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Originally, the word "comedy" meant that the story ended on a positive note, and the word "Tragedy" meant a Downer Ending (or, at the very least, a Bittersweet Ending). The meanings of these words have evolved over time, but the concept remains: Some stories end happily, and others...not so much. This is a scale of how happily a given story is bound to end.
- Golden Ending - Top of the list, variant of Multiple Endings. Usually invoking Earn Your Happy Ending. Everybody Lives is generally a prerequisite.
- Happily Ever After - The good guys win, the bad guys get their comeuppance or redemption (depending on the villain), and everyone is happy.
- Earn Your Happy Ending - The good guys will have to slog through a great deal of mud and tragedy first, but, ultimately, everything ends well. At least, for the ones that survive.
- Everybody Lives - Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- Bittersweet Ending - The good guys win, but, due to some terrible tragedy, they're not going to be happy about it. Or they die, but everyone else is happy.
- Multiple Endings - A character's actions in the game decide how the ending turns out.
- No Ending, Bolivian Army Ending - The ending is ambiguous. Did the heroes win, or did they all die horribly? The author or creator ain't talking, so it's up to the viewer to decide.
- Gainax Ending - The ending is confusing and full of Mind Screw; differing interpretations can lead it to being placed in any of these three categories.
- Downer Ending - The good guys lose. They might at least get to take the villain down with them, though.
- The Bad Guy Wins - Or not.
- Have a Nice Death - You've lost the game and are dead but at least you get a cheery message about it.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog - The bad guys win. Or nobody wins and the whole ordeal is a waste of time and human lives.
- It's a Wonderful Failure - A game player has screwed up big time and has to watch the repercussions.
- Cruel Twist Ending - An story that screws the heroes at the very end.
- Diabolus Ex Machina - Similar to the above, but it comes out of nowhere.
- Esoteric Happy Ending - Happily Ever After in the mind of the writer/director, Downer Ending or Shoot the Shaggy Dog for the audience.
- Kill'Em All - Exactly what it sounds like.