Bonus Chapter - Unhappily Ever AfterI thought we could take a look at the various possible endings available in Mask before I post the final pair of updates.
The denouement sequence is very intricate and can change dramatically based on decisions made not only at the end, but also throughout and even at the beginning of the game. There are separate endings for the player character and each of the companions, all of which change based on alignment, romance, quests completed, other endings...
Strictly speaking this update isn't necessary at all, but I think there's some cool alternate endings lots of people don't ever see and looking them up in the toolset just isn't the same.
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First of all, a re-listing of the possible ending outcomes:
- Sacrifice ourselves by imprisoning Akachi within our own soul, ending the spirit-eater curse but dooming us to an eternity as a guardian of the Wall.
- Earn our freedom by casting Akachi out of our soul and back to Rashemen - inflicting the curse on another generation but letting us live our life as we see fit.
- Use the mask to repair Akachi's soul by forcing him to remember his love for Araman and the Founder, setting both Akachi and ourselves free from the Wall forever.
- An as-yet undisclosed awesome ending only the best people can get.
: :: Now you have truly cursed yourself, Dark One. You answer to a master of your own, so you are no longer my master. ::
:: Ha, ha, I am free of my master at last! Using what I learned from you, the Many will consume and grow. My hunger is greater than the spirit-eater's, and, soon, my power will be greater too. ::
: :: I do not understand your choice, Dark One, but you must be confident in your power indeed to set such evil free into the world. ::
: :: Perhaps it will come for you again. If it does, I will be waiting by your side to capture and devour it. Then I will be the Master. ::
: [Influence: Success] :: I am bound to you, my master, so always in your shadow shall I be. ::
: [Influence: Failure] :: Your actions have weakened you, Dark One. The strength you once possessed that bound me to you is gone. ::
: :: I will go now, and you will not follow. If our paths cross again, I will see to it that you make a fine addition to the Many. ::
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Okay, so, for the actual denouement, these are some of the more interesting/evil ending scenes:
Evil intro segment
: In the umbral dark of the Abyss, the steaming battlefields of the Blood War, and all the paths between... new stories arose, following the road that you carved across the planes.
Good or Neutral, no romance ending segment
: The dwarf Khelgar Ironfist also found his way to your side... a bit dismayed that he had missed such a grand adventure - and the opportunity to try his fists against a god.
: Word of your passage spread, and hundreds of folk gathered in Highcliff and Neverwinter, hoping for a glimpse of the Knight-Captain, who had long been thought dead.
: When you finally arrived at the Keep, you were plied with drinks and song, and welcomed as heroes.
: Old friends had gathered to await your return - the elven wizard Sand, Bevil Starling, and others who yet lived.
Like the romance endings (with the wedding on West Harbor green), Neeshka and Aldanon may also show up depending on who you said survived the final battle in NWN2 when talking with Ammon Jerro in the Academy.
Gann's endings change based upon romantic status, Influence, alignment, how you interacted with Gulk'aush and whether you helped Anya recover from her illness or not.
Evil, had high Influence with Gann
Low Influence with Gann, took him to meet Gulk'aush
: Never had the Veil enjoyed such popularity as it did when Gann-of-dreams took the stage... and never had ladies traveled from so far and wide to see a leading man.
: But even in the midst of such adoration, Gann felt somehow unfilled, and he vanished from the city as suddenly as he had come.
: In the quiet cabin on the edge of the Wells of Lurue, Gann and Anya were married... to the dismay of countless ladies across Rashemen and Thesk... and there they yet remain.
Didn't cure Anya
Kaelyn the Dove
We've seen the two most important Kaelyn endings already. If we stay on the Wall, Kaelyn is too intimidated to launch a Fourth Crusade, so she returns to Mount Celestia, utterly broken-hearted. If we choose our freedom or use the mask, Kaelyn is free to continue her crusade against the Wall and becomes a hero to thousands of Faithless souls.
The latter is the best possible ending we can get for Kaelyn, and it's only available by betraying Rammaq at Eternity's End and destroying him. If Rammaq isn't dead by the end of the game, then this happens:
Chose freedom or mask ending, didn't kill Rammaq
: Your success was an undeniable boon to her - where before, Kaelyn had found only tepid support, now outcasts of all kinds flocked to her banner.
: But Kaelyn's idealistic nature proved her downfall, as ever. She struck a bargain with the demilich Rammaq, thinking to sway him back to her cause.
: Though Kaelyn escaped, her siblings did not, and the other members of the Menagerie were dragged screaming into the Abyss.
One of Many
I quite like the different endings available for One of Many. In order of ascending coolness:
Evil or Neutral, high Influence with One of Many
: At times, you would permit your monster to feed, if the knowledge of a particular foe served your needs... and that enemy's voice would join the Many, and become your slave.
: Wherever you went, mortals and demigods came to fear the disembodied voices that seemed to always be at your side, for they swore that they heard familiar voices amongst them - powerful beings who they had believed killed by your hand, but who somehow served you, even in death...
Good, high Influence with One of Many
: You tried to maroon the creature on a dozen distant planes, but somehow it always found its way back. You sought divine lore that might prove its undoing, but nothing availed you.
: The Many gave a horrible shriek, but they were compelled to obey. Your creation tore itself apart from within, as a thousand wicked souls shredded and devoured one another.
: Finally, only the Brute remained - gorged and bulging from his feast, but weak. In that moment, you struck... sending his vile soul screaming to the Wall. And the voices of the Many were silenced, at last.
Low Influence with One of Many
: Accounts of a dark, hungry presence began to spread - folk whispered of a monster that feasted upon the souls of the unwary - a chorus of voices that could be heard, but never seen.
: In Zazesspur, it devoured a notorious lich; in Vaasa, a silver dragon; in Cormyr, it slipped into the royal palace and gorged upon half the nobles of the realm.
: The Harpers sent a powerful band of adventurers to track the monster down, but they were devoured, as well. And with every feast, its power grew.
: Then the disappearances ceased. Whether One of Many's hunger was sated, or it had gathered all the knowledge and souls it required, none could say.
Safiya's endings change dramatically based on romantic status, whether you ended Akachi's curse or not, whether the Founder is still alive or not, and whether a specific set of circumstances are in play or not. In broad terms: if the player chooses to cast out the curse, Safiya always returns to the Academy to continue the Founder's work, eventually retreating into the Sanctum and cutting off all contact with the outside world altogether. If the curse is ended and the Founder is still alive, she turns the Academy into a centre of learning and enlightenment. If the Founder dies...
Chose sacrifice or mask ending, Founder dead
: Safiya returned to the Academy, finding it already in the hands of rival wizards. But they had expected the sheltered girl she had once been...
: No longer needing to keep her identity a secret, Safiya expanded the Academy and made powerful friends amongst the eldest wizards of Thay, becoming known as a protégé of the scheming Szass Tam.
: Within several years of her return, Safiya assumed the title of zulkir of transmutation - after her predecessor was stabbed to death by a horde of tiny winged beasts.
: Together with her powerful ally, she is regarded as one of the few wizards who will shape the future of Thay... and threaten all the surrounding lands.
But the grimmest ending goes like this:
Evil, chose mask ending, romanced Safiya, recruited One of Many
: You hunted the creature for many months afterward, cornering One of Many in the Plane of Shadow. It spoke to you with Safiya's voice, pleading for its life, before you struck it down, and sent all of its souls shrieking to the Wall.
: By all known accounts, you never took another lover...
Nasty. But none of that compares to the final ending...