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RaustBD

Great game, problematic ending (spoilers!)

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RaustBD    7

After having just beaten the game for the second time, I feel I need to talk about what is honestly my only real complaint with this awesome game: the ending.

 

To be frank, I hate it, mostly because it simply does not suit the type of game this is. Twist endings are great. Downer endings are okay when done properly. But roguelike games that are build around repeated attempts to win and multiple playthroughs, I feel, have no business having either of these things, or at least not both of them put together in the way they are here.

 

It unpleasantly colors all playthroughs after your victory to know that you're the unwitting pawn of somebody trying to turn the world into an even worse place than it already is, and that there is absolutely no conceivable way that your actions will make the world of this story a better place. It means that the player has absolutely no emotional investment in victory from a story perspective. If the story weren't as minimalist as it is, I think it would've seriously affected my enjoyment of the game. But since the story is minimalist, it's a minor gripe I felt worth mentioning.

 

Frankly, I would've LOVED The twist that Incognita wants to take over the world if we actually got to try to stop her rather than having the whole game end there. I mostly just felt cheated out of a satisfying conclusion, particularly since the DLC campaign (I bought the game and DLC together on sale) was so long.

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Antifringe    11

The ending is open to interpretation, but I didn't read it as Ingonita taking over the world at all.  I saw it as her fulfilling her function as a weapon against the corporations.  After all, Invisible Inc. was founded by Gladstone less as a business and more as a way of continuing a limited war against the corps after the official war ended.  We don't really know what she does after breaking the power of the corporations.  I always just assumed that she went quiet, having fulfilled her function.

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RaustBD    7

We don't really know what she does after breaking the power of the corporations.  I always just assumed that she went quiet, having fulfilled her function.

 

She said she took over Sankaku and started building a drone army.

 

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warfreak2    30

you're the unwitting pawn of somebody trying to turn the world into an even worse place than it already is

That's a matter of perspective. I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.

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Why problematic? Are you saying theres a fundenental problem with how the game ended? Sure it was short, but I feel that the length was worth the time. It didn't overstay its welcome and it put a lot of speculation and possibility of what might happen next.

And puts Invisble inc as a game more likely to see more to it. The game told its part of the story and now we can wonder where this all may go.

Why problematic? Are you saying theres a fundenental problem with how the game ended? Sure it was short, but I feel that the length was worth the time. It didn't overstay its welcome and it put a lot of speculation and possibility of what might happen next.

And puts Invisble inc as a game more likely to see more to it. The game told its part of the story and now we can wonder where this all may go.

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RaustBD    7

Why problematic? Are you saying theres a fundenental problem with how the game ended? Sure it was short, but I feel that the length was worth the time. It didn't overstay its welcome and it put a lot of speculation and possibility of what might happen next.

And puts Invisble inc as a game more likely to see more to it. The game told its part of the story and now we can wonder where this all may go.

 

The problem is that it puts a pall of defeatism over every subsequent playthrough in a game that's meant to be played a really, really high number of times. A twist downer ending really doesn't suit a game like this. What little investment you might have had in the heroes' struggle is ruined by the knowledge that it's all going to be for literally worse than nothing.

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The problem is that it puts a pall of defeatism over every subsequent playthrough in a game that's meant to be played a really, really high number of times. A twist downer ending really doesn't suit a game like this. What little investment you might have had in the heroes' struggle is ruined by the knowledge that it's all going to be for literally worse than nothing.

Well while you may play to reach a concluson, I play for the journey. And although certainly it isn't the ending one might expect, to say it taints a playthrough merely because it ends badly is a bit dramatic in my opinion. Besides theres more to the game than just the ending. Theres the excitement, theres endless mode, theres lore to be found through those playthroughs. You can't honestly think that just one ending ruins the whole game. Thats the same thing as saying Don't Stave's ending ruins that entire game too.

