Warning: This article contains material that some may find upsetting and/or disturbing.
Making it to the end credits of a video game is a very unique kind of satisfaction. Knowing that you've bested all of its trials, puzzles, and combat encounters, as well as seeing its story through to its conclusion offers a special kind of catharsis that few other mediums can offer.
This is why it's especially effective (and oftentimes infuriating) when a game rewards all of your efforts with a bad ending.
And not just any old bad ending, which sees the player character simply fail in their objective. No siree, we're talking about the ones that manage to chill you to your very core and make you re-evaluate the time you spent playing the game.
Endings like this are surprisingly not uncommon, with point-and-click and survival-horror games often being the biggest offenders, and we're here today to list ten of gaming's most disturbing endings that players are likely still scarred by.
For clarification, these have to be actual endings to the game's story. So no death animations, completion halting roadblocks, or failed quick-time events will qualify. These have to be officially recognised endings to the narrative that requires a player to reach a particular point of completion or meet certain criteria to access.
And with that, let's dive on in, but don't say we didn't warn you.
10. Ending F - Clock Tower (SNES)
Clock Tower is a point-and-click survival horror game from the SNES's glory days that helped lay the groundwork for the genre in several key ways, and throwing macabre curve-ball endings at the player was certainly one of them.
Players must guide orphan Jennifer Simpson to safety whilst she's stalked by Scissorman, a deranged killer with a love for oversized shears and chopping up teenage girls. In total, Clock Tower has eight endings, some of which see Jennifer overcome the cavalcade of horrors that reside within the Barrows Mansion, but most of them see her succumbing to a series of gruesome fates that will cause a very deep pit to form in your stomach.
If certain criteria aren't met by the time Jennifer reaches the titular clock tower, Ending F is triggered. Which sees Jennifer enter an elevator and the doors close behind her. There's a moment's silence before a crashing sound is heard, followed by screaming and the furious snapping of scissors. Blood then begins to seep out from beneath the elevator's doors and the screen fades to black as Scissorman laughs.
As primitive as its graphics and sound effects might be, this one still manages to catch players off-guard with its sudden and implicit brutality.