Remain Insane

Ramblings of an animal loving, people hating, game enthusing, book nerd :D

And they all lived happily ever after? April 30, 2012

Random Raging Rant No. 1: Lack-Lustre endings.

We have all had that book, TV or gaming series that we absolutely love and adore. For a while there, you absolutely live and breathe it. You want to shout from the rooftops how flipping fantastic it is and grab people by the front of the shirt and shake them stupid while explaining every single in and out of the story line. Then, this series comes to an end. You get slightly depressed, but part of you can’t wait to find out what happens. You get your hands on the last installment. You’re almost peeing your pants in excitement while you are reading it, playing it or watching it. This series has been one of the most fantastic things in your life up until now. You have spent hours and hours of your life taking time to read or play or watch it. Then you’ve almost finished it. Everything in the series is going according to plan, and you can almost taste that sweet ending that you have been waiting for. Then, right at the last hurdle, AN UNEXPECTED TWIST LUNGES OUT AT YOU, RIPS YOUR HEART OUT AND SHITS ALL OVER THE HAPPY ENDING.

This momentarily makes me want to gouge someones eyes out. Its like the author/producer/designer has either: A) Had their brain eaten by zombies

Or:

B) Smashed their face into the keyboard multiple times when deciding the plot for the ending.

Nothing, NOTHING, is more disappointing than a shitty end to a fantastic series. Will you ever be able to look at the series again in the same way after you have seen its terrible demise as it careens off a cliff? Ever be able to read it, watch it, or play it again feeling the same wave of awe you did the first time? You bet your sweet ass you won’t. While some of these endings just ruin the last installment of it, most end up rendering the whole series completely pointless!

The two major examples of this I have run into recently are the endings of Mass Effect and the Hunger Games series. These are two absolutely mindblowing series that I loved, but the endings were filled with twists. And not the oh-my-god-that’s-amazing type of twist, the oh-my-god-is-this-person-on-crack type of twists. There will be spoilers ahead, so if you are actually interested in pursuing these titles, probably skip to the ending paragraph. For those who have already read The Hunger Games and played Mass Effect, or for those of you who don’t really care and want to continue to read my drivel, read on 😀

AGAIN, I WARN YOU, MAJOR SPOIL ALERT! 😀

THE HUNGER GAMES

Ok, so for those of you who haven’t read the Hunger Games, I will do a quick recap on the series as a whole. In Book 1 (The Hunger Games, which on its own is a fantastic book) you are introduced to the main character Katniss, her sister Prim, and her best friend Gale. Remember these names, as they are the three that feature in the ending that I ranted about for weeks on end. They live in a postapocalyptic world in the city of Panem, which contains the Capitol, and 12 Districts. The Capitol is rich and lavish, and rules over the Districts. About 75 years ago, this dictatorship caused a rebellion among the districts, but they lost. In the fight, District 13 was obliterated, leaving only the 12. As a way to prevent this from happening again and to remind the districts who is in charge, the Hunger Games was created. Each year, 2 children, a boy and a girl between the age of 12 and 18, are taken from each district, and are forced to fight to the death in an arena. 24 tributes go in, only one can come out. These children are randomly picked out of a draw, and the whole city of Panem is forced to watch children, THEIR children, fight and kill each other as a reminder of how weak they are against the Capitol.

Katniss lives in District 12, the poorest district, and within that district her family is considered poor. Over the years, her family would have not survived if it was not for her skilled hunting and her best friend Gale. These two have a very close relationship, and he loves her. Through the whole series, he is always there for her, and does not give up on her. The other important person in Katniss’ life is her 12 year old sister Prim, who she loves more than life itself. She has spent her whole life protecting her. At this years Hunger Games, Prim’s name gets drawn. Katniss sacrifices herself and takes Prim’s place, certain that she is going to die in the Hunger Games, but was happy in knowing she had saved Prim’s life. Everything that follows is because of the decision she made to protect Prim. Throughout the books, we see Katniss survive the Hunger Games through defiance of the Capitol, return to District 12, be threatened by the President (Because of her the Districts have begun to riot. If a 15 year old girl can defy the Capitol why can’t they?), is put through another Hunger Games, saved by rebels, delves into madness, and becomes the face of the second rebellion of Panem.

