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  • Averted THRICE in Bayonetta: You defeat the one which caused the extinction of your clan, only to put in motion his Xanatos Roulette and let the titular heroine being caught and use her to start The End of the World as We Know It. Then Jeanne, who was left for dead, pops up out of nowhere with a motorcycle and rides it up rockets and starships in order to reach outer space. When you defeat the Big Bad Evil Godf and punch her soul into the sun, her corpse starts to plummet towards Earth. Jeanne again appears out of nowhere, cheers up the protagonist, and the two witches proceed to smash the Big Bad's corpse into bits before it does any damage. THEN the two must make through re-entry. Next, we see the funeral of the titular character. Only to have her break through the tomb and start kicking ass, AGAIN.
  • Though it depends on how well the player did, many of endings in Heavy Rain are hideously depressing. As a rule of thumb, if you failed to save Shaun, your ending is going to suck. Special shout out goes to Norman Jayden, who doesn't have a single happy ending. He either saves Shaun but suffers from illusions the rest of his life, retires from the FBI, overdoses on drugs, or dies. Dying might actually be his happiest ending since it's implied he at least gets to torture Blake
  • In Mass Effect 2, it's left entirely up to the player to decide how depressing the ending is. If you make the wrong decisions and send the wrong people in a fit of bad luck in the suicide mission, you can get every member of your team, up to and including Commander Shepard, Killed Off for Real. Cue end cutscene of a sad Joker. Confirmed by Word of God to be non-canon anyway; when the sequel comes out, this save will be unable to be transfered. Almost a Nonstandard Game Over, especially considering the Multiple Endings.
    • It Got Worse in Mass Effect 3. No matter what you do, almost every single ending is a Downer Ending, with enough confusion and ambiguity to quality as a Gainax Ending to boot. Only if you choose to destroy the Reapers and have high enough Effective Military Strength will you get an ending where Commander Shepard survives, and even that only qualifies as a Bittersweet Ending at best.
  • Obscure giant robot fighting game Tech Romancer, with its multiple characters and branching storylines has a couple. But the cake goes to the storyline for the Wide Duck. In one ending, Arvin pours out a bottle in memory of his squad at the rusted husk of his mecha, 10 years after the final boss fight. The aliens are repelled, but no one knows why they came or from where. His entire squad has since passed and he hasn't seemed to have gotten any closure. That's the happy ending. The other ending is that Arvin was shot early on, for trying to convince his team not to execute a little girl, and the rest of the game was just a Dying Dream. The kicker is that they weren't even going to kill her, they just wanted to know if they could trust him to do what they said.
  • Velvet Assassin has an incredibly horrific, Tear Jerker ending. Basically the final level takes place in a village being burned to the ground and the villagers rounded up (and taken to the church) or killed by the Nazis because the village was hiding British spy, Violette Summers, the player. In the end, the Nazis take all the villagers to the church, lock them inside, and set the church on fire. Violette is too late in getting there, hears the villagers burn alive and collapses (although survives and wanders the countryside in the credits). The leader of the Nazis turns about to be the guy Violette was supposed to kill.
    • The heroine of this game was inspired by real life WWII spy, Violette Sbazo, who after a couple successful missions was later captured by the Nazis, and was tortured, starved, raped, and later executed.
  • Xenosaga Episode 3. All the connections between worlds have been severed, KOS-MOS drifts alone and broken, four other major characters are killed or disappear (not counting all the villains, many of whom are Anti Villains), and humanity still hasn't found Lost Jerusalem. Definitely setting up for a fourth offering, but said offering hasn't happened yet.
    • ... To that extent, it could be counted as a Bolivian Army Ending as well, which is ironically a foreshadowing of the fate of the series...
  • Betrayal at Krondor: The destruction of the world is prevented once again, but only at the cost of Gorath's life. The murderous leaders Delekhan and Moraeulf are dead as well, but Narab is still at large, and the moredhel are driven back to the Northlands, but after the Great Uprising failed to teach them that warfare isn't the answer, how can one expect them to learn now? Gorath's ultimate goal had been to turn his people into something better than the bloodthirsty savages they had become, but in the end, his cause died with him and his sacrifices have been in vain.
  • Half Life 2: Episode 2 ended with Eli Vance getting brainsucked by tentacled Advisors while his daughter and a helpless Gordon Freeman watch, horrified. Fade to Black with her weeping over his body.
    • Half-Life and its expansion, Opposing Force. Gordon is placed into stasis as some sort of mercenary by the G-Man, and Adrian is apparently frozen for eternity, respectively.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep didn't end well, to say the least. Ventus' heart is torn from his body and absorbed by Sora, while his body lies in Castle Oblivion. Aqua is trapped in the World of Darkness, and has been for eleven years. Terra has his body taken by Xehanort and his consciousness trapped in his armor, standing in the same position until Sora finds and fights him in Kingdom Hearts 2. It seems like Kingdom Hearts 3 will tie this all together, but the ending to this game is seriously depressing.
  • XIII, the cel-shaded first person shooter based on the first half of the comic series of the same, ends with a Cliff Hanger after The Reveal of the conspirator, with the protagonist in an impending doom situation. Due to poor sales, the developers declined to adapt the rest of the story in game format.
  • Call of Duty 4 ends the Prologue Act with the player in the shoes of President Al-Fulani, watching his nation collapse all around him as he's dragged off to be executed. Act I ends with the player-controlled side character's helicopter getting caught in the blast radius of a nuke bomb detonation; the player survives the crash long enough to stand up several times, painfully crawl to the downed helo exit ramp, and THEN die. And in the final mission, every single member of the player's squad (as the main character) except the CO is executed while wounded and unable to retaliate. It's even worse because all of these guys had just saved the world and reinforcements are literally seconds away from saving the day.
    • At least the game's ending wasn't a total Shoot the Shaggy Dog, unlike the "Shock & Awe" mission.
    • Modern Warfare 2 manages to make it worse. In the midst of a war initially generated by Makarov and his men, after countless trials and a bitter struggle to reach Shepherd, the true main antagonist after he betrays Makarov, he finally reveals his motivation - as the commander of all US forces, with the Russians having already invaded the US, and with his status as a war hero secured as, to almost everyone, the man who brought Makarov down, he reveals that he attempted to galvanize the USA into fighting with force - and succeeded. The only thing killing him does is stop him from seeing the end results of his already complete scheme. That, and Soap and Price are wanted fugitives, and with the USA in a fervor despite its military lacking a commander, it and Russia are going full pelt towards a cataclysmic war the likes of which the world has never seen. Not to mention the two player characters that die while the player can do nothing about it.
    • Modern Warfare 3. The entire East Coast of the USA has been ravaged by a Russian invasion, with Washington DC having been hit by an EMP. Every single capital and major city in Europe was hit by a poison gas attack, invaded, or gassed then invaded, leaving tens of millions dead there. The Russians have suffered massive casualties. All but three of the series' player characters are dead, with two of them MIA at best. The world economy is in shambles, as several of the major financial centers are wrecked. The only consolation is that Makarov is dead and peace has broken out, but for how long?
  • Doom. You fight through the moon bases that the forces of Hell invaded, fight through Hell itself, all to find that the demons have invaded Earth when you return. Plus, they killed your pet rabbit, Daisy.
  • Games in the Grand Theft Auto series have mostly had victorious endings, ranging from "Okay, there's no corrupt cop trying to ruin our lives any more, we're fine" to "I rule all of Vice City now! Mwa ha ha ha haaa!". Grand Theft Auto IV, however, has a darker and more sincere narrative, and ends with Niko's cousin/best friend being accidentally shot dead at his own wedding; Niko gets his revenge, but it doesn't make him feel better. There is an alternate ending, though... in which Niko's girlfriend gets killed instead at the same wedding. Yay!
    • It also makes it even more of a downer since his fiance was pregnant.
    • Of course, the alternate ending is a bit happier as at least Niko still has Roman, whereas in the other one, Roman is dead and Kate has left Niko. Still, neither ending is very happy.
    • The Kate Dies ending at least feels happy, due to Roman's annoyingly optimistic personality. The Roman dies ending? Niko's last line is "Roman didn't hurt anyone." Then Jacob tries to comfort him. The end.
      • There's still the possibility of Niko and Kate getting back together, though. You get a call from her on Niko's cellphone after the end credits.
    • The Lost and Damned wasn't much better. Johnny and the rest of the Lost MC break into prison and kill the traitorous Billy. But Johnny's best friend Jim is dead, as is most of the chapter. Plus their clubhouse is a wreck, so the remaining four members decide to burn the place down and go their seperate ways.
    • In GTA: Advance: You learn that your partner in crime Vinnie who was planning to get out of Liberty City with you never had such intentions. He apparently croaks early on, but was planning to eliminate you so you don't get caught up to him. You managed to kill him and escape from Liberty, but not without seeing 8-ball get arrested, the first contact aside from 8-ball killed, and Cisco, a Cartel dealer who you were friends with, crossed the heart of the Yakuza lady after apparently sleeping with her. A real bittersweet ending indeed.
    • And in Chinatown Wars, Huang Lee finds out that his uncle killed his father in cold blood on the orders of the triad boss Hsin, for the promise of being promoted once Hsin steps down. The game ends with Huang killing his uncle, having already killed several of his fellow triads who were framed as being snitches and being betrayed by another friendly contact.
  • The Castlevania series' bad endings:
    • In one of the endings to Castlevania II, the narration says that killing Dracula a second time wasn't enough to save Simon, and that Simon died from the curse.
      • Word of God says that the Castlevania II endings are all bad because of mistranslations. The ending mentioned above is the "normal" ending and it shows Simon still alive despite the sad message. The "bad" ending shows Dracula's grave in black and white yet says everyone lived Happily Ever After. The "good" ending shows Dracula rising from his grave.
    • In the SNES version of Dracula X, Richter heads into Dracula's castle to rescue his girlfriend Annet and her sister Maria. Rescuing them requires going into two separate hidden areas. If you fail to rescue them, at the end of the game Richter will be shown walking away from the castle alone. This is made more poignant by the fact that if you failed to rescue Annet, she was transformed into a monster and you had to kill her...
    • In Harmony of Dissonance, if you defeat Maxim in Castle B, but without the JB and MK Bracelets equipped, Maxim and Lydie both die. This is in contrast to the best ending, where Maxim and Lydie both live to tell the story...well, except Juste's opposed to telling the story to Lydie.
