, the last human family will see the year 2085."
- The ending to XDR: X-Dazedly-Ray, a frustratingly difficult shooter for the Mega Drive, shows the player's ship flying back to Earth, followed by a screen saying, "Congratulation. Now, You're Hero." Then it loops back to the first level.
- Winning Endgame Singularity results in a short text. Given the nature of the game, anything other than text wasn't expected, but it's short, not very exciting, and the real clincher: it's displayed in the same plain box every in-game alert is, and the game goes on afterwards as if nothing had happened.
- After beating the obscenely hard Guide Dang It-ridden Amiga space strategy sim Exodus 3010, you get a single screen, almost identical to the Game Over screen, with the text 'WELCOME ON MRYNN. YOU HAVE REACHED YOUR NEW PLANET', complete with the game over music.
- For beating the mode one player in Wolf Quest you simply get a message telling you that you succeeded in your goal, and a brief synopsis of what will happen afterwards.
- Every GBA Backyard Sports game just has a congratulations screen and nothing else when you beat the game, except for Backyard Football, which is a worse scenario.
- Rap Jam: Volume One. After beating many, many virtually-identical teams and the very difficult champions, what do you get? The exact same screen showing people dancing on the court as you saw every time you got a password...but instead of a password, you get the message, "YOU'RE ALL THAT! AND A BAG OF CHIPS." Thank you, that dated bit of slang makes it all worthwhile.
- In the season-mode of NFL Blitz 20-03, when you finally win the Super Bowl there's only a congratulations with a cheerleader. Then you press A and it's back to the main menu.
- In Legend of Success Joe, after winning the last match, the game just shows the credits against a shot of Joe Riding Into the Sunset.
- The victory image for 100% completion of Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions (or Special Missions, depending on your locale) was simply a bit of mecha concept art. The significance of this image (it was concept art for the sequel's mecha, which would not be seen outside of Konami for a long time) wasn't immediately obvious, and there was no way of viewing it for a second time, except by starting a new game and getting it up to 100%.
- Assassin's Creed has a decent ending for the Altair plot, but the modernish-day plot gives the player some cryptic scribblings on the wall, the threat of death hanging over the still-imprisoned protagonist, and about 8 billion unanswered questions.
- Subverted in Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem as one of the insanity effects. You are given a sudden, abrupt To Be Continued screen, informing you that the story will be concluded in a sequel. Of course, it's a case of Fission Mailed: five seconds later, the screen flashes to your character recovering from the hallucination.
- Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus had a real ending, but taunted players who didn't find all 300 mudokons with the implication that they missed out on something extra special. Upon finding every damn mudokon, the player is given an apology before sitting through a boring slideshow of concept art, some of which was already seen in the previous game, Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee.
- The Ghost in the Shell game for the Playstation promised a "bonus" if you finished the game on its hardest difficult setting without ever dying. Said bonus was a low-res scan of a pinup of Major Kusanagi.
- In Army Men: Sarge's War, after the Big Bad is killed, all the player receives is a medal, and are unable to save the game after beating the last boss so they can keep the medal.
- Alien Swarm. You reach the final map (7 total) and reached the source of the alien bug infestation. You activated the bomb and race out of the area to be picked up by your commander, dodging hordes of alien bugs of all varieties as the bomb's clock ticks down. What do you get? Aside from the usual EXP you earned, just a standard congratulations message on the mission results screen, then the credits rolling over it. You can't do anything else except start a new campaign (or play the same one again since there's only one official one currently) or quit the game.
- The THQ game Warhammer 40000: Squad Command is a fun game, which, unfortunately, not only has no real ending, but also has a ten-second cinematic showing your squad completely failing to achieve the objective of the entire game just played and letting loose a massive daemon that will destroy the system, before cutting to "Congratulations, you have completed the single-player game!" and rolling the same credits available on the main screen.
- The main storyline of Final Fantasy Tactics a 2 has a proper ending, but the reward you get for beating all five level 99 clans in a bonus mission after you completed all 300 missions is just the credits. The same credits you get for beating the storyline. No Infinity+1 Sword or Bragging Rights Reward at all. Keep in mind that all of the clans in this bonus mission displays the finest examples of The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard.
- And you can't save afterwards, losing your experience and never having a proof of actually beating it. Sad.
- The original Grand Theft Auto showed you your boss congratulating you (as on every level before), then returned to the level select screen; ignoring the absence of more levels.
- Grand Theft Auto II has nothing but a screen with "YOU COMPLETED THE GAME" and a bunch of random pictures once you finally complete the last area. Thank ye gods that the following games introduced an actual plot.
