The Top 200 Fighting Game Endings: Part One

May 16th, 2013 by | Tags: , , ,

For the past twenty-plus years, my favorite genre of video game has always been the one-on-one fighter. Ever since seeing Street Fighter II: The World Warrior in an arcade, I was hooked. Throughout the years, I always paid attention to its many spinoffs and sequels, as well as the countless games that jumped onto its success. The Mortal Kombats and Tekkens and Fatal Furies and, hell, even the Clay Fighters.

Naturally, the emphasis on these games is the multiplayer, especially now with the increasing popularity of online play and the tournament scene. While I enjoy checking out the competitive stuff from time to time, I’ve never been good enough to be part of that, nor have I felt the drive to reach that level. Really, for me, I’ve always had a strange obsession with the single-player experience.

Growing up, that was always the ritual with these games. When there was nobody to play against, you had to complete the game with every single character, which was like the programmer’s way of making sure you took advantage of every piece of effort they put in every character. It was a rewards system that gave you an excuse to play as the characters you weren’t even much of a fan of. Getting that thirty seconds of text and 16-bit cutscene made spending an hour on that super cheap final boss worth it.

Not to mention, it’s fun for the character study aspects, silly as it sounds. Fighting games universally have a B-movie landscape to them that are extremely fun, filled with characters who are half-realized. Since the days of Street Fighter II, someone like Blanka was represented by some animated gestures, attacks, a handful of quotes and maybe a paragraph of backstory. But despite not being the hero of the game, he was just as viable a winner of the game’s tournament as Ryu and Chun-Li. By beating Bison, you get to see his existence sketched out more by seeing him reconnect with his long-lost mother.

Even when there’s a clear-cut main character, all the supporting characters still get to be important enough that we’re able to see them come out on top, whether they’re on the hunt for justice, power, money, fame, revenge, a challenge, adventure, answers or love. With so many competitors in each game, there are so many alternate paths on where things can go. Sometimes they’re funny. Sometimes they’re badass. Sometimes they’re genuinely compelling. Sometimes they simply act as a strong ending to a character arc.

I decided to do a lot of research, going through hundreds of games to look at thousands of endings. Everything from Soul Calibur to Brutal: Paws of Fury to Marvel Superheroes to Avengers in Galactic Storm. What was meant to be a list of the best 100 has turned into a list of the best 150, expanding even more into this list of 200 because as much as the typing is going to kill me, I can’t stop myself from shutting up about a lot of these and you’ll have to pay the price. You and my carpel tunnel.

Thanks to the long-dormant VG Museum for making the research process much easier.

So here we go. Heaven or Hell? Duel one. Let’s rock.

200) Street Fighter X Tekken – HEIHACHI MISHIMA AND KUMA

The story of Street Fighter X Tekken is that a magical box from space labeled Pandora has crashed into Antarctica. With so many interested in what kind of power is inside it, various Street Fighter and Tekken characters pair up and it becomes a martial arts version of It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. As for what’s really in the box? That maguffin changes from ending to ending.

Elderly, ousted crime lord Heihachi Mishima makes a go for Pandora with his somewhat loyal, karate-fighting bear Kuma. After defeating Akuma, Heihachi nears the box. Afraid for him, Kuma frantically claws at Heihachi’s back, growling in his understandable bear language that it might be dangerous. Heihachi is cool about it and explains that Kuma will get 10% of what’s in there. Kuma’s smacks become angrier due to Heihachi’s cheapness and he says that if there’s poison gas in there, Heihachi can have his 10%.

The box opens up and a white light shoots out. Heihachi ducks out of the way and Kuma accidentally looks right down into the light. Once it dies out, Heihachi laughs off what a close call that was. He turns to Kuma only to find this adorable bear cub.

Heihachi suddenly notices that one side of his head of hair – the one part of him hit by the light – is black. Realizing that he missed out on regaining his precious youth, Heihachi screams to the heavens, “IT’S NOT FAIR!”

199) Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 – ROCKET RACCOON

Rocket Raccoon’s cutscene is rather short, but funny, if predictable. Now that the threat to the Marvel and Capcom worlds has been taken care of, he wants to take a vacation. He heard Chris Redfield make mention of being from Raccoon City, so naturally, Rocket thinks that would be the perfect spot for some rest and relaxation.

He doesn’t find out until he gets there that it’s a zombie-infested Hellhole.

198) Killer Instinct – EYEDOL

Evil corporation of the future Ultratech has their own annual fighting tournament and not only is it used to garner ratings, but it’s also their way of playing God with science. This proves to be their undoing in a couple of the game’s endings, so having Eyedol – a warrior god from olden times that they resurrected – simply rule the world would simply be redundant. Instead, the game goes into full-out parody mode.

Remember that Blanka ending I talked about in the intro? Eyedol has the same experience. A woman appears to him, claiming that Eyedol is really his son Billy. Eyedol is bewildered by this, insisting that his name is just Eyedol. Upon hearing the story about being lost in a car crash and how his bracelets were a birthday present, Eyedol looks within and…


A nice touch is that Eyedol is referred to as “Billy” while in the original Street Fighter II ending, Blanka is revealed as “Jimmy”. Cute Double Dragon reference.

197) Dead or Alive 4 – RYU HAYABUSA

A lot of the Dead or Alive endings fall flat to me, even if they’re well-made. The games are so centered on the women in the cast that when they aren’t coming up with new ways to show them naked in their cinematics, they’re practically begging us to find their male characters interesting. Luckily, Ryu Hayabusa doesn’t need any push to be considered cool. As the main character of Ninja Gaiden, he’s been a badass since 1988 and the animators behind this ending help prove that he’s still got it.

There’s an overarching situation in some of the endings where the ninja characters (Hayabusa, Kasumi, Hayate and Ayane) are all putting their differences aside to attack the headquarters of corrupt corporation DOATECH. Hayabusa’s side of the story shows him standing on a high rooftop amidst a rainless thunderstorm. Three futuristic helicopters appear and go for him.

The first one he takes out by jumping on top of it. It’s hard to say if he destroys it himself or jumps out of the way before another copter blows it up with a missile, but either way, Hayabusa: 1, helicopters: 0. He runs across rooftops, dodging bullets and explosions until taking out the second helicopter with his katana.

That leaves one more. In mid-air, he’s able to arch his back to dodge an incoming missile, as well as the continued barrage of bullets. Unlike the helicopter, Hayabusa doesn’t miss.

Then he jumps off into the darkness. Sweet.

196) King of Fighters 2000 – FATAL FURY TEAM

The story of King of Fighters 2000 is not very memorable. There’s a 3-part story about villains in terrible leather outfits being evil for some reason I don’t care to remember and this is the second part. In all the endings, the final boss Zero accidentally eradicates himself with a satellite’s laser and his base begins to crumble.

The Fatal Fury Team is made up of Terry Bogard, Andy Bogard (his brother), Blue Mary (his love interest) and Joe Higashi (his best friend). As the place comes down on them, a big chunk of debris nails Terry in the back. He yells at the other three to run and promises that they’ll meet again. The place falls apart completely and the other three survive. There’s no sign of Terry. All they could find is his trademark red cap.

Having lost Terry, the rest of the team goes their separate ways. Joe goes back to the kickboxing circuit while Andy goes back to abstaining from his big-chested girlfriend. Blue Mary returns to her detective work and hunts down a lead for a client. She finds a room filled with goons who are already beaten up. She wonders who could have done this and notices Terry, hatless, leaning against the doorway.

Mary walks over and comes off as both relieved and annoyed because, as she points out, Terry’s kind of a jerk for surviving and not telling anybody. She places his hat on his head and with a guilty smile, he says his catchphrase, low key for once, “Okay…”

195) Street Fighter IV – DAN HIBIKI

Street Fighter IV deserves a lot of credit for reviving the fighting game genre and being the long-awaited return of a beloved franchise that was sidelined for far too long. That said, the endings for the game absolutely suck. They’re like quick teasers for an incredibly boring anime. The only one worth talking about is Dan’s.