      • The normal ending is somewhere between this and Bittersweet Ending; Maxim dies but Lydie lives.
    • In Aria of Sorrow, the Bad Ending essentially has Julius coming in to fight Sora, who is now the dark lord. Either Soma dies or the dark lord wins, and neither outcome is pleasant.
    • The Dawn of Sorrow bad end is possibly one of the worst: Despite overcoming his Super-Powered Evil Side the first time in Aria, Soma could succumb to his dark side by failing to hold onto a Love Token Mina gives him, making it a very, very cruel and ironic ending considering the circumstances.
      • Although it becomes a Bittersweet Ending by completing the extra storyline unlocked by achieving this ending, in which Julius, Yoko and Alucard team up and eventually prevent Dracula from returning once again, but are forced to kill Soma .
    • In Symphony of the Night, the worst ending is triggered by simply killing the brainwashed Richter, leaving Maria heartbroken and Alucard filled with self-doubt about what he had to do. Unused voice clips on the disc suggest that an even worse ending was cut, one in which Maria turned into a monster and Alucard had to kill them both, without ever figuring out who was behind it.
  • In Katawa Shoujo, if Hisao fails to befriend one of the girls enough to seek out their company for the school festival, he'll resign himself to giving his paranoid hallmate Kenji his company. While on his way to meet with Kenji on the roof of the school, he finds himself annoyed by the festivities. Once he meets up with Kenji, the two spend the entire day eating pretzles and drinking whiskey. After spilling his guts to Hisao, Kenji starts invading his personal space. Hisao, heavily inebriated, tries to back away, only to end off slipping and falling off the roof. His last thoughts were of how this was a fitting way to end such a crappy day. Cue red flash, fade to black, roll credits.
    • Every single route has at least one and possibly two Downer Endings. Emi breaks up with Hisao after their argument, telling him that while she knows he's a good guy, they just cannot last together and he's not the kind of boy that can handle her.. Hanako lashes out at Hisao (and by proxy, Lilly) for pitying her and breaks up their budding relationship. Lilly goes to Scotland permanently, leaving behind her boyfriend Hisao and her best friend Hanako. Rin either has a fall-out with Hisao in her atelier and their bonds are explosively severed, or leaves Hisao and everyone else she's close to behind to study art in Tokyo even if it means changing herself (which could potentially result in her suicide). Shizune ends up alone, believing that she pushed Hisao and Misha away with her competitive personality, since they drifted apart from her. (And unbeknownst to Shizune, Hisao cheated on her with Misha, as a result of Misha having an emotional breakdown over her Unrequited Love for Shizune.).
  • Fallout has the player character get the Vault its needed water chip, and save the world from The Master, but he'll still get exiled at the end, as the Vault's denizens are now terrified of him. The clip of him dejectedly walking back into the wastes afterwards while the Ink Spot's "Maybe" plays in the background is a pretty powerful scene. In an alternative ending (depending on the player character traits chosen at the beginning, or the character's alignment, or the player's ability to press the "initiate combat" button before the Overseer walks away), the player responds to this rejection by killing his boss in a violent fashion. It's almost alright, though; the intelligent Death Claws that moved into the Vault sometime between the first and second games built a little memorial for him.
    • He does earn his happy ending eventually. Between the events of the Fallout 1 and Fallout 2, it's described that some of the Vault 13 Dwellers leave and set off after him. Together, they all form the Arroyo tribe.
    • The Death Claws don't make it, though... unless you manage a lightning quick playthrough in game time.
      • That is actually the result of a scripting bug that forces the deathclaws to die no matter what after you encounter them. The fanmade restoration patch actually fixes this and enables you to save the deathclaws by enabling a side-quest where you destroy the vertibirds at Navarro Air Force Base before the Enclave can sack the Vault.
    • Fallout 3 has a similar ending where, in the "good" ending, the Vault Dweller sacrifices his own life to bring clean water to the wasteland of DC. Removed entirely in the Broken Steel expansion due to fan complaints.
      • Fallout 3 has a gruesome evil ending if the player character decides to assist the Enclave in their genocide plans. In the original game, this ending resulted in deaths of everyone in the Wasteland and perhaps entire Earth (including the player) except the Enclave and those living in vaults.
    • Fallout 2 has a mostly happy ending (unless you're an evil fuck)...except for one town. No matter what you do, Broken Hills will remain broken. Killing the mutants will destroy its economy. Not doing anything will cause a race riot that'll kill everyone. Actually fostering peace will cause the mines to run dry, ruining the town.
      • The last one isn't really a downer ending. They got rich with uranium ore, and then, they move out because the mine ran dry. They can still settle down anywhere.
        • Fallout: New Vegas shows that the Super Mutants move to a ski lodge, (possibly) Jacobstown.
  • Terranigma ends with the lead character ceasing to exist because he destroyed the evil entity that was the source of his life. He is 'rewarded' for this by The Powers That Be by being allowed one last day in his pre-heroic life along with his old friends - all of whom will cease to exist along with him - before dying. The credits are superimposed over the last dream of the protagonist as he fades away.
    • It's implied that, as the world cycles back and forth, Ark's spirit is the one with the "duty" to perform this role. Every time.
    • There is also the implication that he actually did survive, as if one waits until after the credits, the scene switches to Storkholm. Surface Elle answers a knock at the door, which causes the song "A Place To Return To," theme music for Ark's village, and commonly used as his own theme, to play. The implication being that maybe, just maybe, it was actually Ark at the door. His whole village is still gone, mind you, as is his original Love Interest, but since he seems to have grown fond of Surface Elle throughout the game, it might actually classify more as a Bittersweet Ending.
  • In most Suikoden games, the normal ending (that is, the ending you get if you didn't recruit all 108 stars of destiny) tends to be bittersweet. This is not the case for the normal ending to Suikoden 2, which is soul crushingly depressing.
  • Suikoden V, if you have recruited less than 60 stars of destiny, the main character goes over the Despair Event Horizn and wanders off into the frozen mountains alone, utterly broken by his experiences.
  • Clock Tower: The First Fear. Sure, Jennifer survived, but her three friends are all dead, and she's very nearly lost her sanity.
    • The sequel is bad too. Jennifer is adopted by Helen and goes under therapy, only for Scissorman to attack her again. In three of the endings, she fails to defeat Scissorman and dies, in one she kills him but dies in the process, and in one she kills him and survives. Even in the good ending, Scissorman has still killed some of the people she knew. Helen's endings are no better, as there are four endings in which she dies and Scissorman lives, and only one where he is defeated and she survives.
      • That is nothing in comparison to Clock Tower: The Struggle Within. The game has 13 endings, 12 of which are more or less just Nonstandard Game Overs. In the best ending, Alyssa survives, but Ashley Tate, a close friend of yours? Turned into a monster and was killed by her father, also a close friend of your family, who goes insane and gets killed later on. The mysterious woman Alyssa meets a few times throughout the story? Turns out she is your sister, but unfortunately, she commits suicide in front of your eyes right before the revelation. Your father? Turns out he isn't your real father. Your real father buried you alive because you were possessed, and this guy dug you up to take revenge. Oh, and he dies, of course. Your real father? Turns out he is the main slasher villain of the game. And yes, he dies too. The policeman you befriend throughout the game? He actually survives, but he prefers to stop the zombie apocalypse over your company. Oh yeah, forgot to mention, but there's a Zombie Apocalypse now, and you're still possessed.
        • Almost averted in First Fear's "S" Ending, where Jennifer and one of her friends gets to live this time. However, it is still a bit of a downer, since Lotte is Jennifer's best friend, and she can't survive no matter the circumstances, and that ending isn't canonical anyway, so none of it matters!
  • Conkers Bad Fur Day ends with Conker as king of the land... but he's gone through hell, he's Surrounded by Idiots, and his girlfriend got killed in front of him. The last shot of the game, same as the first, shows him seated on the throne, looking deeply irritated, as somber music plays on the soundtrack.
  • Splatterhouse ends with the protagonist, Rick Taylor, giving his back to the burned-down remains of the titular house, after having to kill his Distressed Damsel girlfriend possessed by an ugly grand-guignolesque demon and probably scarred for life. The Mask of Terror, which helps him on his quest only to try to kill him at the end releasing from a tomb the Final Boss and which he broke to pieces, just puts itself back together with a nasty cackle. In Splatterhouse 2, we learn that Rick still has the power to bring his girlfriend back to life by returning to the mansion from the first game by literally fighting hell itself to save her.
    • Splatterhouse 3 has three downer endings, where Rick loses one or both of his wife and son, and one good ending where he saves both and destroys the Mask forever, depending on whether or not the player beat the stage-specific time limits.
  • Silent Hill 2 has three downer endings (one of which is a secret ending). Specifically, in one ending the main character, James, commits suicide, in another he leaves the town accompanied by a sinister simulacrum of his dead wife who might be dying of the same disease she suffered, and in the secret ending he is seen rowing his dead wife's corpse to an island on the middle of a lake, with the declared intent of invoking the dark powers of the town in order to bring her back to life.
    • If you do things just right, he does get out okay, by abandoning the problem.
  • The first Silent Hill had two downer endings, one with Harry and Cybil trapped in Hell together, the other being the famous Dying Dream ending. Both Bad Endings have somber credits music (different from the good endings) to go with them, but the worst ending has a vocal ending theme, "Esperandote".
    • Three of the endings in Silent Hill 4: Henry moves back into his still-haunted apartment, Eileen dies, or Walter completes his 21 sacraments and both of the protagonists die.
    • And the movie ending: Alessa merges with Sharon, then she and Rose leave Silent Hill, but are still stuck in the other dimension where no one can see them, which can imply that the Dark Alessa has expanded the "nightmare" beyond just Silent Hill. How's that for a Downer Ending, having a vengeful, bordering-on-demonic spirit expanding her reality-warping, nightmarish anger and hatred over the whole world? There's a reason why people call this game "the scariest game ever" simply because the implications seen throughout the series are very depressing.
    • The first game's remakes, Shattered Memories, all of the endings are a variation on the Dying Dream ending. One ending shows that the entire time, Harry was a weak guy who was abused by his wife, one shows that Harry was a worthless drunk the whole time, and another shows that he was a proud adulterer. Although, in the last two, Cheryl makes up with her mother. Thankfully, it's also possible and likely to get the rather heartwarming Love Lost ending, where Harry and Dahlia peacefully divorce and assure Cheryl that they both still love her, but just can't stay married to each other anymore.
