Finale Levels

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Levels or other enclosed gameplay areas that are constructed so they are experienced as the final part of a narration arc and resolves that arc.

Many games have stories or narration arcs built into them so that players experience a story in conjunction with progressing in the gameplay. Finale Levels are those areas created to structure gameplay so that players by completing these also experience the closure of a narration arc.


The last enemies found in worlds of the Super Mario series games are typically placed in isolated places which makes the players need to fight them in areas dedicated to this fight without the possibility of leaving before vanquishing the enemies. The same structure can be found in FPS Games such as the Doom and Half-Life series.

Each of the campaigns in the Left 4 Dead series consist of a number of levels that players need to traverse. However, the last part of most campaigns requires players to make a stand and solve specific goals different from those in the earlier levels.

Using the pattern

Rather obviously, Finale Levels can be created with the same design possibilities as Levels. However, to a certain extent, some Adventures can also be seen Finale Levels of Campaigns. An example of this is "Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits", which is the last Adventure in the "Queen of the Demonweb Pits" supermodule[1].

One typical difference between Finale Levels and other Levels is that they typically have more Challenging Gameplay. This to highlight the Tension in the finale, as well as potentially being the last piece of gameplay in the game as a whole. Boss Monsters are typically encountered in Finale Levels, but since these may be encountered in other places as well these are actually not a way to create or modulate Finale Levels. Instead, the opposite can be said, i.e. that Finale Levels modulate Boss Monsters, since these may the places where they can actually be defeated.

Narration Aspects

Finale Levels is a Narration Pattern. However, since Finale Levels are specifically crafted to be closures of narrative arcs, they do not work well in games that wish to have Never Ending Stories.


Finale Levels can create both Levels and Scenes, and when doing so they affect the overall structure of Adventures (or in some cases Campaigns) by being explicit Closure Points. They also typically affect Boss Monsters, in providing the area where these can be defeated.

By ending narration arcs, and often having increase difficulty compared to earlier parts, Finale Levels often provide Higher-Level Closures as Gameplay Progresses.


Can Instantiate

Closure Points, Higher-Level Closures as Gameplay Progresses, Levels, Scenes

Can Modulate

Adventures, Boss Monsters, Campaigns

Can Be Instantiated By


Can Be Modulated By

Challenging Gameplay

Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With

Never Ending Stories


New pattern created in this wiki. However, the pattern was inspired by the Finale entry on a Left 4 Dead wiki.


  1. Wikipedia entry for the "Queen of the Demonweb Pits" module.