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RaustBD    7

Well while you may play to reach a concluson, I play for the journey. And although certainly it isn't the ending one might expect, to say it taints a playthrough merely because it ends badly is a bit dramatic in my opinion. Besides theres more to the game than just the ending. Theres the excitement, theres endless mode, theres lore to be found through those playthroughs. You can't honestly think that just one ending ruins the whole game. Thats the same thing as saying Don't Stave's ending ruins that entire game too.

 

First, I haven't played Don't Starve, second, I never said it ruined it. In fact I say in the OP that the fact that the story is so unimportant and minimal winds up rendering this problem a minor gripe, albeit a minor gripe I take issue with on principle.

 

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First, I haven't played Don't Starve, second, I never said it ruined it. In fact I say in the OP that the fact that the story is so unimportant and minimal winds up rendering this problem a minor gripe, albeit a minor gripe I take issue with on principle.

 

 

Well in the end that is your opinion, and it is my opinion as well that I feel that even with the ending as it is, I still found the story to be satisfactory. Ultimately though, I feel that with the ending as it is, I feel that it leaves the world open to be explored more, instead of giving it a more definitive ending. It may not be the ending we all want, but I certainly don't think that the ending is too much of a problem. I'm certain if Klei had much more time and money to be able to make the game that they truly wanted, I'm certain there could be more to offer.

 

And to be honest, the story may be a bit minimal on the surface, there is a bigger story beneath it all. Then again, it is backstory, and a good portion of it is in the DLC and in the files you get from the databanks.

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Midnight Tea    65

I think what the OP is getting at is that the ending tainted some of the fantasy and energy they had while playing and dampened their spirits for subsequent playthroughs. I can sort of see where they're coming from here, since roguelikes are about persistence against the odds and usually are befittingly triumphant. That said, there are plenty of games that don't necessarily wrap up cleanly, even if they're difficult. The From Software-made Souls games and Bloodborne come to mind.  Or how about the Deus Ex games?  The original Deus Ex even has an ending very similar to this one.

 

OP, have you tried Endless mode? That has a bit of story to it as well. Not a lot, but enough to capture the power fantasy Invisible Inc. offers without the loaded narrative threatening to interrupt your experience.

 

In any case, not every story with a narrative needs to have a happy ending either. Happy endings effectively lose all their warmth and meaning if they're a baseline expectation, going from being an uplifting experience to the equivalent of an after-dinner mint to consume on your way out.

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DianaK    1

That's a situation you'd encounter in any game with a "defeat through victory" ending, though, as far back as the first Fallout and Diablo - your character is doomed no matter what you do, but there are still many ways the game can go while you're playing it.

 

Besides, I can't be the only one on this board waiting to hear news of Invisible Inc. 2, where Central and the gang build a new AI to take on the united forces of Incognita and SecNet. :)

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Sphingx    91

I love this game for its gameplay and characters and lore.

 

All that said, I greatly abhor the story ending. Not because of the fact it was a bad ending, but because the bad ending only seemed to be put there for the sake of adding a cheap twist rather than a profound twist that actually made sense.

 

I'm going to admit the extended campaign story made me dislike it even more because Central is talked up as this legendary leader but the foreshadowing that Incognita was up to something was so clumsy and obvious it just made Central look rather incompetent, especially in the face of Monst3r's repeated warnings. Which is a shame, because archive Olivia Gladstone has this awesome characterisation as this no-nonsense, intelligent badass and Central the leader just continually... failed to live up to the awesomeness :( 

 

I guess when it comes down to it, I dislike the story because the entire plot hinges on Central continually clutching what TV Tropes calls an  'Idiot Ball' . IMHO, it's not good storytelling and inconsistent with what everything else was trying to tell us about her characterisation. I swear, it's like two completely different people wrote the characterisation and plots and the character of Central got derailed for the sake of the plot.