We see Dan running through a corridor in Seth’s headquarters and he accidentally runs into his best buddy Blanka. Blanka sees the coming wave of fire and freaks out. The two are paralyzed with fear, but luckily Ryu and Sakura (who had met up in Sakura’s ending) appear and extinguish the flame by attacking it with their own fireballs. Chi energies snuff out flame, apparently. Who knew?

Dan gets up and rather than show any gratitude, he tells the two of them to be careful because even though Dan is the strongest, he’s not sure if he can save them from the next wave of flame. He tells them to follow and the other three are aghast at his behavior.

194) Clayfighter – HELGA

I promise this is the only Clayfighter entry on the list.

A lot of the time, when a fighting game has one female character, there tends to be need to ship that lady with one of the men. A lot of the time, this happens in the ending. No game does a better job than Clayfighter. After overweight opera singer Helga defeats everyone from an Elvis impersonator to a man made of candy, she’s crowned Queen of the Circus and is the focus of many, being buried with marriage requests.

Finally, she makes her decision and marries the game’s wrestling muscleman Tiny.

What a cute couple. I mainly included this here because of the excellent final line.

“Their eight hyperactive kids became the best wrestlers in the history of opera.”


Both characters were given the same cutscene, but whatever. To help his sickly doctor friend, Yoshimitsu slays Ogre, the God of Fight. They keep a sample of the monster’s blood and experiment by feeding it to a mouse. Yoshimitsu and Boskonovitch look to each other and nod, agreeing that things are going well so far.

Then the blood starts to take effect and not in the way either of them had hoped.


192) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash-Up – DONATELLO

It’s a shame that the Smash-Up endings aren’t so interesting, as the style of it is really nice. The endings are motion comics featuring voiceovers from the cast of the 4Kids Ninja Turtles show. The art is all black and white, created by Mirage Comics artists in an attempt to ape the style of creators Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman.

Donatello’s is the only one I liked. He sits at his computer, working on a project with his big trophy sitting next to him due to him coming out the winner. Robotic buddy Fugitoid walks over to check up on him and offers some coffee. As Donatello explains the device he’s trying to create, Fugitoid pours out all of the coffee into the trophy. Donatello freaks out and Fugitoid calmly walks off, a bit bewildered and disgusted by how much these Earthlings consume.

191) Tekken Tag Tournament 2 – JACK-6

In a major city, people run in terror at news of a giant asteroid on its way to collide with Earth. An anchor on the news makes this sound seriously dire and people are so panicked that nobody even pays notice to the tall robot man walking towards what will become ground zero. Jack-6 cranks up the boosters and fires up into space, Iron Giant-style.

At first, he tries pushing it back, but it’s not working. He looks back at the Earth, getting nearer by the second and tries rapidly punching the asteroid. That barely does anything. He flies back, loops and fires the boosters as far as they’ll go with both fists out. He slams into the asteroid so hard that one of his arms explodes.

Luckily, the impact causes the asteroid to blow up as well. What’s left of Jack burns up in reentry and we see his red eyes die out. Back in that city, people look up in wonder at the undone threat and realize that they’ll survive.

190) World Heroes 2 – JOHNNY MAXIMUM

World Heroes is a game series about warriors throughout history fighting it out thanks to time travel. For some reason, the second game includes an evil-looking football player. Johnny Maximum (otherwise known as J. Max) removes his helmet and walks off into the sunset. Allow me to transcribe his amazing, inspirational thoughts.

…After I correct all the spelling errors.

“The fourth quarter is over. Yet, for me, wherever there are people banging heads together, wherever fingers are being snapped like pretzels over a glass of beer… wherever the crowd roars at a lineman’s head being rent from his body, I’ll be there, protecting my reputation as the number one master of mayhem. Goodbye for now, my fans. Till the play-by-play begins again…”

Then he trips for no reason and the heroic music suddenly stops.

