(Poll) Is there such a thing as too many endings?

In CoG terms, your “endings” are narrative goals - exclusive yet related “victory events.”

Each of the “modifications” are CoG “End States” for the 10 narrative goals or endings.

If you haven’t yet explored the official CoG documents relating to these terms, I suggest doing so.


I’m rather simple when it comes to replaying games. Most of the time I replay picking the same choices from the other runs I did; when I replay a game it’s not really the changes that I like to go through, rather it’s the whole experience again.

Mass Effect series is an example. I know all that is going to happen and even then I make the same decisions just to experience it all again, because the experience itself is very good; I don’t need to see different things to have fun again :).

I see this is not common in Choicescript games it seems, many moments have limited “talk to two or three people out of a possible six” on several occasions, so that you can’t do everything in every playthrough, but I’m not really a fan of that because of what I already mentioned above.

As for multiple endings, the more the better I’d say. I don’t feel like I have to experience ALL endings or something; I’d likely just achieve the same one when I replay. I think at least every game should have a bad ending and a good ending, maybe some endings that are in-between as well. Games that just have bad endings seem rather silly to me; like no matter how well you play you can’t really affect the story.


Time for some maaaaaaaaaaaaath!! :nerd_face:

For the 4-6 possible NPC endings, you’ll need at least 10 playthroughs to check out every NPC’s romance ending. Multiply times two for the dead/alive version of their romanced ending, meaning 20 playthroughs altogether.
Neither the x/y influence nor the NPC alive/dead endings are mutually exclusive, you would be able to knock out 9 of them per single playthrough, assuming you recruit all the NPCs, this means that they can all be reached within the 20 romance-focus playthroughs without much effort.
Finally, minus 2 from 20 because at least one of the NPCs is non-romanceable.

That means that altogether you would need 18 playthroughs to see every ending.

And surely, within those 18 playthroughs, you can reach all 15 player character endings and all 10 story endings without issue.


THE MATH IS GOOD NOW. EVERYONE THANK MY LITTLE BROTHER who forgot his screenname wtf, dude

Oh snaps, I didn’t know they had names either. I hope you don’t mind if I ask where these documents can be found?

Regardless, there would still need to be a minimum of about 18 playthroughs to see all these End States.


I think this is directed another poster but I read the game codes once I am done with one playthrough. It is an interesting way to see how the game works though I don’t do it always since I don’t want to spoil myself too much. XD

Really, you really impress me with your detail analysis. XD

I wouldn’t mind doing that many if I found the characters and story very interesting which I am looking forward to your project @rinari


Here is where I recommend starting (for everyone): Writing for CoG games Nov-2016 version


Sometimes I don’t even play different endings, because I play the same ending over and over again because of how it makes me feel.

I know there are so many endings to tin-star but I hate being a jack-ass in this game and I love romancing Preston.

One way that choice of games has ruined me, is that I want to find out what happens after the climax of the game depending on what my character did or their personality. Visual novels usually have an ending depending on your choices, and that’s it. There are not too many variations.


I HATE the idea of all bad endings (I dislike the idea of only good endings a little less, but strive to avoid both) but I don’t know if I’ve ever encountered a game where that happened! :thinking: Do you have an example of a game that only has bad endings? I’m actually curious haha!

Actually, DAII comes to mind–certain terrible things that happen there can never be avoided!

@rose-court WHOAAAA I am so impressed! :scream::clap:t2::clap:t2::clap:t2::clap:t2::clap:t2: That was some crazy math, thank you so much for doing that! That sounds a lot better than 56 lol!

@Eiwynn Thanks for the nomenclature and the link! I had read that document a while ago but completely forgot the terminology. Very useful document for CSers!

@Victoriya I’m similar to you. I usually try really hard to optimize my first playthrough (sometimes this relies on walkthroughs…) and when I replay again, I usually can’t resist making the same choices or romancing the same characters because, well, my first experience was perfect, so why deviate? XD


@Eiwynn thank you so much for the link! I think I finally understand the point of fairmath. :thinking:

Would either of you believe me if I told you I do this to relax after classes? :sweat_smile:

And no problem @rinari. Maybe you can get back to your friend and ask her if 18 playthroughs is more reasonable for getting all the achievements? I think it’s pretty good for a text-based game, and having them anchored on the RO choice means that there will be a hefty amount of variety per playthrough, so none of the playthroughs will be speedruns to get to the end, but genuine playthroughs where you take your sweet time and cry maybe? and enjoy the ride. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Math stresses me out so I can’t imagine using it to relax… but I’m so impressed! :sweat_smile:

And yes, 18 playthroughs got the seal of approval! My goal is to write a story that, as you said, people can and would want to take their time savoring in replays and whatnot! I think there’s enough stuff hidden in each branch that it won’t even necessarily be about getting to the end, it’ll be about discovering new things about the characters or the story each time! That’s my hope, anyway! :grin:

Now my other question is: what would be too few endings for a ChoiceScript game? Is there an agreed-upon minimum for a game to be satisfying?


