I’m sure after all of this radio silence, everyone is eager to hear about the ending of The Last Express, right? It’s a complicated answer, though. Do you want to hear about the four endings I received in the first half hour of the game or the ones closer to what can be perceived as the “real” end?
As I mentioned before, “dying” is part of the game. In order to solve the puzzles and figure out what to do or who to speak with, you have to fail. When you fail, you receive a short Game Over sequence that varies depending on what you’ve accomplished. In many endings, I’m arrested because I didn’t have a ticket and was connected to a murder in Ireland. In some endings, I’m shot or stabbed by various passengers. In one ending, I sold Tyler’s golden egg to the rich Kronos, received a suitcase full of cash, showed it to August so he would load his illegal cargo onto the train, and walked out of the next station stop with the suitcase, leaving The Express behind.
Throughout the course of the game, I received at least a dozen different endings, and that’s a conservative estimate. I only remember two where I didn’t die. There is one “good” ending, where you arrive in Constantinople, you kiss Anna, and everyone goes their separate ways.
I didn’t get that ending. (Yet.)
Instead of being upset, I repeatedly replayed the final few stops, attempting to find something–anything–that would keep me alive. This game could take six hours to complete or it could take sixteen, depending on what you want. Mix in real time, and The Last Express has an enviable replay value.
Which brings me to my ending (not the ending).
The sleeping cars (with most of the passengers) have been disconnected and left behind on the rail. The engine, baggage, dining, and smoking cars are still barrelling towards fate (and Constantinople). I’ve defeated the Russians weapons dealers, and, the next morning, I wake up next to Anna. She leaves the room for some air, and, after she doesn’t return, I move toward the dining car.
I find Prince Kronos, who had left in a fury when I wouldn’t sell him the golden egg, holding Anna at gun point. He wanted the egg, and I wouldn’t give it to him; so he’s decided to take it by force. The egg itself is encrusted with various jewels laid out on an etched map of the world. Kronos asks me to open it, which I can do by pressing the jewels in the order of a poem I found Tyler’s room. I open the egg, and it turns into a golden bird–the Firebird. Kronos makes Anna play her violin, and the Firebird responds to her music. Kronos seems happy about this and asks me to close it, which I do. He takes the egg, and he and his womanservant leave. I may not have the egg, but Anna and I are alive and nearing Constantinople. A win, right?
The game cuts to a sequence where the train explodes. This is followed by a journal entry from Rebecca, who was one of the passengers on the sleeping cars that were disconnected. She explains that everyone on the train died and that they never found who iginited the cars.
I could see where modern gamers would be upset. I’m not. I replayed the ending for at least two hours, trying to get what I wanted. Since the game is a new experience with each rewind, that’s another two hours of fun gameplay. It wasn’t until I gave up and found a walkthrough that I discovered my mistake. A replay, at that point, would require a rewind to the midpoint of the game, so I called it a night.
I’m excited about the replay, because I never considered that path as an option. There has to be at least another three or four endings I can find, not including the good one that I want.
Constantinople, here I come (again).