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When We Got Totally Fooled By Fake Game Endings

Finishing a video game can feel like a victory, a relief, or even a mournful farewell. But if we've learned anything from the likes of developer trolls like Hideo Kojima and PlatinumGames' Hideki Kamiya, it's that there is sometimes more to an apparent ending than meets the eye. When the credits start rolling, it typically means game over — but not in the case of these games. Let's relive the trauma and check out some of the most infamous video games that fooled us all with fake endings.

Sunset Overdrive's Fizzco Farewell

Insomniac Games' rock-em, sock-em post-apunkalyptic Sunset Overdrive isn't the kind of game you'd write a think-piece about. With a character that can be fully customized at a whim and a sense of humor that smashes the fourth wall to pieces, Sunset plays fast and loose with continuity. That's why it comes as such a shock when your unnamed, trigger-happy protagonist perishes in the last few minutes of the game, crushed to death by fallen debris from the crumbling Fizzco Building.

While another game might immediately show its hand, resurrecting its hero after only a few seconds, Sunset trolls you with a surprisingly touching impromptu funeral, as each of the player's companions say their final goodbyes and the camera pans to the sunset. Cue credits — along with obligatory sweeping end-game music — followed by the player's character interrupting the orchestra, barging into view, and proclaiming, "That's the ending? Are you serious?" Claiming he or she has a better idea, the player rewinds the dramatic cut scene, bursts from the wreckage, and faces off against the game's big bad — an evil robotic building. Yup, that's Sunset Overdrive for you.

Um Jammer Lammy goes to Hell

It may be an obscure PaRappa the Rapper spin-off, but Um Jammer Lammy was way ahead of its time. With colorful, psychedelic graphics and engaging guitar-based gameplay, the rhythm game was rock 'n' roll fun for the whole family — or, it might have been, if it didn't kill off its hero and send her to the grim depths of hell. 

That's right: the Japanese and European versions of Um Jammer Lammy feature a cutscene that depicts Lammy's untimely death and descent into the underworld. Rushing to her next gig, she slips on a banana peel and collapses to the ground. Her spirit leaves her body, and she awakens to find herself in hell, claiming, "If I'm dead, then the game's over!" Dejected, Lammy shouts, "What a stupid game," as song credits scroll down the screen.

It's a shocking, emotional conclusion to an otherwise quirky quest for fame, fortune, and fan adoration. Luckily, this isn't Lammy's final destination. She's abruptly rescued by anthropomorphic jack-o-lantern Jack Smash who yanks the credits back down and escorts Lammy to the next stage. For better or for worse, this level's devilish aesthetic was nixed for the American release. Entirely re-animated and featuring altered dialogue and lyrics, the North American version of the Vital Idol level starts with Lammy traveling through time and finding herself on a mysterious desert island instead of playing the big concert six hundred and sixty-six feet under.

Crashing your own funeral in Hitman: Blood Money

No one expected long-time agency handler Diana to betray Agent 47 at the end of Hitman: Blood Money. Hell, even after she finally did stick him with a mysterious syringe, there was no way the genetically enhanced killer was going to bite the big one — until he stumbled to the ground, seemingly shuffling off this mortal coil while Diana curried favor with The Franchise's Alexander Leland Cayne. When the next and apparently final cutscene depicted him lying motionless in a casket, gamers across the globe shared a collective single tear. Diana places 47's signature Silverballer pistols across his chest and plants a kiss on his lips — and then the credits begin to roll, "Ave Maria" twinkling throughout the solemn church.

Of course, this wouldn't be a Hitman game without one last splatter of ultraviolence. In Blood Money, it comes at just the right moment. Wiggling the left analog stick rouses 47 to consciousness, cutting the credits and allowing players to take control of the killer one last time. While picking off the funeral attendees (save for Diana, who's already escaped the church and locked the gate, preventing anyone else's escape), it becomes clear that the syringe Diana stuck 47 with contained the "fake-death serum" that made an appearance in an earlier mission. When she kissed him, Diana resuscitated 47 with antidote-laced lipstick, ultimately allowing him to dispatch of Cayne, journalist Rick Henderson, and each and every last witness.