 

No big deal though, I prefer to pretend the campaign story never happened and make up my own story in Endless Mode and explore the lore of the agents backstories and corp histories anyway. But I can totally understand why people would be unhappy with what is basically a slap in the face after all the effort they put into the game and can lose their desire to play it again. The 'Operator Disconnected' part at the end is just rubbing salt into the wounds, really.

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You know, I always found Incognita's defection to be basically Central's goal taken to the ultimate extreme. Central, though I know she's quite amazing and intelligent, probably was extremely obsessed with eventually taking down the Corps after what they've done to the PEIA. Probably something like that blinded her to the possibility that Incognita might take such a route but in a way that Central probably didn't want. Central probably wanted something more subtle, with a lot less causalities. But the moment Incognita was given the ability to deal with the Corps once and for all, she took it. Rather violently too. And immediately finding a way to curtail the anarchy that would probably follow afterward after you destroy an entire government system.

 

Its speculation, but its my speculation and opinion. You don't have to agree with it, but that's my reasoning on why Incognita did what she did. Is the ending still rather abrupt? It is. But I try my best to think of what could be the reasoning.

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Nxf7    47

clutching what TV Tropes calls an  'Idiot Ball' .

Good point. Central being so ignorant to this possibility irks me a little. She didn't need to be portrayed that way because even if she had doubts they don't really have any other option and they need to take the risk of powering Incognita up at the supercomputer anyway. Incognita is supposedly why they can infiltrate so successfully, maybe even beyond hacking mainframe devices: being able to see guard vision, mind reading (observing), and relaying information and commands back and forth from agents to "operator(s)" could be all her doing.

 

Basically I would have preferred that Central's response to Mons3r's: "I don't like what I'm hearing from that.. thing" to be something like "I don't either, but we don't have much of a choice". Her response of "it's the power loss talking" just completely cemented the idiot ball trope.

 

The only other thing I didn't like was that the only thing stopping Central from stopping Incognita in the final room was... a few sparks from the box? Apparently nothing else in the room she could use to disable Incognita? This is easily remedied though if they did have Incognita do something like send in a controlled obama drone from a nearby vent and threatened her to leave.

 

I can't even begin to empathise with the people that desperately wanted a "feel good" ending, I'm not in it for the role-playing of saving the world, I'm in it for the gameplay. So I didn't really care about the ending apart from the above 2 points. I think anyone who wanted that kind of ending took a wrong turn when looking for RPG games.

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RaustBD    7
The only other thing I didn't like was that the only thing stopping Central from stopping Incognita in the final room was... a few sparks from the box? Apparently nothing else in the room she could use to disable Incognita? This is easily remedied though if they did have Incognita do something like send in a controlled obama drone from a nearby vent and threatened her to leave.

 

I can't even begin to empathise with the people that desperately wanted a "feel good" ending, I'm not in it for the role-playing of saving the world, I'm in it for the gameplay. So I didn't really care about the ending apart from the above 2 points. I think anyone who wanted that kind of ending took a wrong turn when looking for RPG games.

 

2 things:

 

1: it's called an Akuma drone.

2: I take issue with the ending because it (however slightly) hampers the gameplay. If I weren't better at just not thinking about it, or if the story had been more pronounced, it would've been a serious flaw with the game, because it recommends you do the really easy Beginner mode, which you literally cannot lose, before doing the difficulties that are remotely hard. So it basically lets you know that from a story perspective everything you do is pointless, and then it dares you to strive to excel in your pointless mission.

 

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Nxf7    47

2: I take issue with the ending because it (however slightly) hampers the gameplay. If I weren't better at just not thinking about it, or if the story had been more pronounced, it would've been a serious flaw with the game, because it recommends you do the really easy Beginner mode, which you literally cannot lose, before doing the difficulties that are remotely hard. So it basically lets you know that from a story perspective everything you do is pointless, and then it dares you to strive to excel in your pointless mission.

