If a game has epilogue content when do you play it?

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bigsocrates

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Poll If a game has epilogue content when do you play it? (115 votes)

Immediately after I finish the main game story 77%
I wait until the next day then start the epilogue 10%
I try to wait a few weeks or a month to give time for the game to 'digest' 3%
I generally don't have a timeline but may revisit somewhere down the road, often months or years later. 4%
I don't play epilogue content. Finished with the story? Thank u. Nxt! 4%
If a poll has answers when do I get to see them? 2%

This year I've played Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition and Tales of Graces F, two huge RPGs that feature significant 'epilogue' content. I define epilogue content here as story that takes place after the main game's story and is intended to elaborate on that story in some way. It's distinct from 'post-game' content, which can just involve side quests or purely gameplay based challenges like a "bonus dungeon," or additional but unrelated content like Red Dead Redemption's Undead Nightmare campaign.

For Xenoblade Chronicles I tried the epilogue as soon as the game came out but was feeling burned out so I put it off about 3-4 months and then went back to it. That was fine, and it had the bonus of making me want to revisit those characters and that world again, but it also meant that some of the references that the post-game content makes were a little fuzzy. That game is full of plot and characters and a lot of the NPCs sort of look similar, so I had a lot of "wait who is that again?" type experiences. Nonetheless I had an okay time with the epilogue as a sort of mini-sequel and it was nice to spend a little time with Shulk and Melia on the Bionis again.

For Tales of Graces F I've been playing through the epilogue immediately after the main game, since I didn't feel as burned out, but a lot of it feels like it would resonate more if I'd given it some time off. The epilogue takes place about a year after the events in the main game and there's a lot of the characters being excited to see each other after all this time and talking about what happened to them. It's hard to relate to that because the events of the game are so fresh for me so it feels like it's too soon for nostalgia, and I'm not excited to see characters I was just playing as again.

Both Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition come with their epilogues already on the disc (or cart in Xenoblade's case) but of course epilogues are sometimes offered as DLC that aren't released until months after the main game. However here I'm obviously asking if you get the package as a whole at one time, do you space out the epilogue stuff from the main game or just jump right in? Spacing out gives time for you to miss the characters and recover from any burnout that happened towards the end of the game (which is common for me in long RPGs especially) but also means that you may forget the mechanics (it took me a couple hours to remember how to play Xenoblade Chronicles properly) and some of the story details. And of course you might never get around to it. Playing right away means your skills at the game are honed and the world is very fresh in your mind, but the nostalgic "we're getting the gang back together" feel of the game might not resonate.

Some of this applies to sequels too. I played through all of the Assassins Creed Ezio games within a few weeks earlier this year and I might have enjoyed the later games in that series more if I'd had time to start to miss Ezio (I could never miss Desmond, of course) but with sequels there's usually a whole new adventure to focus on and a whole new cast, while epilogues tend to be more reflective and less intense.

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Humanity

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If I haven't been playing for several hours and need a break I just roll right into it. Can't imagine finishing a game and then doing the epilogue months later since they are usually direct continuations of the story. Last of Us 2 has technically an epilogue but realistically you don't get an actual ending to the game unless you complete it.

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Teddie

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I don't think I have a consistent answer for this, it usually just depends on how I feel after finishing the game. When I played Graces F I'd already got everything I needed out of the main game, and never even looked at the epilogue stuff.

I think a bigger factor is whether it was intended to have an epilogue or if it was added in a re-release. Something like Red Dead 2 I didn't mind going right into the epilogue because as tacked on as it felt at times, it still wrapped up some lingering threads and was cohesive with the rest of the game. I can't imagine the extra Graces or Xenoblade content is anything more than a high-production variant of those drama CDs or light novels that JRPGs get all the time.

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bigsocrates

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@humanity: I don't really consider what Last of Us 2 has to be an epilogue, unless you mean the very last part that's like 10 minutes at the end (which is more or less an interactive ending cut scene.) Some games label stuff as an epilogue that's really part of the main story. I think there was DLC for a Prince of Persia game that was like this...they sold you the actual ending and everyone was very angry about it.

In the games I mentioned there's a significant gap between the events of the main game and the epilogue, which in turn is a substantial chunk of game (Xenoblade's took me 12 hours, which seems about average for that.) It isn't really a continuation of the main story; it's a new story with the characters that examines the themes of the main story and resolves some subplots but it's a totally new area and enemy. It's almost like a mini sequel.

@teddie I totally understand why you wouldn't feel the need to play more in Graces F, especially because the story is not that game's strength to begin with. For me there are some gameplay options (and even new mechanics) that open up in the epilogue that I wanted to try out. I don't feel like starting a new game right now because I'm kind of stressed out, so just having more stuff to do in a game that I enjoy playing and didn't cost me any extra money seemed appealing. I'm a couple hours in and it's mostly on par with the quality of the main game except I don't think it has anime cut scenes (though it has a lot of in engine cut scenes and fully voices dialog and skits) and it mostly re-uses locations (though there are some new locations too.)

I would not call either of the epilogues on par with drama CDs or light novels. They're really closer to DLC campaigns or expansions. I would say that Xenoblade Chronicles especially has an epilogue that comes close to being a semi-sequel. With a little more polish and expansion it could have been sold as its own game (though not at full price), kind of like the expansion to Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was. It's not as high quality as the main game, for sure, with much less dynamic cut scenes and a pretty constrained play area, but most DLC campaigns aren't as good as their main games either.

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Humanity

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@bigsocrates: Indeed it was the 2008 Prince of Persia reboot with the cell shaded graphics and Elika companion. Although one could argue that the original ending of that game sans-epilogue is in it's own way a very grim and dour conclusion to the story. Of course they released a whole thing about how it REALLY ends but because it was separate DLC I never played it. Any time a game has DLC Epilogue like in the above stated case I don't really bother and view it as a bonus thing even when in some cases it very much was cut content.

On Last of Us 2 - technically you are correct as only the last bit of the game is considered the Epilogue. That said, considering how that game is structured which I will remain vague on in case someone still wants to play it, I did think the remaining chapter was one big epilogue. Thats just my labeling though.

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ToughShed

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uh after i finish the game lol

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Efesell

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Immediately, or else never. If too much time passes I can’t roll back into something I’ve finished unless I start over.

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blackichigo

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If I were reading a book, I wouldn't stop at the epilogue. I don't know why I would stop for a game.

If it were some sort of DLC thing that came after release, nah.

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hansberg

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There is not much reason for me not to continue into the epilogue. I've come this far, why stop? If I'm not enjoying myself then I could see myself refraining from hopping into the epilogue; but at that point it becomes questionable that I would ever continue, and it's especially unlikely that I would have even gotten that far into the game in the first place before uninstalling it. DLC is the exception here, of course, because I have no control over the release schedule; but assuming that I have access to all of the content up front (as the OP stated was the situation) then I would happily roll on into the epilogue so as to see the end.

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mikewhy

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Yeah I just consider them More Game™️ and treat it as such. If I want to continue my session, keep playing, otherwise whenever I play the game next.

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Ulfhedinn

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I'm a completionist so I tend to finish game to it's fullest. That includes all dlcs and as much achievements as I can possibly due in my first playthrough.

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Pezen

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I think it entirely depends on how it's presented. Some games roll right into the epilogue and I'll come along without much thought. While other games make it relly clear that you finished the story, thanks for playing, and the epilogue comes on after credits and a bunch of other things. Making the epilogue feel a little more detatched. In those instances, I might not roll right into it unless I haven't spent a lot of time prior to getting there playing for that specific session.

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The most recent example I can think of is the Red Dead Redemption 2 epilogue where you play as John Marston. I rolled straight from the ending of the "main" story into the epilogue without a moment's thought. You don't actually see the credits roll until the end of the sequence, so maybe it's not a "true" epilogue, but aside from finishing the story I also spent a fair amount of time in the open-world cleaning up sidequests and other content - my goal was to get to 90% completion in single player, which I did.

At this point in my life, I only really get to the end of a game if I've really enjoyed it, and in that case I'm almost certainly going to feel compelled to jump into more content if/when it's available.

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Efesell

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The more I consider this the more confused I am at the very idea of waiting.

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#15  Edited By hermes

I am guessing from your examples that by epilogue you mean post endgame content, so the answer is: "It depends". If I got interest in continue playing the game, I do the epilogue right after completing the main story. If I am growing tired of it by the time I reach the credits, I might dwell on them for a few hours, but the most likely scenario is that I will uninstall the game.

I almost never return to it more than a week later, and I don't play DLC that requires me to relive the final fight (looking at you, Bloodstained)

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doctordonkey

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#16  Edited By doctordonkey

I have a really bad habit of not coming back to a game if I drop it to play something else, so I always try to finish everything before moving on to the next game.

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cstrang

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I generally play the epilogue directly after the main game. It's incredibly rare for me to go back to a game for any reason, including a lot of post release DLC, so I try to put a bow on everything before I return the disc to the case and cast it onto my shelf for relative eternity.

The two most recent examples I can think of are Red Dead Redemption 2 and Dragon Quest 11. Both epilogues were huge, hours-long affairs after huge hours-upon-hours long games, but I stuck with em.