Red Dead Redemption revenge

Rockstar's beloved open-world gunslinger sim, Red Dead Redemption, appears to close on a bloody and bawl-inducing note that hearkens back to the bleak westerns that inspired it. After he's betrayed by Agent Edgar Ross, anti-hero John Marston accepts his fate — but not before taking as many of Ross' men as he can with him. 

In typical western fashion, the reformed thug is riddled with bullets, betrayed by his former collaborator despite promises that laying low would ensure his and his family's survival. Marston's send-off feels like an emotional punch in the gut as his wife and son, Abigail and Jack, discover his bloodied, broken body. He's buried on a hill overlooking his ranch, and his family grieves as William Elliott Whitmore's mournful rendition of "Bury Me Not" plays.

At this point, the game fades to black, and players expect the credits to kick in. But they don't. Instead, we're returned to the hill only to find out that three years have passed, poor Abigail Marston has joined her late husband, and young Jack has become obsessed with avenging his father's murder — and killing the now-retired Ross. Only after reaping Jack's revenge does Red Dead's story truly come to a close, after which gamers can continue exploring the West indefinitely as the morally conflicted Jack.

Meet the Big Boss in Metal Gear Solid 4

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots sees an older Snake aging at an accelerated rate due to the cloning process that created him. After completing his mission to destroy the Patriots and defeat Liquid Ocelot, Snake, under the impression that his FOXDIE virus would turn him into a walking biological weapon, intends to kill himself at Big Boss' grave. He places his gun into his mouth, prepared to pull the trigger. The camera pans up, into the sky — and a single gunshot rings out.

Series creator Hideo Kojima knew that we wanted more Snake. So, just to screw with our expectations (and heartstrings) a little while longer, he shoehorned in a lengthy cutscene featuring secondary characters Meryl and Johnny's boisterous wedding, Drebin's tragic backstory, and a touching exchange between Otacon and his adopted daughter, Sunny, before cutting to credits. 

In an odd twist, Big Boss — a supposedly deceased character who didn't appear in the game — is named in the voice cast. As his name lingers on the screen for a moment, the game returns to Snake at the graveyard, huffing and puffing as Big Boss himself stands over him. In true Kojima fashion, the game didn't just pick up Snake's story after many players likely turned off their consoles — it re-introduced a fan-favorite character assumed to be dead and gave Snake a proper send-off in a moving thirty-minute cutscene.

Putting you to sleep in Fallout 3

Bethesda fans who played Fallout 3 and expected it to "end" in the vein of The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion must have been sorely disappointed when that infamous slideshow rolled around. Where Bethesda's earlier open-world RPG allowed gamers who'd completed the main game to journey across Cyrodiil to their hearts' content, the post-apocalyptic Fallout 3 came to a close with its protagonist giving his or her life to bring clean water to the denizens of the Capital Wasteland.

And yet, the Broken Steel DLC — released seven months after the game itself — retconned the Wanderer's death entirely, claiming he or she had simply fallen into a coma instead. Gamers playing this gem today have the luxury of picking up where they left off, post-final mission. Too bad for anyone who didn't bother buying the extra content, though — the fake ending was real to you.

Clinging to life in Dead Space 2

Let's be real: Dead Space 2 is about as cheery as a funeral. That said, its ending — which sees protagonist Isaac Clarke resigned to his fate as the destruction of the Marker causes The Sprawl to collapse around him — is as grim as horror gaming gets. The look on Isaac's face says he's had enough, and, as he slumps to the floor, rubbing his forehead and staring into the destruction around him, a station-wide alert system warns of a reactor breach that has caused life support failure. As the game's credits appear on screen, accompanied by a morose orchestral score, Isaac appears to accept defeat.

Gamers held their breath on this one, waiting for Isaac to — who knows? Pull his gun on himself before the station can take him? End up crushed by a falling hunk of debris? 

