The Problem with Ending a story with a time travel twist

Time Travel is a fascinating concept in fiction. It can be used in any number of ways to tell so many different kinds of stories. Sometimes its the crux of an entire narrative, but sometimes its introduced right at the end as an easy to get the characters out of a sticky situation, or simply to surprise the audience.

Doing this can really turn a story on its head, especially if it’s how the author decides to end their story. It has some real potential to backfire in their face and upset the audience. Or it can upset me at the very least. I’ve noticed a few things have been doing this lately in the media I consume, and thought I ought to shine a light onto it, just to let people know where I’m coming from.

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E3 Week: My Reactions to the Square Enix Live Stream

I didn’t know what to expect going into this one. I had two predictions; one of which was that a significant portions would be taken up by Kingdom Hearts III, the other was that Final Fantasy VII was going to get delayed for another couple years. I was wrong on both counts in the end. They didn’t mention the FF remake at all.

Square Enix’s press conference wasn’t a press conference at all. Instead, they decided to go down the Nintendo route and pre-record the whole thing before peacing out. I was kind of thankful for that to be honest. that meant this whole thing could be reduced down a snappy 30 minutes, and we didn’t have to take up precious seconds on awkward almost-applause. I’m probably showing my hand slightly here, but I’m not a massive fan of Square’s games. But I’m ready to be wrong at any given moment…

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Life is Strange: How an Ending can Ruin a Game

There’s an old expression that goes “life isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey.” A lot of narrative fiction takes this same approach. We spend most of our time watching movies or playing games, traveling towards a final goal. But the ending; it’s only the bit at the end. The real bulk of the experience comes from all the juicy bits in the middle. It’s easy for me to say that when a narrative ties up in a nice, neat little bow. But when the ending to a story throws you for such a loop that it ends up leaving a bad taste in your mouth, then I’d argue that an ending can be just as important as the 20-100 hours that came before it.

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