I’m probably in the minority on this when I say even one ending could be fine for me if it has a lot of minor variations.

For example: a superhero story could only end in you saving the day, but who lives, who dies, was the villain redeemed or killed or captured or escaped could all be variations on that one end.

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I,m on the opposite of ‘one ending but with many minor variation’ .

The only game that did it right is Jade Empire . You had 3 ending and I was happy with those .

Minor variation isn’t a bad thing , but when it just minor variation making it seem like there is an ending , but there isn’t and it just minor variation…it feel underwhelming . It really can kill a game for me…

I’m like ‘Muh…that is it ? All that for just this ? snippet of what happen to who…what about the main thing we fough , died , killed…etc…for ?’’ .

Games where every ending is majorly flawed and at best a pyrrhic victory: the infamous ME3, Tides of Numenera.
In Planescape Torment you always die by the end, but sometimes that doesn’t feel like a bad ending.

Does the X/Y influence have any impact on the romanced ending? Does the romanced status have any influence on the X/Y endings? Does is the ‘dead’ ending changed at all regarding romanced status and influenced status?

As for how the minimum amount of endings, that would depend on how much branching you allowed us in the game. If we get a million important looking choices midgame, then I would expect them to have consequences. Generally at least as many as the number of factions / sides you can pick, if that’s going to be a thing.

When you say ‘my game’, would you happen to be talking about Haven and Hael?

For me, I enjoyed CoG and HG whether there was one ending with little variation or with multiple endings. What’s important is the characters and the story for me as long as I enjoy them, I don’t have any preference over the other. Though it wouldn’t hurt to have a couple of endings that taken into account our choices which was the main objective of CoG after all.

I am hoping this is what @rinari was referring to. I really loved the demo.

Ahh, yes, Tides of Numenera. I completely blocked that game out of my memory! Literally every party member I had suffered a terrible fate… and there was nothing I could do about it… unless there was, but I never went back to replay because the gameplay was such a slog for me haha! Good example!

I think I also blocked ME3’s ending from my mind…

It’s hard for me to keep it in my head at the moment (I have all of the endings mapped out in text) but yes, X/Y influence can have an impact on the romanced ending, and also on whether or not the player is dead/alive while in a romance. To put it in more concrete terms, a shy and naive Shery will have different endings if she was in a romance with a dead player, versus if she was in a romance with an alive player. And a Shery who has more confidence and is in a romance with a dead player will have a different ending; and a confident Shery who is in a romance with an alive player will have a different ending. I hope that makes sense! And, of course, a shy Shery who was just friends with the player will have a different ending from all of that vs. a confident Shery who was friends with the player (though in that case, the player being dead or alive would have less of an effect, and is really more about X vs. Y influence).

The possibilities also change because some characters aren’t able to be killed throughout the course of the story, or their deaths hinge on the player also being dead, in which case a romance or an X/Y influence wouldn’t really matter.

Yes, that’s what I mean! :sweat_smile: Though it’s undergone a title change and is “Shepherds of Haven,” for now. To, uh, myself. I’m still working on my book but had some free time to draw up some maps and other misc. stuff this week, and ended up finishing chapter 1 lol.

Thank you @resuri08! :hugs: It’s still being worked on, slowly!

Re: this thread, one thing that occurred to me that I somewhat dislike games that require a replay/New Game+ in order to fully understand the story. I believe that it’s largely Japanese games I’ve played that did this: games that require you to actually play a second time and either take different routes or just be on a replay to actually achieve a “true” ending. Esoteric “true” endings can be fine, if I’m aware of their existence beforehand: Persona does this and I’m okay with it. But if anyone’s heard of the Nonary Games/999 series, I got so mad when I found out I’d have to play over and over to understand what was going on/achieve a good ending that I ragequit.