  • All of the endings in Deus Ex Invisible War are downers to some degree. Either all of humanity link up with the AI Helios and give him a Borg-like Hive Mind, a perfect democracy at the cost of the individual self(Bittersweet Ending), the Illuminati take over the world, the Templars wipe out all biomodification and create an oppressive theocratic world government, or humanity fights itself to extinction, leaving only the Omar cyborg race.
  • The ending of the Dungeon Siege II: Broken World short story, "Bound Together".
  • Some of the endings of Tactics Ogre The Knight of Lodis are quite the downer endings. In one of them the hero's lover sacrifices herself to kill the Big Bad, the hero's best friend dies thanks in no small part to the hero, said best friend's father, a duke, sends his army after the hero, forcing him to go into hiding. The game's secret ending (which is also the canonical one) is hardly any better as all of the above happens and the hero is rewarded by the Pope for killing the Big Bad with a new name, Lans Tartare, which reveals to fans of the series that this game was a prequel, and that the hero is an antagonist in Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together
    • However, you can get a non-canonical good ending, if you manage to take just the right actions, and the Hero and his girlfriend walk off into the sunset. However, a mentor he rejected does die in her place.
  • The Sierra adventure game Lighthouse has what could probably be called a Fridge Downer Ending. In what the developers presumably thought was a happy ending, you capture the otherworldly Big Bad and rescue the main NPC, the inventor Krick and his kidnapped daughter, to eventually bid them farewell back in their home by a cosy fire. However, there are a couple of other implications that the developers apparently never thought of, since Krick vows to destroy the machine he created that links to the fantastical other world. Not only is he abandoning the most spectacular scientific development in history, despite the fact that in rescuing him you made said fantastical world perfectly safe to visit and explore, and you must presumably now return to your mundane existence as an author in this world; more seriously, there's another major NPC, a paraplegic girl in a life-support machine unable to travel, whose former companions were all killed in a tragic accident long before and, without the continued companionship of the player character whom she befriends and helps capture the Big Bad, will be doomed to a totally solitary existence, trapped with nothing at all to do for the rest of her life in the empty building that was once a pleasant, lively home.
  • The game 1213 ends with the eponymous lead character finally escaping... only to disover that what he's escaping to is an Earth seemingly completely devoid of life after the atmosphere turned completely toxic for reasons that are unclear to everyone, and he and his clone siblings - now all irredeemably insane or dead - were created specifically to seek out and contact any survivors that might exist. The game ends simply on a scene of the devastation, before there's any sign of survivors... although, in a small concession to hope, it ends before the possibility is completely eliminated, either.
    • Worse, it is implied that the actions of the player in the first part of the series (in escaping from the quarantined part of the facility he accidentally unleashed zombies on the whole place, not to mention the fact that the villain took out several members of the place's leadership over the course of the game) have ensured it doesn't possibly have the resources to engineer another human capable of surviving out there, and might not even be able to sustain themselves. Worst of all, is that the last human on earth is unstable in such a way that he will not be able to remember anything for more than a week (including his identity, what's going on, and where the game took place) and is doomed to wander forever in a desolate wasteland he won't even be able to remember. And that's ignoring the hallucinations.
  • Breath of Fire 2s "bad ending"; the one you get if you can't activate the machinery underneath your city. Which you can't get if you let the old man in the Eye Machine die. The old man just happens to be protagonist Ryu's father. In it, Ryu takes his mother's place as the living seal to the Dragon World. He has to take her place because she literally gave her life to open the gate to let your party go after the BBEG. BoF2 rivals Terranigma as the biggest continuous downer game in Nintendo history.
    • Actually, that's the bittersweet ending. The real downer ending is if you refuse to go after the villain at all, he emrges with an army of demons and kills everyone.
  • 7 Days a Skeptic, from the Chzo Mythos series of games: the Player Character turns out to be an impostor who killed a man and took his identity to fulfill the dream of being in space. As if that wasn't disturbing enough, he gets arrested for 6 murders, 5 of which (those of his crewmates) he didn't commit.
    • In the sequel/prequel, 6 Days a Sacrifice, not only is it revealed that the protagonist of 7 Days ended up as, essentially, Destiny's slave, the player character of that game kills the woman he's in love with (who had been possessed by John DeFoe during the sex scene... which, y'know, implies that you had *** **** JOHN DEFOE), then becomes fused with John DeFoe's ghost to become Chzo's new Prince. On the plus, he was already dead... and if not, he looked totally badass.
      • The fact that Chzo actually won in the end is a shocker in itself.
      • Possibly, because his motives remain vague, and the last chronological event of the series is Malcolm freeing the Trilby clone from Chzo's clutches. Chzo is NOT happy to have Trilby taken away from him.
  • Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation ends with Lara apparently falling to her death. However, she comes Back From the Dead in Angel of Darkness.
    • Tomb Raider: Underworld. Hey Lara, guess what? That lifelong quest of yours? And your father's? Every minute of your life you spent on it was totally wasted, your mom's been a zombie the whole time. Seriously, Legend ended on a fucking triumphal march complete with soaring orchestral accompaniment, compared to this.
  • No love for Outcast? Your skeptic hero is fighting The Dragon in an all out battle in the palace gardens. After dispatching him and his mooks, the ending cut-scene begins. Your semi-love-interest comes around as the hero is going up the stairs the face the Big Bad. Cue love interest getting shot by a cloaking pack wearing Big Bad. What follows is the god destroying the palace and dragging the main boss down with it. The game ends with a eulogy and funeral service for your love interest, and a sad hero returning to Earth. Accompanied by one of the saddest pieces of game music ever (Heaven on Adelpha by Lennie Moore).
  • On one hand, the Lucavi demons, of Final Fantasy Tactics are destroyed, and mankind saved. On the other hand, pretty much everyone who fought them died doing it, and no one ever knew how close they were to a demonic end of the world because they were too busy fighting a civil war. The heroes MIGHT have been remembered had the one decent person who survived the entire ordeal and wrote an eyewitness account of such not been burned at the stake for charges of heresy because the revealing of what the heroes have done would reveal the falsehood the Church has been spreading for generations. And, if you're in the camp that sympathizes with Delita, he loses everyone dear to him, because the hero who slayed the demons had been his best friend, the princess he married and became King and Queen with decided that Delita had manipulated everyone and herself as well, and stabbed Delita, who, in turn, lethally stabbed her back. The man who had manipulated everyone else and became King lost his sister, his best friend, and his wife in rapid succession, and was forever alone, unloved, and misunderstood at the top of the kingdom even if he survived.
    • On the bright note, though, decades after the events of the game, it is revealed that the narrator of the story, having already established himself as a credible historian of his time, is, in fact, the descendant of the eyewitness who was burned at the stake, and that he was successful in revealing the truth to the world.
      • Also, Ramza and his party having died is just a fan interpretation. If anything, the ending (particularly the PSP version's) implies they did survive, if obliquely. Ollan isn't sure whether what he sees is really Ramza and Alma, but then, if they were ghosts, why would they be riding Chocobos? And the PSP version's credits show the two of them stopping off for water by a stream, very much implying they're still alive.
  • If you choose to kill Ryoji Mochizuki in Persona 3, the characters' memories are erased so that they won't have to fear the Fall, and can live their lives as ordinary high school students happily until everyone dies.
    • Persona 2: Innocent Sin is even worse. The heroes fail to prevent the world aside from Sumaru to blow up, and Maya who they all idolized dies. Instead of dealing with the state of this world Philemon gives them a chance to create a separate universe where things didn't go wrong. Meaning all you did was for nothing. Fun. At least Eternal Punishment is better.
    • Persona 4 if you choose to throw Namatame into the television. Adoptive little sister Nanako STAYS dead.
  • If you choose to heed Yuzu's idea in Devil Survivor, you pretty much doomed the whole world. "And the only angels that could have prevented this... were killed by your own hands"
  • The finale of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII sees the protagonist, Zack, gunned down by the whole Shinra army, just outside of Midgar where he was going to see his girlfriend after being apart for five years, when his friends in the Turks searched vainly for him in order to save his life. If you've ever played (or even heard of) the original, you know it's a foregone conclusion (this game being a prequel and all), but it's still heartbreaking.
    • Especially when you consider that what Cloud and Zack suffered together sets the stage for Cloud's emotional dysfunction in the original game and provides Sephiroth with the ammo he needs to Mind Rape Cloud.
  • Fatal Frame: Just about every canonical ending to the series.
  • StarCraft: Brood War is a classic example by any standards. The game ends with the Zerg triumphant, the Protoss and Terrans scattered (in the final cutscene the Terran commander shoots himself, having penned a farewell note to his wife back on Earth) and most of the characters who could loosely be classified as "good guys" either dead or having abandoned the fight.
  • Fahrenheit (2005 video game) (also known as Indigo Prophecy in USA) has two negative endings.
    • In the first, Purple clan (race of intelligent machines) wins - temperature on the planet continues to drop, leaving 3/4 of the world population is dead, and even if the rest of humanity manages to thwart machines' reign, they will still be forced to live underground because of cold. Very bad ending.
    • In the second, Oracle (Mayan sorcerer) wins - although there is no immediate effect, protagonist still occasionally sees through the eyes of Oracle, and knows that bad things are yet to happen
  • Then there is Klonoa: Door to Phantomile. Not only does he lose his grandpa halfway through the game, after striking down the Big Bad, he finds out that he was just summoned there just to help by his friend in the ring, and was nothing more than a "dream" character, and that he is instantly whisked away back to his "dimension" while pleading to his friend to remain in Phantomile.
  • Yume Nikki ends with the main character committing suicide.
  • For one whopper of a Downer Ending, look no further than Planetarian. This "kinetic novel" (more akin to a piece of illustrated writing than a game) ends with robot girl Yumemi getting gunned down by a big mecha, after the protagonist hauled her out of the planetarium she still felt obliged to work for and where she had been waiting for her co-workers to return for thirty years. The worst part is that she had a fair chance of surviving where she was - if the protagonist wouldn't have blown her power supply by letting her run all that heavy equipment for that one last show. Leave it to Key Visual Arts to make as depressing an ending as possible.
  • Planescape: Torment, for pretty much every possible ending. Best case scenario, you revive all your friends, send them to Sigil and then and go to the lower planes to suffer for all eternity for crimes committed by past incarnations. Alternatively, you can kill your mortality, leaving all your friends (save, possibly, one) still thoroughly dead, and you very likely facing oblivion. So oblivion or hell, no matter how nice you've been the entire game.
