We’ve all felt the sting of unresolved cliff-hangers. A good cliff-hanger gets us pumped-up and ready to see the next part of the story — or just hints at a bigger threat on the horizon, promising even more epic adventures for our heroes. But a bad one? That just pisses us all off.
We’re not talking about bad cliff-hangers today — even if many of these are pretty terrible. No, this is all about the most ridiculous cliff-hangers that never got a resolution. Sometimes a series just runs out of steam, or it’s killed prematurely. Some of these cliff-hangers are absurd and genuinely heart-breaking. Some of them are the height of hubris. And a few are just really weird and funny.
Let’s delve into the (mostly recent) past and explore some of the weirdest cliff-hangers in games.
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Time-Travelling Lincoln [The Conduit 2]
The Conduit 2 has an all-timer cliff-hanger ending, one that never will get resolved — and one that couldn’t be resolved to anyone’s satisfaction. In this alien-invasion FPS on the Wii, you explore Washington D.C. while shooting it up against an army of invading aliens. It’s a fun little game, one of the few shooters custom built for the Wii’s motion-controlled hardware, and the after-credits ending is just bonkers.
The rest of the game has a Halo-lite aesthetic, with glowing power armor, semi-cartoonish but menacing aliens, and spooky alien corridors. The ending throws all that away, introducing a team of time-travelling presidents wearing steampunk armor. That includes ol’ Honest Abraham Lincoln. What would a sequel where you team up with alien-fighting presidents even look like? We’ll never get to know, and maybe we’re better off just imagining it.
The President Is Number I [XIII]
This is a very president heavy list. And this is maybe the biggest hit of the bunch — in XIII you play as an amnesiac secret agent played by a very lethargic David Duchovny (X-Files). By the end of the game, you defeat an evil fascist coup, takedown a variety of their top staff, and shoot your way through multiple bases. But you never find the mysterious identity of Number I, the leader of the conspiracy.
At the very end of the game, XIII stumbles back onto a plot-important boat, and the story catches up with your earliest memories. Before the events of the game, XIII discovered Number I’s identity and was shot in the process, leading to his amnesia. As the memories start flooding back, the new President — the guy we just helped get elected — is the true mastermind behind the conspiracy. Thankfully, if you’re really curious, you can always checkout the comic book source material for more of the story. It’s better than nothing.
Explore more infamously unresolved cliff-hangers on the next page.