The only game that I think does it well is OXENFREE, because a necessary replay ties deeply into the themes and game mechanics of the game (time travel/rewriting history/time looping), and it has a very meta awareness that you’re replaying: the second playthrough has subtle changes to indicate you’re caught in a loop, and the characters themselves are aware of it.

I’m very glad to hear this, but also: the total playthroughs needed to see absolutely every last drop of content just went up to 36.

Would your completionist friend happen to be a code diver?

Remain very fond of your characters, and look forward to seeing them again.

it has a very meta awareness that you’re replaying and has subtle changes to indicate you’re caught in a loop

Sounds like undertale.

I’m not sure about games that need a replay to understand the whole story…
First thing first I agree with you on the NG + mechanic. If I need NG+ to understand the story, than that’s a fail. Usually it’s because you miss items at some points where you can’t have them on the first go. Never played a game where NG+ was justified for a better understanding of the scenario.
Now a replay is different story. If we except some games where the replay just change some outcomes but let you understand the full scale of the world built for the game, like Mass Effect, there are still game out there that I believe justifies this pretty well.
First there is the alignment factor. Best exemple that comes to mind are DA Inquisition and the Witcher , in which you can’t understand part of the story or some characters because you simply weren’t there. To me that makes sense and worth a replay. Oviously, it worth a replay because the story is iteresting and I want to know more.
Then there are game like FromSoftware (DarkSouls and Bloodborne), with very little formated scenario, in which you could easily miss some part of the plot ( maybe more like part of the background, the universe ?)but yeah those are pretty special game that are not oriented toward the scenario. But still the universe is deep and rich and entirely deserve, imo, another dive in it to learn moer about them.
And finally the case of Bethesda’s games. In those you actually can in most case learn the whole story in basaically one run, but usually you’ll get bored of your character way before that. And in that case another run with another character still allows you to discover new things, and is pretty much worth it.

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I am glad that it is being worked on. =)

Quite sad to see you didn’t like it.

I enjoyed it immensely because each playthrough is unique in their own way and each part being part of whole, finding out more with each path you took was satisfying. Now that you think about it, the Nonary series reminds me of CoG and HG in terms of branching. Although it was quite hard to swallow to those who don’t like er… disturbing endings but I like the concept and story overall that it outweighed the cons for me. And like you, others might don’t like the concept of doing other paths to get the true ending.

Argh, that’s true!

My friend has never played CoGs that I’m aware of haha, so maybe she’ll have to learn to code-dive! :sweat_smile: And thank you, that means so much! :blush:

I agree, games that are so big or which feature different outcomes certainly necessitate enjoyable replays. I think the difference, though, is that the first playthrough of DA Inquisition or the Witcher still allows you to understand the story and (at least) the gist of what’s going on the first time. In the case of DAI, you still understand exactly what’s going on with Corypheus and the main story, no matter what: replaying as an ally to the templars, however, just allows you to see the other side of a minor plotline. In the case of Dark Souls or Skyrim where the world is so vast, completing the game’s story always makes sense, but replays can allow you to explore a larger world and lore that isn’t absolutely necessary to the integrity of the plot.

I’m talking about games where you can’t know wtf is happening unless you do a NG+ or a second playthrough, as with the aforementioned Nonary Games. I’m trying to wrack my brains for another game that specifically does this, because I know I’ve played at least one other like it before. If you ever played the Silent Hills/PT demo, that was also a strange mechanic in which you can only “end” the game on like a third or fourth playthrough. :sweat_smile:

@resuri08 I actually did like the Nonary games in general (well, I’ve only played 999 so far)! The writing was quite good and I loved the puzzles. I just don’t feel motivated to find the game’s “true” ending because it requires having to replay the whole thing a few times and skip so much stuff that I’ve been through already. Reaching almost exclusively “bad” endings for the first several paths in order to get the “true” ending was demotivating! :sweat_smile: But everyone else I know loves it, so I may be the outlier. :slight_smile:


The skip button for it was a life saver to be honest. And I understand that some will not like it since it will force you to do the bad endings just to get the true ending. Those bad endings were not walk in a park. :laughing:

Although I enjoyed what the Nonary series did, I wouldn’t want to see it much in CoG/HG since it is pretty much telling your readers that all other paths are invalid.

I have played a quite fun VN called String of Fates which is about a boy trying to confess his love to his crush and a group of meddling gods who replay the event again and again to try to force him into what they consider a “good” ending. The actual good ending is the one where they just leave him to be rejected. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: