Finally after a bit of an absence I’m making a return to posting – and writing. I’ve started studying again for the first time in many years, in a Library and Museum Technology course, and getting used to that again sort of interrupted other things, like maintaining the blog and doing writing. But I’m making a return.
What I want to comment on is about endings. Endings are important. Crucial even. A good one can make a story. A bad one, well, they can destroy it. There is an example floating around now of just that, but unless you are into computer games it may have escaped attention – though possibly not, as it has slipped out into the mainstream media in a few places.
I’m referring to Mass Effect 3, the last (possibly) instalment in the Mass Effect series, a space opera in the style of Star Wars or Star Trek. The first two games, and 95% of the last, are great games, with very good writing, characters and all that. Unfortunately then it has an ending so bad that it has sparked fan outrage like I have never seen before. The ending is jarring. Not only is it bad writing, but it falls victim to many other problems, including character derailment, plot holes you could drive a starship through, lack of closure, implications from previous events that are dire, and worse of all, the introduction of a character never even hinted at before to offer the hero three options, all of them unappealing, to solve the issue. Plus more. And it pretty much invalidates anything that had happened before.
Not surprising the fans that have been following the game since the beginning are more than a little upset, especially given they got precisely what they were promised they wouldn’t be getting.
Part of the problem is that it seems the head writer wanted to go with an ‘arty’ ending when it was completely against the general feel of the series to date, and worse, if rumours are to be believed, didn’t get peer review like the rest of the game did. It shows, if true. If not, then something else has gone horribly wrong.
So, endings matter. They are probably the hardest part of a story to write, at least for me. But they are rather important to get right.