Just in time, the credits fade and Isaac is yanked out of his momentary trance by a fuzzy transmission from Ellie, who also happens to ram her ship through the station's ceiling and pulls Isaac to safety. And thank goodness she does. The man deserves a break from exploding necromorphs and duking it out with hallucinations of his dead girlfriend.

Dragon's Dogma drags on

Dragon's Dogma's opening features the titular beast plucking out your still-beating heart and chowing down on it as you watch, bleeding to death. Of course, this beloved RPG doesn't force you to create a character from scratch only to reduce them to lunch fifteen minutes in. After the dragon Grigori attacks your village, your hero is dubbed an "Arisen" — a dragon-attack survivor who is destined to slay the beast that consumed your heart. And that's exactly what you end up doing, traversing the province of Gransys in order to put down Grigori and reclaim any and all vital organs in a final battle aptly named "The Final Battle."

After a long and arduous fight, Grigori finally submits — and by "submits," we mean launches into an existential tirade as the capital city Gran Soren crumbles to pieces, and one of your companions turns to dust while the other, the Duke of Gransys, ages to the brink of death. But hey, at least you're fine and dandy! Cue those trusty credits to let us know we've beat the game — or, rather, to let us know we've reached the real challenge. 

Gutting Grigori opens up a whole new set of main quests chronicling the Arisen's fate. Plus, the so-called "post-game" world of Dragon's Dogma is even more dangerous, with entire locales in ruins, overpowered beasts roaming previously peaceful areas, and the sky draped in a foreboding darker hue — just in case you forget the forces of evil that you're dealing with.

Duped by Medusa in Kid Icarus: Uprising

If you paid attention in Greek Mythology class, you'll notice something off about the supposed "final boss" of the Nintendo 3DS' Kid Icarus: Uprising. At first, Pit and Palutena find themselves at odds with Medusa, Goddess of Darkness, all-around unpleasant snake-haired meanie, and token transparent decoy baddie. While the gargantuan Gorgon puts up a tough fight, amassing an army of the Underworld's greatest warriors to stop the angel and his queen, she's ultimately vanquished by the powers of good in "Chapter 9: Medusa's Final Battle." 

Her inevitable defeat sees Pit and Palutena celebrating the "world at peace" while the game's credits roll by behind their chuckling avatars. That is, until a monstrous hand juts out from the right of the screen and shreds the credits like cheese through a grater. In Hades' surprising, sass-tacular debut, the "true master of the underworld" suggests that Pit put his triumph over Medusa on his resume. More importantly, however, it leads to another 16 chapters' worth of gameplay in which our favorite winged warrior partners up with his doppelgänger, Dark Pit, and Viridi, the Goddess of Nature, to take down the big bad behemoth for good.

Sayonara, Bayonetta

If their bombastic battles across the fictional city of Vigrid and beyond are any indication, Umbra Witch BFFs Bayonetta and Jeanne aren't exactly big on subtlety. Take, for example, Bayo's final battle with divine cosmic horror Jubileus. Not only does the melee go down in space, but it ends with Bayonetta and Jeanne combining their powers to summon the infernal demon Queen Sheba, who promptly punches Jubileus' spirit into the sun. If that isn't gloriously over the top, then what is?

Unfortunately for our hedonistic heroine, this leaves the ancient angel's empty husk hurtling toward Earth. As Bayonetta prepares for the end of the world, a melancholic orchestration replaces the boss battle's pulse-pounding tune, and the credits scroll over Jubileus' body as she and Bayo jettison through space. Even when Jeanne reappears, lending a hand to help her Umbran sister break Jubileus' stone body down into bite-sized space rocks, all seems lost as the two re-enter Earth's atmosphere. 

The ensuing funeral scene only further serves to break gamers' hearts, with (the closest thing to) Bayonetta's loved ones assembling around her coffin. It isn't until a swarm of angels descend from the heavens that the nun presiding over the somber event disrobes, revealing a bloodthirsty Jeanne. This is followed, of course, by Bayonetta bursting from her coffin to kick angel heiney to a jazzy J-pop cover of "Fly Me to the Moon." Don't ever change, Bayonetta.