    • However, if it makes you feel better, the 'hell' ending has the protagonist becoming immensely powerful. He was already extremely strong before, but now he has the memories and power of countless incarnations as well. I can't help but hope he does pretty well in the eternal war he's sentenced to for his crimes.
    • You can also save two people in the kill-your-mortality ending, if you're clever (choose Morte for resurrection first; then, if your intelligence is high enough, you can successfully argue that he didn't count, since he was already dead.)
  • Most endings in the Visual Novel Kana: Little Sister can be seen as Downer Endings, since in all but one of them the protagonist's beloved sister dies, often in some of the most tragically depicted death scenes in gaming ever. The fact that the makers tried to give most endings a bittersweet lining doesn't lessen the sad fact that the protagonist fails to save the most important person in his life, even after offering one of his kidneys for transplantation, as happens in some scenarios. The one ending in which she doesn't die results in her leaving him after a while. The guy just can't win.
  • Dreamfall: The Longest Journey: One of the heroines gets stabbed and disappears without trace, possibly dead. The male hero finally sees the light and turns to the good side, only to be captured by the bad guys. The evil mind-control plan you sabotaged and thwarted? Only delayed, the final cutscene shows the public going crazy about the product without knowing what it really does. The main character's ex-boyfriend who she still had feelings to? Most likely dead, replaced by a clone without anyone knowing the difference. The guy who the main character fell in love with during the game? Disappeared, presumably dead. The main character herself? In coma and about to die after being duped by the bad guys. With her father crying by her side as her life fades away. Not to even mention the heartwrenching scene where your plush toy/pet android, if you put his batteries back into him after using them elsewhere, talks with one of the big bads right after you've fallen into coma about if you're going to wake up ever again.. It also counts that about a billion seemingly really important things are left completely unanswered by the time the game ends.
  • Mother 3 ends with the main protagonist Lucas confronting the Masked Man in a final showdown in order to pull the last needle to awaken a Dragon that will undo the damage done by the big bad. The catch? The Masked Man is Claus, his brother that died early in the game (at the age of nine, incidentally) and was revived as a cyborg by big bad Porky to pull the needles in order to destroy the world, and brainwashed him into commanding his army. Claus slowly regains his senses after his father takes a spell aimed for Lucas, and takes off his helmet to reveal his face. Cue sad music as Claus commits suicide, firing one of his instant kill lightning spells at Lucas (which is reflected by an item that he was wearing) and dies in Lucas' arms, saying that he was glad that he could be with his family before he died. Lucas then pulls the final needle, which ends the earth; the difference in this case being that everyone is implied to survive and that the world will regenerate as it was before Porky's interference. For a game in a series that largely focuses on children fighting absurdist enemies like hippies...
    • If you didn't stick around for the after-the-credits show, it merely looks like Lucas went insane from witnessing his brother kill himself not 30 seconds ago and pulled the last needle with an empty or dark heart, thusly pushing the dragon's awakening all the way back into being a bad thing. Which actually makes a little more sense than the proper "Everyone died, but not really" version of the ending.
    • Yes, but the proper ending is the only one that makes sense due to Porky being there and still in the capsule. Even if Lucas pulled it with an empty heart, all but Porky would cease to exist. Even if he wished Porky dead, Porky wouldn't be encapsulated. Everyone survived because of Lucas's courage. His trophy in Brawl says it best "In the end, the young boy with Psychic Powers grows up."
  • In the fantasy video games Dungeon Siege and Dungeon Siege II, the heroes' final victory over the Big Bad results in a cataclysm and The End of the World as We Know It. Twice.
  • Kane and Lynch: Dead Men. In the "damned if you do" ending, Kane winds up alone on a small motorboat at sea with a dying Lynch and his dead daughter, despite the game giving you the illusion of there being a way to keep Kane's daughter alive all the way to the ending by making you protect your daughter through the last area. Even if protected flawlessly, she -will- get unned down at the docks, and Lynch will take one in the chest while you get your boat started, and be dying. The one member of your crew you -did- save curses your name, rushes ahead, and grabs a second boat, ditching you. In the "damned if you don't" ending, Kane abandons Lynch in South America, with his crew being burned out of a church, certain to die, with his daughter vowing to hate him forever for abandoning the crew to save her life. For a game that seemed to be about Kane's redemption, that's two epic Downer Endings that some people intensely disliked.
  • Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater: After the protagonist, Naked Snake, comes back from his mission in Russia, he finds out that the woman he slept with and was beginning to have feelings for was a Chinese spy who was just trying to get at the Philosopher's Legacy that he had retrieved. Much more horribly, however, was learning that The Boss, his mentor and mother figure who he was forced to kill to complete the mission, was just a Fake Defector ordered to get close to the main antagonist, Colonel Volgin, to steal his money, then having to take the fall for America when he detonated a nuclear warhead inside Russia. The game ends with Snake saluting the anonymous grave of The Boss, one of thousands in Arlington National Cemetery, trying and failing to fight back tears.
  • The Next-Gen Alone in The Dark has a "pick your poison" pair of downer endings. Giving the player an option to choose which one is kind of like twisting the knife.
    • Some people thought the Really Bad Ending (Path of Darkness) was So Bad It's Good, though. "I'm the light bringer, I'M THE FUCKING UNIVERSE!.
    • Although the Path of Light ending is a possible Sequel Hook, the game's negative reception may have killed the franchise. No plans for a sequel so far.
  • Activision's Apocalypse for PS 1 doesn't even give you a "lesser of two evils" ending. Bruce, after defeating the four horsemen, comes face to face with the Big Bad himself. He says "see you in hell" but before he can fire, the Rev blasts Bruce with a bolt of lightning, turning him into a "demon" himself, complete with glowing Hellish Pupils. Who knows what he will unleash upon the universe. All your hard work is rendered pointless, ie they shot the shaggy dog.
  • Ikaruga has you go through an intense boss fight ending with a phase that must be timed out (you can't shoot at all) only to see the titular ship explode performing its last attack on the final boss, killing both the pilot and copilot.
    • The pseudo-prequel Radiant Silvergun has the mothership Penta being taken over by the Stone-Like, and everyone is killed except the quirky robot Creator who resurrects the 2 main characters through cloning. Not as bad as Ikaruga but still a downer.
      • Are you sure? I'd think that most people would find the fact that said main characters in Radiant Silvergun are resurrected 100,000 years in the past and that the Stone-Like is still intact, waiting to annihilate the world again if it finds that humanity becomes corrupt again in the future, combined with the fact that Creator literally falls apart 5 seconds before he has the chance to inform the awakening clones to be far more depressing than Shinra's Heroic Sacrifice in Ikaruga.
  • The 11th Hour also has a "pick your poison" set of endings: if you pick Marie, she turns into Stauf and eats you alive, if you choose Robin, she has actually been turned evil and will murder you, so the only way to survive is to choose Samantha, a Bittersweet Ending, as Robin is destroyed in the burning mansion along with the Big Bad (she had irrevocably turned evil, anyway).
  • Given that Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals is a prequel, and the final confrontation was shown at the start of the previous game, anyone who played the first game will know that Maxim and Selan die in the Fortress of Doom after the battle with the Sinistrals. While this was pretty much inevitable, the writers decided to make the blow even harder by showing that the comrades they fought alongside throughout the game are totally confident that Maxim and Selan found a way out somehow, and are definitely going to return.
    • In the Nintendo DS remake, the ending is pretty much the same with a slight change (and better graphics), with Selena (as she was renamed) dying along with Maxim instead of after the original boss fight. Their child, Jeros, still cries when their spirits hover over the city. However...If you play through the game a second time, Erim shows up just before they drive the Dual Blade through the final crystal and you have to fight her. If you win, Maxim and Selena warp away and Erim dies instead. It's her spirit that visits everyone in the second ending. Also, the scene where Jeros cries starts out exactly the same...only Maxim and Selena walk in and Selena holds her baby and comforts him, letting him know mommy's okay. Talk about fanservice.
  • The Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney series has several:
    • In the fourth case of Justice For All, if you fail to present the correct evidence to the correct person in the final parts of the case, you get a bad ending in which your client and murderer Matt Engarde goes free, the innocent Adrian Andrews is found guilty, Maya is never seen again, and Phoenix runs away from the courtroom. Unfortunately, the mood of this ending is ruined by a typo: "The miracle never happen."
    • The fourth case of Trials and Tribulations ends with your client, who you just got off the hook, deciding to kill himself rather than let his girlfriend, who is the real murderer, get convicted. Fortunately, it's mitigated by the knowledge that the guilty party was finally nailed a year later, as played out in the game's first case.
    • The verdict of the fourth case of Apollo Justice is left entirely up to you. If you choose "Not Guilty," you get the normal, happy (and canonical) ending to the game, but if for whatever reason you choose "Guilty," the verdict is postponed until tomorrow, but in the meantime your client, who is in the hospital from being poisoned, dies, and the verdict is "postponed for eternity."
  • Warcraft III - the demonic Burning Legion are defeated; however most of the human kingdoms have been destroyed, their population transformed into undead monsters. And the World tree, which helped maintain Night Elves' immortality, was destroyed in the process, although it started to regrow soon afterwards.
    • Also in the expansion pack, where Arthas fuses with Ner'zhul, creating one of the most powerful villains in the franchise. Things haven't gotten a whole lot better in the universe since then either.
      • If how many Sealed Evils In A Can have become unsealed, or close to it since then is any indication, things have gotten a whole lot worse.
      • Unless you're playing in World of Warcraft as one of the Death Knights who upon completing an early quest chain will free himself or herself from the Lich King's service and goes on to rejoin the Alliance or Horde.
    • Not to forget the novel trilogy War of the Ancients: the demons are repelled, but the Well of Eternity implodes tearing the continent in half, the dragons are weakened by treachery, and Illidan secretly smuggled some of the water from the Well and makes a new one. Worst of all, the real villains (Cosmic Horror known as the Old Gods) even manage to gain something from these events, transforming the drowning Highborne into their servants, the Naga.
  • In Tales of Symphonia Dawn of the New World, two of the three endings are Downer Endings:
    • Bad Ending (essentially a Nonstandard Game Over): Emil commits suicide because he terribly wounded Marta.
    • Normal Ending: Emil is sealed away with the world tree, Yggdrasill, for 1000 years.