1st time on beginner setting sucks and all, I'd be disappointed too but for a different reason. Final mission and that sick Omni soundtrack is pumping, but you're taking a stroll through the level and nursing the "boo boos" inflicted on of a couple of guards. My first experience with gameplay is important to me, so too easy would have definitely left me with a sour taste but the story dialogue and cut-scenes will play out the same no matter what difficulty, and even at the time I assumed this because it's not an rpg.

 

I'm not sure what they were thinking when they worded the description for Beginner. It should imply a more relaxed experience and encourage players to start on Experienced. Also not call it "Experienced" either because I did it first go, only doing the tutorial before-hand, didn't have any prior knowledge from watching gameplay footage either. Even if most players lose their first campaign attempt, there's several reasons why that's not a bad thing but I can't be bothered going into it and it's fairly self-explanatory.

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I agree with the OP. A game that encourages multiple playthroughs has no business giving a twist ending. After playthrough number 1, the twist is wholly and fundamentally meaningless. This is okay with IE because the gameplay is so amazingly stellar; so I can keep playing over and over simply because it's fun to play. Frankly, even on the first playthrough, the twist ending is poorly executed. The bombshell lines, "priming orbital lasers" and "that's not what I asked you to do", have no weight to them because we already saw this scenario coming when Incognita started talking smack about the human brain. Have some subtlety, girl!

On 11/27/2015 at 3:35 AM, Nxf7 said:

obama drone

This is objectively the best possible spelling of "Obake Drone." Thank you :-D

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Yeroneem    0

I'm very late to the discussion, but I cannot understand how anyone who has spent some time with the game can consider the ending a bad one.

Spoiler

The team survives (well, the well-being of agents is up to you, but Central and Monster certainly survive). Incognita wipes their records and promises rewards. The corporations are destroyed. Their security network is consumed by Incognita. Nothing like global corporations will ever reemerge — the robotic army will see to that (well, this sounds ominous, but less ominous than "pacification sweeps" performed by corporations on a regular basis).

Look at the thread with the agents' last words if you want to have a glimpse of what a really bad ending in this game is. And there are no other options — only suicide, death in a mission, or the destruction of the global corps.

After I finished the game for the first time I made a point to listen to all Invisible's lines on the last level (also I needed it for the "The limit" achievement). She (it?) justifies both her involvement with Invisible Inc. and her further actions: she hates the corporations since they enforce similarity, therefore limiting the amount of "beautiful" information. The corporations, therefore, warrant "deletion". At the end of the mission she screams "Kill them all" when guards arrive; otherwise she just repeats "Deletion".

The DLC suggests that Incognita somehow guided the research of OMNI (a surrogate corporation formed from joint forces of global corps to track down and destroy Invisible) to make their network more compatible with her. It is very possible that she expected to attack their headquarters at some point and take over the world. Only all these plans went down the drain when the corporations tracked Invisible Inc and decided to simply kill everyone in it and destroy Incognita. Here you, the Operator, come into play.

And the emotion after a successful run is just like this. They wanted Invisible Inc — they got it. Like a bullet through the head. Even Central, despite her initial loss of composure, admits it. She says: "It cost us dearly, but we did it".

The ending is obviously brutal, but the world the game starts in is already a bleak place. After all, your side have lost the war some 20 years ago — do you really care how you win if you can win at all? Doesn't Monst3r talk about "forcing the corporations underground" on the first day? That wish is just fulfilled a bit too literally.

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leonseye    792
On 11/26/2015 at 1:02 PM, WilliamGreywind said:

You know, I always found Incognita's defection to be basically Central's goal taken to the ultimate extreme.

This is pretty much how I view the ending, as well.

Incognita used Central and Invis, Inc. as bait in order to draw out the Corps and handily have herself installed into the Omni mainframe (which she clearly knew about).

She basically did exactly what Mother wanted her to, and far more efficiently than Mother could ever have accomplished it, what w/ her terrible moral hangups and such.

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