For the record, I don’t have a single issue with the Mass Effect 3 ending. I really liked it. Maybe it was because I was really to please. Maybe it was because I was expected something truly god awful based on what people were saying on Twitter. Or maybe it’s because I’ve seen much MUCH worse. Here’s a handful of endings that pissed me off in ways that Mass Effect 3 never could.
Battlestar Galactica: If there is way one to quickly push my buttons it’s a cheap cop-out ending. It was all a dream? Bite me. But one that gets going even more so? God did it. And that’s what we get at the end of the new BSG re-imagining. No real explanation. Just ‘God did it and that’s why it all works.’ You have got to be kidding me. No. You don’t just get to wave that wand around because you have some pseudo-religious themes in your show. You have to EARN ‘God did it’. There has to be reasons. There has to be motives. God doesn’t get a free pass because it’s God. It doesn’t work that way.
So unless you can actual give me an explanation as to why ‘God’ decides to wipe out the Cylons, sends them to a mysterious planet that they dub new ‘Earth’, destroy all their technology and jump start humanity. Cause as it stands there is NO REASON for them to do most of that other than to cram in a stupid message that technology is bad and God is good and they are somehow mutually exclusive.
Ranma 1/2: What’s worse than a bad ending? Well, how about a non-ending? Ranma 1/2 wrapped up after hundreds of pages of manga with a complete and utter non-event. The two closest things we have to main characters in a cast of dozens seem to be about to be married - something that was a LOOOONG time coming, and then POW! The whole wedding gets ruined by the baker’s dozen of other potential suitors and the massive series ends with a still shot of the two NOT married teens running off to school like they always do. No real conclusion. The end message is: put the last few volumes on a loop and read until the end of time. Thanks. Fabulous.
Teen Titans: Things. F-ing. Change. The biggest middle finger to the fans I can possible think off. Let’s bring back a very important character that was thought gone for good a few seasons back, make it super ambigous about whether its a look alike/clone/etc by giving them amnesia and a bunch of other weird hints, and then don’t resolve it giving one of the main cast a nice heaping helping of woobie angst in the process. Oh, and by the way: SERIES FINALE. This episode never existed as far as I’m concerned.
Neon Genesis Evangelion: Okay, so you spend 24 episodes of a 26 episode series building up some horrific apocalyptic ‘Third Impact’ event that will wipe out everything. So how do you start episode 25? Oh, with a text screen that proudly announces that the apocalypse already happened and the following two episodes take place AFTER that.
Beyond the fact that the last two episodes are entirely philosophical debates that take place within the main character’s head, there is never any explanation as to how or what the apocalypse was. You actually get the feeling at the end of Episode 24 that they just stopped the last risk that could have triggered it!
Luckily, we get a movie that explains what happened. Or maybe it’s a ‘what if’ alternate universe thing. No one is really sure if they are supposed to be in the same continuity. I always assumed they did. But the movie is just as whack-a-doo as the show or more so in some cases. And as a giant middle finger to the audience they made an even MORE non-sensical ending. Complete with utterly irrelevant imagery, vague dialogue and little to no context crammed in for the last minute.
Chrono Cross: So you’ve spent dozens of hours hacking your way through a plot more dense than Akira meets the Kingdom Hearts franchsie, and defeated the final boss. Finally we have a chance for some clarity as that last piece slides into place and puts all of this in some kind of conte- Who is that? Why is there some random live action girl wandering around live action Tokyo? Why does she have the magic pendant?
The ending of Chrono Cross requires more work in trying to decipher what it is supposed to be than the entirety of the rest of the game. And in a game that involves alternate universes, time travel, body swapping, conspiracies within conspiracies within conspiracies… that is saying A LOT. To be honest, I have no clue how anyone figured out what’s going on here without some kind of supplemental material. Which considering Square Enix’s fondness for companion books may have been the case. Anyway, it confused the heck out of me in an already confusing game.