  • Gregory Horror Show for the Play Station 2: After dealing with the terrifying guests who were out to kill you, finding out their even more disturbing habits, wandering through a dungeon like maze under the hotel, obtaining all of the souls within the hotel, dealing with Gregory's witch-like mother, who uses the souls to keep herself "beautiful", and fighting to remain sane throughout the whole affair, we come to the ending explaining that the hotel was a dream, a mental formation breeded by the weakness within all humans hearts. Now, they could have ended it with the burning down of the hotel due to the sacrifice of NekoZombie, but oooh no! The narrator reveals that the harsh reality of life may force him/her to COME BACK TO THE HOTEL!! To make it worse, a CG clip at the end reveals that the hotel rebuilds itself, Gregory comes back from the dead, and that YOU'VE RETURNED TO THE HOTEL!
  • Splinter Cell: Double Agent had Enrica being killed by one of Fishers own men. he kills the agent and is now on the run from his own agency. Kinda sucks. She was hot too. A huge downer indeed.
    • There are, in fact, multiple endings to Double Agent. Either Sam loses it and sides with the JBA, becoming a terrorist, Sam retains his sanity but gets caught for terrorism and put into a trial he cannot possibly win, or Sam retains his sanity and utterly destroys the JBA, but also loses all contact with the NSA, forcing him to go underground until such time that he can prove his innocence...which may never happen. None are particularly happy, but some are at least slightly more hopeful than others.
      • Turns out Sam doesn't care about his innocence: upcoming game Splinter Cell: Conviction has him going completely off the reservation to find out who killed his daughter and why. And then kill them. And anyone in between. There's really no coming back from that much evil...is there?
  • Brave Story: New Traveler kinda has a downer ending too. Sure, you save the girl from a evil, strangely hot-looking, half naked, super emo, top-half-sticking-out-of-a-giant-toad's-mouth goddess]], but in the end, the whole of the land you just visited was all an illusion, your new friends will soon disappear into nothingness, and you yourself will eventually forget the entire journey.
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl: After 20 hours of wandering the Zone, killing mutants, shutting down machines that destroy people's minds and barely surviving, you finally approach the Wish Granter and make a wish, and then either die in a horrible way, or go blind, depending on your actions throughout the game. There is a better ending too, but many players get too frustrated by the Wish Granter endings to even try and play the game any more.
    • All the Wishgranter endings are downers, as is the bad ending from the true final area. The true ending though, is pretty much a Happily ever after.
  • Republic Commando: The squad successfully completes the mission, but at the last moment Sev is attacked by overwhelming number of enemies and goes MIA. The Squad was going to go after him, but the higher orders forced them to fall back and leave him. His fate isn't resolved to date.
  • Knights of the Old Republic II has the main character abandon everyone that cares about him to sail off alone into uncharted space, to wage a futile battle against an ancient, omnipotent evil empire. As did the hero of the first game. And the redeemed Mandalorians? Doomed. Mira dies in a Heroic Sacrifice, Visas' planet is still dead, Czerka's still dicking around, and thanks to cut content, the HK droids still run rampant, causing war and strife across the galaxy. Oh yeah, and they kill the one person who was actively trying to stabilize the Republic. That's the good ending.
    • And yes it's still better than some of the endings that were cut from the game. Especially the one where Darth Traya kills... pretty much everybody, actually.
  • Doshin the Giant, surprisingly. The islanders construct the Tower of Babel, which blocks out the sun and causes the island to break apart. Doshin holds the tower up long enough to let the humans run, but there doesn't seem to be anywhere for them to go, and the entire island sins into the sea while Sodoru contemplates the fact that he is dying. In the end, Doshin falls face-down dead into the water and becomes a new island.
  • Exmortis gives you a choice of two intensely depressing endings: having found out that you're actually the Hand of Repose, a prophesied living gateway for the Exmortis to return to Earth through, you can either decide to Screw Destiny and run for it, or give in and become the Hand. If you decide to run, you make it as far as the forest before being jumped by an Exmortis demon, whereupon you wake up exactly where you began the game, with no memory. And if you choose to give in, well, you're stuck watching your new masters obliterate the human race for the rest of your life. Either way, you're screwed.
    • Exmortis 2 is even worse. At the behest of a shadowy benefactor, you travel across a world ruled by the Exmortis, picking through abandoned houses for clues and getting scared shitless by ghosts, demons, and the bodies they left in their wake: at the end of it all, you get to put the Hand of Repose out of his/her misery and send every last Exmortis tumbling back into the Spirit Realm, freeing the humans survivors from their reign of terror. And then you meet the shadow benefactor, who reveals that he's actually Lord Vlaew, the master of the Exmortis; apparently he wanted to avoid being betrayed by his own minions, and now that you've succeeded in removing the only creatures capable of killing him, he'll be able to rule the world as he sees fit. As if it couldn't get any worse, Vlaew congratulates you for your help and gives you a reward: a quick death. In fact, the only thing that stops this from being an outright Shoot the Shaggy Dog ending is the distinct possibility that there may be a sequel.
      • And according to the creator's blog, when this sequel is eventually made...he plans to have the same protagonist from the second game be brought back from the brink with some sort of acquired power, out for revenge. He'll find a way to make it a downer no doubt but at least there's the possibility of great badass potential.
  • From the new Prince of Persia: Elika dying, and the Prince screwing the world over to bring her back. It gets points for being a Sequel Hook, though, though the game's 'proper' ending in the Epilogue DLC doesn't end things on a much better note. Namely, Elika hates the Prince for bringing her back and setting Ahriman free, soon nowhere will be safe from his touch and the Corruption, and after successfully navigating the Temple to the lands beyond that are (currently) untouched by Ahriman, Elika tells the Prince he can do what he likes and then abandons him to go find her missing people.
  • The indie adventure game the white chamber (sic) has several endings. Four of them result in Sarah dying, but both of them are all too easily avoidable. The other three... Holy fuck. You learn that Sarah, the person you've been playing as, murdered the entire crew just for the sake of getting the artefact's power, and she's been forced into a loop in order to redeem her sins. And that's part of both endings. The bad ending results in Sarah failing to redeem herself and being forced into the loop again, the worse ending ends with her being tormented by zombies, and the good ending? Not that much better. She redeems herself, the station explodes, but she's isolated on an island on the neareast planet. And the artefact is still around. Sure, you get Fan Service, but the music doesn't help either. Then again, there's the rather hilarious bonus ending, so does that even things out?
  • In the finale of Dead Space, it's revealed that Isaac's girlfriend had been dead (committed suicide to apparently avoid death via necromorph) since before the game began; and he was hallucinating her presence all the time. After finally managing to kill the hive mind and narrowly escape, Isaac replays Nicole's message and turns it off prior to her suicide. He's then attacked by undead Nicole (though again he may have been hallucinating). So the hero's dead or mad on the edge of space, the marker that was keeping the necromorphs at bay is apparently destroyed, and the Ishimura remains drifting in space, full of necromorphs (the kicker is that the Ishimura would've been destroyed, had it not been for Isaac fixing the fucking thing).
    • Isaac could very well have survived, too, even if it wasn't a hallucination. I mean, come on, he's survived far, Far, Far worse. Sure, he took his helmet off, but Necromorph-Nicole had apparently not even changed enough to grow blade-arms or the like - in fact she was the only Necromorph who's original form you could really still identify, she was so little changed.
    • The real downer (and something most people forget) is the fact that the marker isn't the original marker. The marker in the game is one created by the Earth government from one discovered on Earth. So, even if Isaac had somehow been able to completely destroy the hive mind, all the necromorphs, and the marker itself, there would still be the original and maybe even more copies.
    • Wasn't the Ishimura destroyed when the chunt of Aegis 3 it'd been mining slammed back into the planet? In any case, the necromorphs on board are no threat, since the Hive Mind has been destroyed, and the Marker was returned to the planet.
    • According to the Word of God, Issac was indeed suffering from a hallucination when attacked by the undead Nicole. However, the fate of the Ishimura is unknown but the Marker is likely gone since the only Marker available was the one Issac faced and the government already finished their experiments with it. However, the necromorphs aren't gone and reappear in Dead Space 2, but on a much larger ship than the Ishimura, along with Isaac.
    • Dead Space Extraction similarly end on an ambiguous Downer Ending. McNeill, Weller, and Murdoch escape from the Ishimura, but at the end one of the characters (it's not shown who) turns into a Necromorph and attacks Murdoch.
      • Dead Space 2: Severed eventually answered which one turned into a Necromorph with the return of only Weller and Murdoch. But then at the end of Severed Weller is hit with a grenade and sacrifices himself to open the bay doors to let Murdoch escape.
  • Condemned: Criminal Origins ends with Ethan Thomas managing to defeat the apparent source of the city's madness (a demon-ish entity with lots of metal implanted in it's skin); but as he and Malcolm are driving away, Ethan realizes that Malcolm's nephew, Leland aka SKX, is still alive and locked up in the back of Malcolm's car. Ethan can either choose to take his revenge on SKX for ruining his life or have mercy; but SKX does take a bullet on his head; while more of the metallic freaks are seen. Ethan is seen later at a diner, his life still ruined, the one person he trusts admitting to wearing a wire, and apparently transforming into one of the freaks.
    • The sequel, Bloodshot, ends on a higher note, but still a pretty ominous one. Ethan, a burned out alcoholic, manages to defeat the Oro, the cult that apparently included the metal-jawed demonish guys from the first game. He and two friends escape, apparently all is happy. Except it's revealed that the President of the United States is a member of the Oro. And SKX? He survived his gunshot, killed his Uncle, and is accepted into Oro-dom, including all that cool metal dentistry.
  • Geneforge 4. The three major endings are: letting the Shapers win and in doing so make the whole rebellion completely pointless, help the rebellion release the Unbound so that the war spreads to the other half of the continent, or force a stalemate that results in the PC being executed or enslaved.
    • It is possible if you have the right amount of hidden stats for you to be merely imprisoned and have a lot of people come to agree with your ideas. And in some of the shaper endings it's possible for them to have a reform of their code that allows more of an amnesty for Serviles.
    • The majority of endings in the Geneforge series are downer endings to some degree. There are very few good ones, and they're typically hard to get.
  • The ending of La-Mulana can be seen as this. Mother is unable to return to the heavens. All that can be given to her is the peace of death, in the form of the player. Not to mention You finally get the treasure, and the power to create life, but in the end, your father steals it from you.
