When I was writing Hanako I flirted with a lot of Bad Ends, to the point where it was almost comical.
Hisao died in a number of ways; one of the most famous amongst the devs was the “Hanako Punch.” Hanako was in a mental state and pushed Hisao away too hard, bringing about a heart attack and death. At the time I thought it was a clever use of the Chekov’s Gun that we dropped in the introduction’s hospital scene, but the execution of the ending was a little forced, making it comical. There was also a scene that was difficult to write, but it involved Hanako jumping in front of a subway train. It was painful to write, and it was cut when the whole “Hanako Psychosis” route was cut (and for good reason; it read like I was rushing towards an unnessecarily dramatic conclusion).
However I’ve recently had a number of experiences that make me wonder about the proliferation of “deadly” Bad Ends.
Take Kanon. I think we can all agree that Key seems to have a penchant for lots and lots of drama. They build up your love for a character and then smash your hopes and dreams by killing them off. Of course, the tears flow freely and we all feel a little less manly.
But really, when we (as authors) kill off our characters, do we really capture the roller-coaster of emotions that accompany an actual death? Sure, I’m sure I could spend an afternoon writing a tear-jerking death scene, but I highly doubt that I can make you feel the rainbow of emotions that you would feel should a 3DPD part of your life die.
I recently (tired) to help a friend through the passing of a loved one. I felt totally inadequate; having never had a close loved one pass away, I didn’t know what to say or do. We talked, drank, laughed, watched “Archer” and everything that we would normally do. But there was a veil of darkness that clouded us all, wrapping its insidious tentacles into our minds.
The friend commented that he didn’t like sleeping at night since the passing; the darkness showed him things that he didn’t want to see. When he mentioned this to me I had a realisation. Even if I could create the spectrum of emotions that accompanied death, I don’t think that I would want to.