Firstly, while Katniss’ mental state in the third book (Mockingjay = least favourite book) is understandable (she has seen many horrors and had to kill other kids), it ends up completely changing her character. Everything that made Katniss wonderful, her willpower, her determination and her strength, is gone. She may as well be a different character. And because of her descent into madness, at the end of the book, she isn’t even recognised for the wonderful things she achieved, she is just forever know as a crazy lady! Secondly, Gale just disappears off the face of the planet. These guys were best friends for years, helped each other survive, HE LOVED HER FOR GODS SAKE, and then he just ticks off, for no particular reason, never to be heard of again. JERK. Finally, EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS TO KATNISS is because she wanted Prim to have a good life and most of all, LIVE. So what happens right at the end? Prim dies. Yep, gets blown to pieces in front of Katniss. WHAT THE FRACK. EVERY FLIPPING THING THAT HAPPENED STILL DIDN’T CHANGE THE OUTCOME, WHETHER PRIM ENTERED THE HUNGER GAMES OR NOT. SHE STILL DIES. I just don’t understand the author’s reasoning in even doing this, or even writing the whole freaking series for that matter if the whole reason the series exists ends up dying! Seriously, this ending was so disappointing on so many levels, and had left so much unsaid that I have been advising people to read the first book only. First book = Fantastic. Second book = Great. Third Book = TOTAL PILE OF ELEPHANT DUNG.

MASS EFFECT

Again, a quick recap of the game. The main character Commander Shepard is on a mission to destroy the Reapers, a group of huge-ass alien beings who wipe out all life in the galaxy every 50, 000 years to make way for new species and evolution. Humans along with many other species rally together to defeat the Reapers. This game is an RPG, so your choices affect the outcome of the game. You form friendships, relationships, you personally craft the person your own Shepard becomes and form your own crew. You grow attachments to your favourite crew members and your own Shepard. You play 90 loving hours of gameplay across the whole three games, always having freedom of choice in your decisions (something Bioware has always prided themselves on in Mass Effect) and trust that your decisions and actions will make a difference. Right? WRONG! Right at the end, you have absolutely no choice but to make your Shepard die. While Shepard dying isn’t the problem (he/she is a solider, it’s a hero’s death) the following cut scene after his/her death is terrible. Firstly, the variation in choice is gone, the only difference? Option A gives you a red explosion, Option B give you a green explosion, and Option C gives you a blue explosion. Pick your fricken favourite colour out of the three, and that’s your versatile ending.

No matter which one you pick you get the same outcome, Shepard dies, the Reapers leave/die, the galaxies transport systems (Mass Relays used to get from one solar system to another) are screwed and your crew gets stranded on a different planet. So much for different endings based on choice Bioware!

Also, as a gamer playing an RPG, even if your character dies, you want closure on the story. In Mass Effect 3, you find out NOTHING. You don’t find out the state of Earth or the galaxy after the war. Your lover doesn’t even mourn your death or didn’t even stay on Earth for your funeral (if there even was one, which we don’t know), as they are too busy admiring the pretty scenery on the planet their stranded on. And recognition of Shepard’s sacrifice? You get some little old grandpa telling his grandkids a story about him years after. WHAT THE FLIPPITY SHIT? THIS MAN JUST SAVED THE WHOLE GALAXY, AND THAT’S THE AMOUNT OF RECOGNITION HE GETS? Brilliant game, terrible TERRIBLE ending! I’ll also point out that Bioware in fact made another game before Mass Effect 3 (Dragon Age, another RPG, I highly recommend it!) in which your decisions actually DO affect the story line with varied and multiple different endings, and gives a brilliant recap of what happens to the country and every one of your party members after you finish the game, EVEN if you die. I will never know why they didn’t give a bit more thought to make the Mass Effect ending similar to this other highly praised game. Moral of the story Bioware: don’t fix what ain’t broken!

Long story short, bad endings suck. If you are writing, directing or creating a series, for the love of god please don’t ruin the whole series with such a cop-out ending! Your character doesn’t always have to be in constant turmoil, and endings with apparent ‘twist’ deaths may make you feel like you have made it more interesting, but in this act you could potentially be ruining your whole series! Would have Harry Potter been as successful if Harry had died and Voldemort had won? NO! Would have Lord of the Rings been a classic if Sauron had killed Frodo and Sam and taken the ring? NO! Mostly, as soft as it sounds, people want things to end on a positive note, and if a main character has to die, make it WORTH something, not just end it with a once heroine turned crazy person or an old man telling a piddly little story. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather hear the lame phrase ‘And they all lived happily ever after’ than have twisted and crap filled endings! GAHAKAUFGBAUKFGLIAKFLIAGFJHAGKJGAFG!

Until next rant my lovely followers 😀

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27 Responses to “And they all lived happily ever after?”

  1. chyrondave Says:

    I have to agree with you about Hunger Games. I did not like the ending. I understood the ending, but I did not like it. I cannot really comment about Mass Effect because I never played it. But, I would think that in a computer game, there should be one option that allows the player to live at the end.

    Like you, I have a problem with bad endings. I don’t necessarily agree with connecting bad endings with a down ending.

    (SPOILERS FOLLOW)

    I just finished reading V: The Second Generation, and while it had an upbeat positive ending, it was certainly a bad one. This stemmed mostly from the fact that when the story seemed darkest, the writer seems to pull a solution out of his ass that when you think about it, it really makes no sense whatsoever.

    The key to a good ending is that it has to make sense in the grand scheme of the story. If the hero has faced insurmountable odds over the course of seven books, it makes no sense for him to trip down the stairs and break his neck at the end of the eighth. Likewise, when the story has written itself into an apocalyptic climax, it also makes no sense for the hero to say, Oh look, here’s the button that will shut down all the bad stuff.”

    • Gemma Says:

      Very true! 🙂 Both are equally as annoying I think, I hate those kind of stupid twists! Its such a cop out really, to just randomly kill off a character or to make all the problems they have go away with a simple solution. It really makes you wonder what the authors are thinking when they write the ending! I agree, positive endings do not always equal good ones, they have to make sense for starters! Was it a good book up until the ending?

      • chyrondave Says:

        I had other minor issues with it (one of the characters still did not seem to have a grasp of the English language in spite of living in the U.S. for 20 years), but otherwise it was pretty good. It did manage to capture the feel of an occupied land pretty well.

      • Gemma Says:

        I might have to have a looksie at it then, I’ve been looking for something new to read! 🙂 if I do, be sure to stay tuned for a rant about the ending haha 😉

      • chyrondave Says:

        If you do, you may want to pick up the first book since the one I had an issue with was the second of the series

      • Gemma Says:

        No worries, thanks for letting me know! 🙂

  2. 163saysnothingaboutme Says:

    Oh god, Californication done this for me. Brought the whole thing to a perfect end after 5 great seasons, with everything wrapped up neatly, problems solved, characters happy, fans happy. Then literally last 30 seconds …. BOOM. Cheap twist to squeeze out another season…. I love the show, and i love watching it, but even i have to admit, that, right there, was the end.
    Now i can watch it for another season, with the same humour and odd events, but it will be dragged out, and i’ll be watching knowing this season is simply the cash in season, grab as much cash as we can before we are hated too much… I might even just ignore the ending and skip next season, as far as im concerned its over.

    • Gemma Says:

      It’s just the worst isn’t it! Favourite series ever ending in total disaster 😦 That would have majorly frustrated me too, now from the sounds they are just milking it for all its worth rather than letting the season end gracefully. I’m scared they are going to do that with my favourite TV series Big Bang Theory. They always end up ruining popular franchises! Haha I did that with the Hunger Games ending, in my mind, that ending doesn’t exist, and I’ve made up my own better one 😀

      • 163saysnothingaboutme Says:

        Like big bang but with no TV licence i don’t watch it often enough, the Girlfriend on the other hand is a chem geek so addicted to it.
        I was so impressed by how they wrapped everything up until the damn twist…
        Always meant to get round to hunger games, as my flatmates are fans, but its on a long list of todo’s… so far wordPress has been revision procrastination

      • Gemma Says:

        I think its the social awkwardness that I can relate to in Big Bang 😛 Hunger Games is good, I think you would really enjoy the first book, its just the third one that lets me down big time, but I may have had too high expectations on it D: Haha I know what you mean! 🙂 I have 4 assignments that I need to do for Uni, but I just spend all my time on WordPress 😀 ITS SO ADDICTIVE! 😀

  3. Amy-Lee Says:

    Well spoken Gem 🙂 I still want to read the hunger games though 🙂 just to have more books on the shelf haha – they’d probably make my collection up to 193 or something ridiculous similar to that number lol

    and you don’t need to fret about my book series turning to shit at the end, it has a very emotional and heart-wrenching yet heart-warming and meaningful ending that will send the reader into a deep realisation what life and love is really about – hopefully it’ll make the people who read it more appreciative of what they have in their lives instead of throwing away everything and therefore regretting it later!

    it still has a happy ending though, but as you know – because you know all my secrets – that it’s a bit twisted lol

    let me know when you’re willing to let me post some things on your blog about my book to get some opinions from random people who don’t have a biased view – not saying you do, but it doesn’t hurt to have many opinions 🙂

    you go girl hahaha

    love you ❤

    • Gemma Says:

      Thankyou love 🙂 Hunger Games is honestly amazing, the first book anyway, the third is just so bad 😦 Good, otherwise I’d be set off in another fit induced rant over bad endings 😉 I was actually going to text you about that /text incoming 😀 Love you too! 🙂

  4. roadranter Says:

    I agree with you 100% on the Hunger Games section. The ending made me so mad. To me, it was like the author wanted a quick way out. It disappoints me greatly when they do that.

    • Gemma Says:

      It really did seem that way! She just wrapped it up way too quickly, and its like she didn’t even put any thought into what Katniss’s life would be like after everything was over! No book has disappointed me more, the first two were fantastic then the third one just bombed out 😦 I’m a bit scared now, there is another amazing series I am reading (Obernewtyn chronicles, so so good!), its a 8 book series with the last one coming out this year, I swear to god if the author ruins it I will hunt her down! >:D

  5. Mandii Says:

    I couldn’t stop reading till the end, I barely managed to pull myself away from the part about the Hunger Games (I plan to rad the books eventually), and well I have to say I was enthralled by the way you write. Consider me subscribed 🙂

    • Gemma Says:

      You’ll love the first two books, they are fantastic, its just the third one that let me down! Let me know when you have read them, I am always interested in people’s opinion on books! 🙂 Thankyou so much my lovely, you just made my day! ^_^

  6. i just answered your comment on my post, but i had to read your review, and i’m glad i did! if i werent at the office i would have loled 🙂
    love your ranting style!
    x

  7. I have to say I agree with you about your thoughts about Mass Effect, shoving 90 hours of building and caring for a team into 3 almost identical endings with zero follow up kind of soured my experience with it, Mordin and Thane died for this shit!!

    • Gemma Says:

      I just don’t know what Bioware were thinking when they made it! Exactly! So many characters died, but its like at the end it doesn’t even make a difference who did what! I loved Mordin too, I actually teared up when he died, he was the best character! Thanks for subscribing and the comment lovely! 🙂

  8. pixello Says:

    I read the top and instantly thought “PLEASE MENTION THE HUNGER GAMES” and you did. I am so glad somebody else feels this way about it. I was so god-damn disappointed. It’s like from the point they got into the Capitol the writer just went “NOPE.avi” and decided to destroy our hopes and dreams. Ever since the Sixth Sense people have been doing all this ‘twist-ending’ crap and it needs to stop! Sometimes we just want a nice lovely fluffy ending that makes us happy inside, life is depressing enough! Haha! Your rants are fantastic by the way, I’ll be watching for more!

    • Gemma Says:

      I completely agree with you! The moment they got to the Capitol, everything just turned to crap! I just made up my own happy ending in my head where everyone lives and Katniss actually has a PROPER romance 😀 Exactly, it would have ended so much better if only it had been a bit happier! Thankyou lovely, I’m glad you enjoy them ^_^ I look forward to chatting with you! 🙂

  9. I totally agree. I spent HOURS ranting on about Prim’s death. sorta defeated the point, in my opinion:)


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