  • The ending of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, when Martin turns into a frikkin' dragon. It seems like The Cavalry until he turns to stone. Then he delivers his own eulogy.
  • The ending of Robotech Battlecry: The game is narrated by your character. At the end of the next-to-last mission, the Zentradi ship husk that acts as the backdrop for the fight suddenly engages a space-fold, taking the enemy fleet and you... to Saturn. The last mission is in space, where you finally kill the Big Bad. And then you find out that all of your narration is just your character's final minutes, recording how he got there as he runs out of oxygen.
    • One fan theory is that the light Jack sees and mentions at the end is a ship defolding, and that they came to rescue Jack. The opposing theory is that the light is Jack dying.
  • The plot of Fate/stay night revolves around There Can Be Only One, so most of the cast are killed off one way or another, with the few survivors varying depending on the route.
    • Heaven's Feel "short" Ending has Shiro defeating Saber Alter with his Deadly Upgrade, but his mind is destroyed from going Beyond the Impossible. And Saber Alter can regenerate.
      • There is an even earlier ending where Sakura is in danger of becoming psychotic (from magical energy deprivation), forcing Shiro to choose between his ideals (saving the lives of others) and the one he loves (who potentially could go insane and kill many people and, although unknown to Shirou or even her, already has killed many people whilst unconsciously walking around the town looking for magical energy). If the player chooses the ideals, Sakura's death emotionally unsettled Rin; it is implied that the War ends with Shiro, having become another Emiya Kiritsugu, killing all the remaining Masters (including Ilya and Rin) and destroying the Grail, ending up a broken person, with no emotions, and having killed everyone he cares for. Really, most of the longer and more complex Bad Ends can be considered Downer Endings, considering that the story takes place in a Multiverse.
    • Whilst most of the (actual) endings to the game are bittersweet, the Normal End of the Heaven's Feel route is truly heartbreaking and tragic. Shirou Emiya performs a Heroic Sacrifice to destroy the Holy Grail. The presentation alone tugs at the heartstrings, but then the game continues afterwards, switching instead to the perspective of Sakura Matou (Shirou's love interest from this route). We are treated to her desperately looking for Shirou before she breaks down and cries, realizing that he's gone. Years pass as she awaits faithfully for his return, which never comes.
  • In Fate: Extra/CCC, Archer's ending is the only one in which the Moon Hakuno dies, as he doesn't have godly power to save them unlike Saber, Caster, or Gilgamesh. On the other hand, it is also the only ending to confirm that Earth Hakuno wakes up from cryostatis, and eventually meets with him (prior to becoming heroic spirit) in a scene that is remeniscene of Reincarnation Romance.
  • F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin is a downer as it gets. The game ends with your entire squad except Morales and possibly Stokes killed, and Alma is still free and running about. Also, Alma rapes you.
  • Killzone 2 ends with you showing up in the Helghast Emperor's palace in order to arrest him. However, he points out that the ISA have lost millions of soldiers and entire fleets during the war, while the Helghast have lost "nothing" and only his leadership is keeping them in check. In anger, resident Ethnic Scrappy Rico kills him, only for you to find out he wasn't lying as a substantial Helghast fleet, that had been kept in reserve, begins its vicious counter-attack.
    • Killzone 3 has a mixed ending wherein Stahl is escaping Sev and the ISA after an orbital battle, so the obvious solution is to drop a nuke on his now in-atmosphere ship which sets off an explosion that sweeps the entire planet. Cut to the protagonists noting that no more comm's traffic - military OR civilian - is coming from the planet, and Sev openly wondering how many people were down there. During the credits a scene is shown of some Helghast soldiers opening some kind of pod claiming 'We've found him'.
  • The Unreal series had a habit of using these
    • Unreal: you're stuck in an escape pod with little hope of rescue
    • Unreal 2: you're stuck in an escape pod with little hope of rescue and your crew is dead
    • Unreal Championship had your character getting locked in one of the tubes on an arena, and then being shot by errant fire.
  • This is subverted in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Ring of Fates (much to the joy of the player, albeit in a slightly confused fashion), where the protagoists, after having endured numerous wounds at the hands of Glades, look to be set up for a miserable life...But accidentally achieve Glade's goal of becoming a god, and use it rewrite reality so that they and their friends can live Happily Ever After.
  • Another World (aka Out Of This World) ends with otherworldly researcher Lester Chaykin unconscious, after being injured while escaping from enemy troops. This could also wind up under No Ending or maybe a Cliff Hanger, since nothing is ever finalized, but Lester's alien buddy, err Buddy, shows up to carry him off into the sky to destinations unknown, leading to the sequel.
    • It gets more depressing in the Mega CD sequel, Heart of the Alien. Lester never gets back home and is in fact killed by one of the evil aliens, forcing Buddy to cremate Lester's body at the end.
  • In the Visual Novel Ever 17, some of the GOOD endings are Downer Endings!]] The worst being Tsugumi's Good Ending: Tsugumi and the protagonist, Takeshi, are able to get out of Lemu before in implodes upon itself, thanks to a tiny submarine that will propel itself to the surface, where rescuers are waiting. Partway through the journey, it breaks and begins to sink again...breaking underneath fifty feet of water. Takeshi manages to lock Tsugumi into one section of the sub, and disconnects the part that he's in so that the lighter weight will carry her to the surface. Takeshi sinks to the bottom of the ocean and drowns, while Tsugumi floats to safety, pounding on the glass window, screaming and crying to Takeshi that she doesn't want him to die. Sora's ending is just as bad.
  • For such a relaxing game, Dream Chronicles sure has some sad endings The first one ends with the heroine being whisked to a magical prison, and the second ends with her getting amnesia and forgetting her husband and child.
  • In both the Playstation and DS re-releases of Chrono Trigger an additional cutscene was added post-credits in which, despite saving the entire world the heroes' home kingdom is burned to the ground and the citizens are killed. The whereabouts of the heroes is left ambiguous. The sequel, Chrono Cross, implies they were also killed as they are only seen as ghosts. To top it off some of the characters you can play as are implied to have had a role in the incident.
  • Speaking of Chrono Cross, the Dragon god ending is stunningly bleak, it implies that the dragon god, in alliance with the demi-humans and dwarves, killed all the humans on El Nido, Serge and friends included, the game ends showing Harley walk through Serge's hometown, being looted and occupied by the non-humans, as she stops at the grave his alternate-self had been buried at. She lays flowers at his grave and says farewell, cue credits.
  • In Operation Flashpoint, the main character, David Armstrong, gets sent to a desolate island in the middle of nowhere, has his all friends massacred by the Soviets (twice), and generally has a pretty awful experience. The game's epilogue, however, states that the entire incident between the US and USSR was passed off by Moscow and Washington as a "misunderstanding", the Everon War being given a small footnote in an obscure military history book. Seems all his friends died for nothing in the end, and were completely forgotten.
    • To be fair, the civilians of the island probably appreciate not living under the Soviet jackboot, and the entire campaign is implied to be a probing action by the USSR to test Western resolve, and so your actions likely prevented World War III. This also fits in with the endings for the Resistance campaigns. One of which sees your character be trapped by Soviet armor and literally blown apart in revenge for your victories. And the other is even worse!
  • In Army Men: Sarge's War, the game ends with pretty much every green soldier except Sarge and a few other minor grunts dead. It doesn't help that most fans consider this to be the last game in the series and all others as In Name Only. "War is hell, and hell is for heroes".
  • After winning the Revenge of the King game in Kirby Super Star Ultra, instead of showing Kirby's victory, the ending cinematic shows a defeated, depressed King Dedede walking a lonely road. At least his Waddle Dee friends come one by one to walk beside him. Yes, the game actually makes you feel guilty for winning, although alternatively, seeing a Downer Ending for your opponent might be satisfying.
    • The end of Kirby's Dreamland sees Dedede flung from his castle and falling to the ground. You're then shown the code for the "hard mode game". Completing that shows Dedede thrown to land on his head. He then runs around the screen crying in pain before collapsing. It's a wonder he ever "plays" with Kirby ever again.
  • Punch Out for the Wii somewhat has one and it's terribly depressing. If Little Mac loses 3 matches in the mode "Mac's Last Stand", he will keep his word in retiring from boxing for good. The game then shows Doc Louis in a room that shows various photos of Little Mac's victories over the boxers he faced. Doc Louis then rings the bell on the bike that was Little Mac's. If that wasn't enough, Doc Louis looks up at a photo of him and Mac during their training, saying to himself that he is proud of Mac. And just to make sure that the point is driven home, players cannot play the career section in their profile since it is literally "retired."
    • Not as much of a downer ending as you might think: Mac has fought his way to the top of the world, literally, and holds the ultimate prize: world boxing champion. He then defends his title against everyone by beating them again. After that...well, what do you have left? Doc even says, "You're right, let's go out with a bang". He challenges every single fighter he's already beaten twice to attack him over and over again until he literally cannot fight back anymore. What other boxer in the history of boxing has ever done something like that? No wonder Doc's proud of him: Mac's the greatest boxer in the world!
    • Truth in Television: Almost any real life boxer considered the greatest in the world (Ali, Frazier, Foreman, etc.) retired after a string of losses.
  • The Legend of Zelda Links Awakening. The entire island was a hallucination, and Link is lost at sea. And that's the good ending.
  • Makoto's route in Kanon. The only bright spot to Yuuichi feeling terribly heartbroken is that his new friend and he will get better. Eventually. It's bad enough that it almost seems nicer to Makoto if she's just allowed to vanish and presumably die of exposure like in the other routes.
    • Strangely enough, while succeeding in that route leads to a downer ending, failing a route doesn't lead to a It's a Wonderful Failure. No matter how far you get in a girl's scenario except Shiori's and sort of Ayu's, if you fail to trip enough flags, it just sends you to an epilogue where he muses that life is pretty ordinary, and he'll have new memories to compensate for his missing old ones. Fail to reunite Shiori and Kaori and, after Shiori leaves you, he attends the new school year and doesn't see her name on the rosters. Fail to chase after Ayu and he'll comment in the epilogue that he never saw her after that. However, in both cases, it's not completely a downer in that he holds onto the belief that he'll see them again next winter.
  • Diablo. First game starts with the noble king being corrupted and his kingdom destroyed. Then you have to kill the undead king, plus demons are killing people, the prince has been kidnapped. After 16 annoying levels of demon slaying you finally make it to the boss and beat him... you find out that the kidnapped prince you were tasked to find and rescue was Diablo all this time, and you just killed him. To top it off, you became Diablo and took his place, bringing the world back to the way it was when it started and making your whole quest pointless.