189) Super Street Fighter IV – JURI

The endings in Super Street Fighter IV are done the same style as Street Fighter IV, but tend to be at least a little bit better. I like Juri’s because there’s some underlying brutality in it. The game’s end boss Seth is beaten, laying at the feet of his top assassin Juri. Seth claims that he knew that she would stop following his orders and go after him. She laughs at his, “I meant to do that!” attempt and points out that her plan was to pit everyone against each other and watch Shadaloo destroy itself. Killing Seth is just an added bonus.

Seth weakly tries to get back up and kill her, but then she just puts the boots to him and loudly crushes his yin-yang stomach thing with an axe-kick.

Seth starts going into convulsions until falling limp. Juri laughs to the viewer and says that now she’ll need to find a new hobby.

188) BloodStorm – HELLHOUND

Yes, BloodStorm. Deal with it.

The game has to do with this huge futuristic war between all types of wacky factions, including Hellhound and his fire people. Most of the endings are fairly dark, leading to the world being doomed via crazed dictators, told through several paragraphs. Amidst all of those stories, Hellhound’s is kind of fun just for how direct and to the point it is.


187) Super Street Fighter IV – RUFUS

In the Street Fighter IV games, Rufus spends much of his cutscene time riding his motorcycle with his equally-stupid girlfriend Candy. Candy is a bit of an enabler, giving in to his delusions and never telling him to shut up when he speaks for ten minutes at a time. Their ending here begins with a quick pit stop at a gas station that isn’t so interesting, outside of Rufus insisting that when he’s fired up, he can push his own bike seven times around the world.

Rufus summed up in one gif.

The real laugh comes from the two continuing to ride off into the desert. Rufus wonders where they should go next and Candy suggests the North Pole, since she’s tired of the heat. Rufus calls this the best idea he’s ever heard and off they go. They don’t need a map because all they have to do is just keep going north and they’re bound to hit it eventually.

186) Super Street Fighter II: Turbo – AKUMA

The hype for Super Street Fighter II: Turbo was all about the introduction of hidden final boss Akuma. After the last iteration of the game introduced four new characters, this one was all about, “We have a third Ryu guy in this one and he’s fucking evil and impossible to fight! He rules so much that he wipes his ass with M. Bison’s corpse! Give us your quarters!”

The game keeps Akuma mysterious despite everything. He is playable via code and beating the game with him doesn’t shed much light on him. In the Japanese version, he trash talks the final boss, whether it’s M. Bison or Akuma, while in the US version, he just poses and they roll the credits.

That’s the part I find kind of cool about it all. See, normal characters get a credits sequence that shows cool art from everyone’s endings. Beating it with Akuma? You get the credits mixed with images of every single other character’s beaten-up versus screen headshot.

If there’s anything Capcom wants you to know about Akuma at this early stage, it’s this: Akuma kicks ass. He kicks everyone’s ass.

185) X-Men vs. Street Fighter – ROGUE

After Apocalypse’s reign of terror is dealt with, Rogue is confronted by M. Bison. He offers her a cure for her powers. His Shadaloo technology can make her human. Rogue tells him to piss off because she doesn’t want to be controlled by him.

Shortly after, Rogue sits, depressed, with Chun-Li. Feeling sorry for herself, Rogue asks Chun-Li what it’s like to be normal. Chun-Lee is taken aback by this question and lays down some truth.

Which basically explains why the explicit “man vs. mutant” aspect of X-Men is always soured to me in any continuity that isn’t the movie.

184) Tattoo Assassins – AC CURRENT

Ah, yes. Tattoo Assassins. The game is pretty much the dumbest thing ever and I love it for existing. During the early popularity of Mortal Kombat, Data East had its pinball division (!) create a Mortal Kombat knockoff which was too beautiful to exist. It never got a full release outside of the prototype stages and is only playable thanks to roms. The game features warriors with magical tattoos, fighting the sinister Koldan and his army of monsters. Some of the features include Nudealities (ie. rendering your opponent naked), a fighter based on Nancy Kerrigan of all people and diarrhea attacks.

Then there’s this douchebag, AC Current.

All the endings take the form of a newspaper front page article, including such publications as Rock Today, Retailer Today, McCarthy Today, Yeast Today and so on. AC Current is a cyberspace terrorist, kind of like Neo from the Matrix, only a couple years earlier and more 90’s-looking. His ending is a ridiculous little thing on the cover of Nerd Net Today, where it says that he’s been able to extort billions from various corporations, monopolize the video game market and now makes sure that those nasty censors are not allowed to touch a single one of his games and remove sex, violence or language. For this, AC Current is labeled Game Maker of the Century.

The fact that this game never got released makes this cheesy fantasy even better.

183) Vampire Savior – FELICIA

This one’s pretty basic. Felicia, the singing celebrity catgirl, settles down and opens her own orphanage, becoming a nun. A contrast to be sure, considering she spends the entire game running around bare-ass naked. Some kids tell her that they finished their studies and ask for a song. Felicia rewards them.

So why is this on the list? Because the song she sings appears to be “Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy” from Ren and Stimpy. She’s a cat, so I guess that makes sense?

The little critters in Darkstalkers, they don’t know that they’re ugly. That’s very funny!

182) Ehrgeiz – DASHER INOBA

Ehrgeiz is widely known as, “That fighting game with the Final Fantasy VII guys!” Well, it doesn’t just have Cloud and Sephiroth. It also has Dasher Inoba, a wrestler based on in-ring legend Atonio Inoki. His ending depicts him sitting at a restaurant, where he’s served a bowl of noodles and devours it. Then he’s given another bowl of noodles. He devours it. Then another. And another.


If you don’t press start, Dasher will seriously never stop eating noodles. I’m starting to wonder if the subtext here is that he literally died and went to Heaven. Or if that waiter died and went to Hell.

181) Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance – QUAN CHI

In terms of storytelling, Deadly Alliance was crazy bold when it came out. To show that this was a new direction for the series, the intro killed off major mainstays Liu Kang, Goro and Shao Kahn. Liu Kang would eventually come back in awesome zombie form in the next game, but Quan Chi’s non-canon ending brought up its own interesting possibility.

The game is about sorcerers Quan Chi and Shang Tsung teaming up together to create their own invincible army. In Quan Chi’s ending, they succeed and Quan Chi has no more need for this partnership. He needlessly stabs Shang in the back by hiring Kano to kill him. The endless sea of souls that Shang’s devoured over the centuries start to pour from his wound. As this happens, Quan Chi realizes that Kano is kind of a threat, since he turned on Shang so easily.

Quan Chi magically removes Kano’s life forces from his body, but that becomes his undoing. One of those stray souls finds its way in the vacant Kano and opposes Quan Chi. Now controlling Kano’s body? You guessed it. The deceased Liu Kang.

Funny thing, Quan Chi actually does turn out to be the “winner” of this game’s story and this doesn’t happen anyway.

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10 comments to “The Top 200 Fighting Game Endings: Part One”

  1. Last line: It’s not clear what “doesn’t happen anyway.”

  2. @DRF: The entire scenario.

  3. I eagerly await to see where Pocket Fighter’s endings place.

  4. I expect LOTS of Tekken 3 in this

  5. I’m utterly stunned that you remember some of these games exist. Looking forward to Time Killers hitting the top ten…

  6. @david brothers: I wanted to use Time Killers so much, but it didn’t give me much to work with.

  7. I think it’s illustrative of the quality of Time Killers that the one time I played it in the arcade it was because someone else had started a game and then walked away from it.

  8. Waiting for more X-Men vs Street Fighter and Marvel vs Street Fighter endings for sure.

  9. Also, Tekken 1 Kazuya face had better rank highly.

  10. “I can throw fireballs. What’s normal about that?”

    Correct. There’s nothing normal about that. Because it’s a whole lot better than normal!