- The terrifying freeware game Yume Nikki does this. Although there was never a clear plot (which spawned so much fan speculation and theory on what the heck is going on), the ending just pretty much leaves you feeling that you did all that effort of finding all the different effects for nothing. Giving up all the effects in the ritual room in the dream world, the main character wakes up to find a stepladder, which was definitely not there before, in her apartment balcony. If you walk her up to it, she uses it to jump off the balcony -- in doing so revealing that she has been Driven to Suicide. The Downer Ending is quickly cut to the credits the moment she jumps. Feel free to work out what her suicide means, but your guess is as good as anyone's.
- No More Heroes exhibits this particular trope based on player choice. Upon defeating the final boss, you get the option to save your game, and then you can choose between viewing the ending, viewing the "True" ending, and returning to Santa Destroy. The ending (not the "True" ending) shows Travis on the toilet when a would-be assassin invades his apartment. Cue the credits.
- For a long time, Minecraft had no ending or sign of progression at all, living up to the true wide open sandbox name. When the game became a full version, players could go on a lengthy quest to gather materials needed to eventually reach The End realm and fight the Enderdragon. Beating the dragon got you 20,000 experience points and the player was left with a really long and pretty slow crolling text with two unseen beings talking to the player, having a very surrealist dialogue about existence and reality, followed by the credits.
- Parodied by Homestar Runner in the bonus email "videro games" on the "strongbad_email.exe" DVD.
- Later in said episode...
BALD GUY: Hey man, you gonna eat that last Congraturation?
WILBUR: Naw, man. We're puttin' it in the game if you beat the end boss.
- Also parodied in one of the non-canonical endings of Red vs. Blue. Believing that the large computer beneath Blood Gulch controls reality itself, Sarge begins to assault it when it's obvious that Red Command isn't going to back him up in destroying the Blue team. Sarge begins to rejoice, then asks "What the hell am I looking at?" when the computer displays badly-translated text informing him that's he's won and rolls credits composed entirely of Japanese names. It's implied from there that the whole series was one extremely long, very weird Halo match on X-Box Live.
- Brental Floss has a song devoted to this trope. It's set to the end credits music of Super Mario World, and references several games featured on this page.
- Yahoo Answers is a feature where Yahoo members help each other with collaborative answers to general knowledge questions. It is level-based so that the more correct answers you lodge, the higher you rise. But as a "best answer" is only worth ten points and the gap between levels is measured in thousands of points - five thousand to ascend from Level 5 to 6, fourteen thousand to climb from level six to seven - then progress is painfully slow, unless you want to be one of the peculiar people who live on YA. And what recognition do you finally get when you have painfully amassed all those thousands of points? Sweet FA. Yahoo need to think about this..
- Parodied again in this Non Adventures Of Wonderella strip.
- Penny Arcade speculates what REALLY is supposed to happen when A Winner Is You.
- MS Paint Adventures does this in Problem Sleuth's ending.
- Lampooned by Wrestlecrap's Blade Braxton as he provides commentary during a bizarre otherworld professional wrestling contest in The Crossoverlord!
- Below the comic is an animated GIF parodying the NES Pro Wrestling game.
- Cutewendy did a reference to the Trope Namer here.
- Also parodied on the Guitar Hero episode of South Park -- when Stan and Kyle finally broke a million points on Guitar Hero and unlocked super-stardom, all they got was the message, "CONGRATULATIONS! YOU... ARE... FAGS!" It pissed them off to no end.
- Parodied in the second season finale of Drawn Together, in which the producer reveals that the winner of the show is, "You, the viewer." Unamused, the audience promptly descends into bloody, gory rage.
- Regular Show takes it to the extreme in season 2 episode 8 Rage Against the TV, where getting close to finishing the game causes TV problems and eventually prompts the game to come to life to stop itself from being beaten. Actually winning results in a quick "you win" screen before the TV crumbles to dust.
- Slot machines have to lock up when a win over a certain amount (in the US, usually $1,200) is hit so that an attendant can be summoned and prepare the requisite tax forms. Winning a jackpot like this is a very exciting event for most people, which makes it a bit of a shame that many slot manufacturers don't seem to put much effort into what's displayed while waiting for the attendant to reset the machine. IGT's is probably the best, with loud, exciting music and a comparatively slick-looking screen displaying the amount won (intermittently disappearing to show the winning reel combinations again). It goes downhill from there: WMS machines will usually play at least somewhat appropriate music, but the only visual cue of what's happened is a blue and yellow box reading "Jackpot Call Attendant/HAND PAY: $(amount)". Aristocrat machines are even worse—a quiet, laid-back piano tune is played and "Call Attendant -- Jackpot $(amount)" is displayed in twelve-point font at the bottom of the screen. If you're not paying attention, you might have thought the machine had gone into tilt mode or something.