    • Except that now instead of posessing the body of some frail young prince, the Lord of Terror is now inhabiting an extremely powerful warrior's body.
  • Doom: Shareware version: You fought through the demon-infested labs and defeated the two Hell Barons.. only to have the last teleport lead to a Hopeless Boss Fight. Full version: You just fought through Hell itself and finally manage to return to Earth.. only to find it overrun by demons. And they killed the bunny.
  • Saints Row: The first game ends with your character supposedly dying in a boat explosion, shortly after reaching his goal of helping his gang take over the entire city. To make matters worse, in the second game you learn that one of your best friends organized the whole thing.
    • Not to mention that in the third game, where you get to choose between two endings - one of them involves letting two of the player character's friends die in a conspiracy plot, intended to make the Saints appear as terrorists. However, this is more of a Bittersweet Ending, as the Saints return to their old ways (from the second game), and declare Steelport an independent state.
  • In the Hunt has a very nasty variation of Multiple Endings: In the first, you fail to escape the enemy HQ and are destroyed along with it, in the second, you become the new leader of the evil organization you were trying to destroy throughout the entire game, and in the third, both players sink to the bottom of the sea endlessly. To get the Golden Ending, you have to reach the final form of the final boss on more than one credit.
  • Hostile Waters has a pretty hard-hitting ending. In the final mission, after much (and I mean much) effort, your ship, converted into a makeshift nuke, destroys a structure designed to launch genetically engineered alien creatures into space. It Makes Sense in Context. Anyway, in the credits, you and your crew go down with the ship. The ship's nanotech creation engine hits the ocean floor with the alien launch platform, which promptly beings to assimilate it. As if this weren't bad enough, they show that the aliens managed to get into space anyway. Congrats, humanity's last weapon was sacrified for basically nothing except spare time (which the humans won't use because they think they've won), and if those aliens decide they want to come back home, the human race is fucked.
  • The Path has you using each girl's ghost to figure out how they died. Of course, that might be a good thing. Maybe?
  • The first chapter of Suika ends with Itsuki realizing she's dead, disappearing and leaving Akira all alone. His personality is completely broken and when he finally meets Sayo again, the girl they both thought was really dead, he refuses to introduce himself and runs away. Both the endings of the third chapter are also disturbing. Yoshikazu either ends up with the extremely clingy, manipulative Touko or gets stabbed to death by Akane, who hooks up with Touko instead after apparently hypnotizing her.
  • The games of Shadow Hearts series each have a "good ending" and a "bad ending":
    • In the first game, the bad ending is that Alice dies. Good thing that isn't the canon ending, right? Right?
    • In the second game, the bad ending has Yuri's memories and being totally destroyed by the Holy Mistletoe, leaving him a shadow of his former self. But don't worry--the good ending has him die! Hey, wait a minute...
    • In the bad ending for the third game From the New World, Shania becomes completely corrupted by Malice, and looks more than ready to use it to cause havoc.
  • In Red Dead Redemption, after struggling across New Austin and Mexico to safeguard his family's future, John Marston sacrifices himself in a futile stand off with the US Army, buying just enough time for his wife and son to escape impending slaughter. In the same climactic battle, Uncle, another member of the Marston family, gives his life, and three years later, Abigal, John's wife, dies. Following his mother's death,(the adult) John "Jack" Marston Jr seeks out, duels, and kills the man who forced his father's execution, Edgar Ross. Satisfying as this revenge might at first sound, it means that Jack has been forced to take up the very lifestyle that his father was trying to protect him from.
    • In Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare, the game world is ravaged by the undead. John risks everything to return a cursed mask to an Aztec burial site to stop the plague. Shortly thereafter, he dies as predicted by the main game, and Seth steals the mask again, restarting the Zombie Apocalypse. And Then John Was a Zombie, but completely unintelligible, with no family, and no way to stop the current apocalypse.
  • All three endings of the visual novel Saya no Uta can be considered downers. One has Fuminori's brain returned to normal, only for him to be locked up and separated from Saya forever. In the next, Saya "blooms" and begins to transform the entire world into her own nightmarish species. Finally, the last ending kills off all but one major character, who's gone half-insane and will very likely commit suicide one day soon.
    • The first ending sounds like it might be better called a Bittersweet Ending, though... and the second one could be an Esoteric Happy Ending... and the third one, Kill'Em All...
      • (... and a Kill'Em All ending is different from a Downer Ending how...?) Arguably, all three would still qualify as a downer ending, though, given that Fuminori and Saya never get to stay together.
      • Speaking of Bittersweet Ending, the third ending has that character indirectly save humanity at the cost of his sanity and friends.
  • Zero's ending in Mega Man X 5, which was originally intended as the Grand Finale of the story. Though having finally defeated Sigma for good, Zero himself is mortally wounded in process, and as he dies, he sees the flashback of his evil past (of Dr. Wily), as well as the memory of his deceased girlfriend Iris, whom he could never meet again. Left behind, X, who is miraculously healed after a severe injury like Zero's, gets a Bittersweet Ending where he fights on without Zero - or a No Ending/Bad Ending where X completely loses his memory of Zero and all attempts to restore it (or at least re-input data about Zero) fails.
    • In the post X5 continuity, the above was more or less RetConned, but there is still his eventual fateful sealing in the Elf Wars. One century later, Zero would come back to life in Mega Man Zero.
    • ...Only to die again in a Heroic Sacrifice at the end of Zero 4. Made worse by Ciel running off, then breaking down and weeping as the fragments of Ragnarok (and Zero) appear as shooting stars during the credits.
    • Volnutt is still stuck on the moon.
  • Two of the three endings to Bioshock have the protagonist slaughter the Little Sisters and lead an army of splicers to take over the surface world.
    • ... and two of the four endings to the second Bioshock, where the protagonist turns Eleanor Lamb into a bloody, cynical monster who only cares about her own survival at the costs of others' lives.
  • Good god, Singularity. Three Endings to choose from, NONE of which see the "real" timeline restored and ALL of which see the USSR effectively dominate the world using the results of the Katorga experiment, with the only difference being in the exact details of said domination. No Fourth Option. Pick your poison, guv'ner.
  • In Dreamweb, the PC gets shot to pieces by the cops even if he manages to stop the plot to control the Dreamweb itself. Heroes don't last long in this cyberpunk universe.
    • Granted, it's left ambiguos if Ryan will really join the other keepers in the Dreamweb, or if the whole thing was just a creation of his insanity, which would mean an even darker ending.
  • Divinity 2 has a major one. You fight the Big Bad...only for him to effortlessly trounce you and seal you in diamond. He then mockingly reveals that your only ally is actually his girlfriend and has been stringing you along as part of his plot to free himself all along. Literally everything you've done throughout the entire game was all in the villain's benefit. The villain and his girlfriend then leave you stuck in diamond to conquer the world, but not before making it so you can watch them do it. The game ends with the hero being unable to do anything but watch as the villain rules the world with an iron fist, forever, and forced to "live" with the knowledge that it's all their fault.
    • Thankfully rectified to an extent by the expansion, Flames of Vengeance. You escape your prison with the help of a demon, save Aleroth from Damian's forces, kill the demon when he tries to backstab you, and finally, finally enact vengeance/justice on Ygerna, Damian's aforementioned girlfriend who strung you along like a puppet the entirety of Ego Draconis. And to top it all off, you manage to save Lucian the Divine Hero while you're at it, fully restoring the honor of your disgraced order. The only thing negative aspect of this is that Damien himself is still alive and scheming, none too pleased about his girlfriend's (second!) death.
    • The other games didn't exactly end well either. The first game seems happy enough in that The Divine kills the villain and saves the young child the villain was going to use for his plans, but as veterans will know, this infant would become Damien, the Big Bad of the entire series. Not only that, but the Divine's victories ultimately come to nothing as he is ultimately betrayed and murdered by the Dragons.
    • Beyond Divinity ends with the sarcastic Death Knight, you're only companion and ally throughout the game, revealing that he is in fact Damien himself. Despite your best efforts, he escapes to plot his scheme for 2, leaving your character to wonder just what the hell they even managed to accomplish...
      • Beyond Divinity's ending becomes even worse when you consider that -- if certain characters in the game are to be believed -- you could have saved the entire world just by dying, literally at the beginning of the game,! See, at that point Damien was still soul-linked to you, thus your death would be his as well, thus he would never leave his little personal dungeon, thus, no threat... Arrgh!
  • The Command & Conquer series is quite actually prone to this. In Tiberian Dawn, even if GDI wins (which is the canonical ending), the world is still devastated from the war, and Tiberium infestation will only grow into the years ahead. The Nod ending could be seen as the intro before the GDI campaign - and no matter what, something in the world is getting levelled by that Ion Cannon.
    • Tiberian Sun's Nod ending is complete downer - on the eve of victory, Kane teleports out of existence, and his World Altering Missile turns the whole earth into a Tiberium world.
      • By contrast, GDI's ending might be hopefull, but Firestorm returns to turn the crapsack up to 11. Not only does Tratos's antigen not work, it turns Umagon into an insane raving monster, and in less than a year, the atmosphere will be 100% toxic to humans.
    • Red Alert is even worse. Soviets ending - they control all of Europe, only for you to become Premier by assassination from a familiar figure. Allies win, they comb through Moscow, with General Stavros personally crushing Stalin with large debris.
      • Red Alert 2's Soviet ending is downer in a way. You are Premier of the world, but Yuri still apparently lives. Yuri's Revenge has a crapsack beginning, but not end.
  • Every single endings in Psychic Force are really depressing if you like the word 'justice to the world'. Characters suffer/fail in their mission and/or killed, world just got worse... (Except probably Wendy in the sequel, which is more or less Bittersweet Ending)
    • Not true. Gates succeeds in his mission despite horrible setbacks, gets his revenge, then gets the hell out of the war and finds a new life helping people. Sure, he possibly loses his memory again, but is that such a bad thing at that point? Wendy, meanwhile, gets a hell of a Fridge Logic downer when you remember that she just killed Keith...Burn's best friend and entire motivation for fighting. That's not going to end up fun for either of them.
  • Choose either ending of the Demon Path of Soul Nomad and The World Eaters. Having the protagonist sealed in the Onyx Blade is the lesser of two evils, mind you.
  • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow ends with Gabriel Belmont failing to save his childhood love from the dead in spite of having saved the world from the darkness, leaving all his efforts to turn into nothing. He also unwillingly becomes Dracula in the end, forever separating him from her in spite of still maintaining his own bitter sanity for the following 1000 years.
  • Resistance 2 plays this extremely straight. The game ends with the main protagonist Nathan Hale finishing his transformation into a Chimera and even repeats the very first line you hear from the game's Big Bad. You also see a large mysterious Chimeran object or building in the background and many Chimeran aircrafts off in the distance. Joe Capelli then tells Hale "I'm sorry sir. It was an honor." (a complete change from his earlier attitude towards him) and shoots Hale in the head, killing him. The entire scene also implies that the Chimera have defeated the human race, which the setting for Resistance 3 confirms.
  • Armored Core is full of this, but probably the best example is in for Answer. One of the possible endings has you killing 100 million people, and when the remaining Lynx's come to take you out, you destroy them. Thus leaving the biggest monster in history running amok.
  • The ending of Siter Skain's RefleX was this or bittersweet at best.
  • The campaign in the original Dawn of War ends with the Blood Ravens Imperial Space Marines and their Eldar allies victorious over Sindri Myr and the Alpha Legion Chaos Space Marines, only to have Blood Ravens Captain Gabriel Angelos smash the stone imprisoning the demon lord in the belief that this would destroy the demon forever. Only to learn, of course, that because so much blood had been shed in the war for Tartarus, the demon had actually been set free by smashing the stone. Since this is a Warhammer 40000 game, this is hardly surprising.
  • While Dirge of Cerberus itself has a happy ending, its online multiplayer mode certainly does not. The nameless Deepground soldier PC defeats the tyrannical Restricter, but with his last breath he lashes out at her, fatally wounding her. As she dies, the Tsviets appear and tell her that the entire them they were tricking her into killing the Restricter so they could commence they're own plans for world conquest. The game ends with the camera showing the Tsviets laughing at their triumph from the PC's point of view as the screen slowly fades to black as she slowly bleeds out.
  • Dragon Age II, which somehow manages to be even Darker and Edgier than the first game, takes this trope and rides it off a cliff. In the last hour or so of the game, the real plot kicks in, in which there's a massive escalation of the game-long tensions between Kirkwall's mages and their templar oppressors. Both sides are hopelessly corrupt and have a batshit crazy leader, despite a handful of good people in the rank and file. No matter what you do, any parties that could help settle the dispute peacefully are systematically elminated, the final straw being Grand Cleric Elthina's assassination by Anders when he blows up the Chantry. Regardless of which side Hawke picks, s/he will be betrayed by Anders, and the game will end in a continent-wide war between the mages and the templars. Hawke goes on the lam, eventually separated from all his/her friends (except the love interest, if any), and has disappeared along with the Warden from Origins. Loose threads insinuate that Ferelden is on the cusp of another war with Orlais after being weakened by the Blight, that the Tevinter Imperium is on its way back to being the power that it was and they're still as brutal and insane as before, the war between the mages and templars appears to be set to spread across the world and it's not looking good for anyone. Except Flemeth. Which really means the world's screwed.
  • In Airforce Delta Strike, you have Jamie's ending, which is a Heroic Sacrifice, allowing the rest of the Delta Squadron to launch into space. This comes on the heels of his concerted efforts to learn jet operations just so he could join them in the space combat phase of the game.
  • The Legend of Spyro trilogy: The second game had a rather surprising one that clearly indicated to the player this series wasn't going to be all about happy endings. Realizing that he can't win, rather than fighting Malefor and his legions Spyro opts to protect himself and his two present allies, and let the world fall into ruin around him, only emerging from stasis years later, at the start of the next game. A game which averted its own downer ending at the last second. Spyro and Cynder appear to make a Heroic Sacrifice to save the planet, but after the credits it's revealed they're still alive, somewhere. Still possibly a downer though, as Ignitus is dead or at least removed from the world, the Chronicler is dead and gone, the world is still in bad shape, and Sparx, Spyro's brother, partner, and best friend, may never see him again.
  • Phantasy Star II: The End of the Lost Age. The subtitle isn't there just for kicks: sure, you destroy Mother Brain and save the human population of Motavia. But Mother Brain destroys Palm in the midgame (along with the majority of the Algol system's population), your destruction of Mother Brain also destroys the technological base that Algol's society depends upon, the original problem that set you off on your quest (biomonsters being released on Motavia) is still unsolved (and will still be unsolved a thousand years later), and the ending has you killing the last survivors of Earth, possibly dying in the process. This is not a happy story.
  • The true ending of Densetsu No Starfy 3.
  • One of the endings of No More Heroes: if Travis Touchdown doesn't get all the beam katana upgrades, he will end the game with an assassin ready to murder him in his own apartment while he's on the toilet, which immediately cuts to the closing credits.
    • The other ending plays out the same way, except that Henry kills the assassin and you'll end up fighting him. And in the sequel it is implied that they stick together
  • Vexx: Unable to get back through the portal after defeating Dark Yabu, Vexx throws the staff through, successfully closing the rift and thus saving Astara, but also trapping himself in the shadow realm. He is last seen roaming the desolate, wraith-infested lands.
  • Every ending in Dead Rising. Even the overtime ending counts as a Bittersweet Ending.
  • You get these if you die in a wave in Portal Defenders. Dieing in wave 3 might count as a Bittersweet Ending, though, because even though you die, the enemies all end up killing each other anyways.
  • Rule of Rose: Jennifer is the sole survivor of an airship crash, Wendy begins to hate her for showing more attention to Brown, Jennifer killed Brown herself to be accepted by the other orphans, and in the end you're again the sole survivor after all your friends are murdered by some guy that thinks you're his son.
  • Most of the endings in Kara no Shoujo are pretty terrible, especially if you count the Bad Ends, which have extensive stories. There are only two endings that really qualify as bittersweet.
  • In the Flash game Trick-or-Treat Adventure, the protagonist goes great lengths to get his candy...only to die from an undiagnosed case of diabetes.
  • In the Flash game Super Ryucopter, the heroes save the world from a bunch of monsters, only to die from crashing into the moon.
  • Both of the endings in Infamous 2.
  • The bad endings in the Oddworld series.
  • The ending of Killer 7, for the first time in the entire game, presents players with a choice. Depending on their selection, either 1) the United States will nuke Japan off the face of the earth, or 2) Japan will launch an attack on the US, starting World War III. Either way, 100 years later Harman and Kun Lan will begin their battle all over again and it is implied that China becomes the world's next great superpower.
  • Professor Layton and the Unwound Future has a particularly tragic one. Throughout the game, there are flashbacks to Professor Layton's earlier years, where he was in love with a woman named Claire. Sadly, Claire was killed in an accident involving an experimental time machine. He does, however, later meet her younger sister. Near the end of the game, he finds out that the woman isn't her younger sister--it's Claire herself, flung forward in time ten years by the same time machine that killed her. However, she can't remain in this time period because it would cause a paradox. The ending is Layton begging her to stay, giving up all pretense of gentlemanly composure in favor of Inelegant Blubbering, while she slowly fades away. She gives him one last kiss before fading forever, and our final shot is Layton taking off his hat and crying into the snow.
  • In the web game Heir, based on Shadow of the Colossus, after beating chapter three, a cutscene plays in which the King kills the Pale Man, rather than making him his heir, as promised
  • Rayman Raving Rabbids: Rayman escapes, but the many baby Globoxes are still captives of the sinister yet phenomenally stupid rabbits, and then Rayman's attempt to go back and rescue them is brought to an abrupt halt when he gets stuck in the hole. Um...yay?
  • Haunting Ground 's worst possible ending involves the death of Fiona's only companion, Hewie, and Riccardo successfully capturing and impregnating her, which drives her completely insane.
  • Project Zomboid has no rescue or cure to the zombie plague. The developers repetitively stated that the point of the game is to show how you've died, but no matter what, you will die.
  • Final Fantasy XIII-2: Serah dies, Lightning becomes crystallized, Noel realizes that he just gave Caius exactly what he wanted, and he and Hope are trapped at ground zero of a massive Time Crash.
  • The Darkness ends with Jackie killing his Uncle Paulie for Jenny's death, but by doing so, the titular entity has taken him over completely.
    • It Got Worse in the sequel when Jackie goes to Hell to save Jenny's soul from the Darkness. But in doing so, the Angelus has taken her over and leaves him and the Darkness behind. Way to go, Jackie.
  • Guns of Icarus ends with the death of the main character and the destruction of the eponymous aircraft.
  • In The Binding of Isaac , the ending where you defeat Satan in Sheol has your character climbing into a chest and locking himself in.
  • The Streets of Rage 3 route in Streets of Rage Remake ends badly no matter what you do. If you fail to beat Shiva before the bomb goes off, you and him die, along with a fair portion of the city destroyed as well. If you beat him in time, the bomb still goes off and destroys a portion of the city, with our heroes watching the destruction from afar. Disarming the bomb and beating Shiva results in Mr. X escaping to wreak havoc another day.
  • Every ending but the true ending in Nine Persons Nine Hours Nine Doors end with everyone dying, killing each other or having one character go Ax Crazy. The Coffin ending is the worst, just a cockblock to the true ending if you forgot to get the Safe ending. Even the true ending can be seen as bitter sweet in a way since June and Santa played a role in the deaths of three people. Granted Ace killed two of them, but the 9th man was killed by his bomb, which could be connected back to "Zero." Thus, two characters are fugitives and Junpei may never get a chance to spend a happy life with June because she is on the run with her accomplice.
  • The bad ending to the 8-bit version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Eggman kills Tails. Sonic looks sadly to the sky and sees his spirit again. It is implied he was shot to death.
  • The Age of Empires II tend to end like this since they are based on historical fact.
  • Changed. Even some of the good endings aren't immune to this (unless you consider being stuck with Puro forever a good thing).
  • The Last of Us. After finding out that extracting the cure to the zombie plague from Ellie's body will kill her (and that a lot of immune people had already died due to this procedure), Joel takes off with her and kills a lot of people along the way. He then lies and tells her there is no cure. They continue on together but Joel dooms mankind.
  • At the end of Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen, the eponymous Kain must choose to either save the world but kill himself or rule as the new Big Bad. He of course chooses the latter. Soul Reaver, however, hits the player with the revelation that Kain was Good All Along and he's been looking for a third choice so he can save the world without losing his life.
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