Unconventional is what comes to midn when playing Scorn. Everything from the gameplay to the story is left for the player to figure out. And, while that can create some frustrating moments, our puzzle solutions guide and walkthrough can help you out. But, one aspect of the game that doesn’t have pre-defined answers is the lore, the Scorn ending and game plot overall, and what it means. So, to help you discover just what all of this meant, we are going take you through our reading of the ending and what we grasped from the game’s many scenes and setpieces.
Scorn ending and game plot explained
Scorn’s ending is purposefully obscure and vague, leaving it up to interpretation. But, generally the core throughline of the ending and plot is it shows the large-scale reproduction and replication of a living race and the effects it has. The game focuses on how birth, death, and even growing up all are replicated over and over again, before we eventually fade away and are forgotten about and even the damage we do to ourselves during those processes both intentionally and unintentionally.
In the final act and chapter of the game, you go through the process as your indivudal hunk of flesh of birthing a new creature withyour old body being sliced and separated apart to be hooked up to a huge network of other creatures. To us, this symbolises the process of life and society consuming us as humans or species’ as a whole as we get older. We become more fixated on the society we live in rather than ourselves and our own interests. So, because that is the normal thing to do, we have children, which can be seen in the robotic and factory-like process you engage in to create the new creatures.
This aspect of being consumed by society could have many connotations, from how we interact with the world, wanting to please others in society more than doing what you want to do deep down in life, contributing to society by working more than you are able to spend time to yourself. It is never detailed what this huge ecosystem in Scorn is reflecting, but there are a number of similarities that can be seen to some of the more abusive aspects of human beings and the society we all live in.
At the end of the game, after when you are cut apart, you are carried away by two figures who look like guardians or mothers and eventually become a part of the world, which bears resemblance to how we bury our dead and they then decompose. Everything is a cycle in Scorn, repeating over and over and the many faces you see in the creatures and environment throughout the game, shows that this process of life and death, becoming a part of the world around you, has happened a lot of times before.
The hive-mind we see in the final chapter of the game could also reference the fact that when new people are born they are influenced by the thoughts, prejudices, opinions, and rules set by those that came before. The large network is the opinions, societal norms, and the shared belief of what is right and acceptable and anything that deviates from that is wrong or should be shunned. This would also explain why the figures carry you away and let you become a part of the environment.
You were a defect, had nothing of value to the ecosystem, you did not follow the path of the other beings in the world, throughout your journey in the game. You fight to not succumb to the threats. Therefore, you weren’t useful to the race’s hive network it was building as you would have threatened it.
Because of that, you are discarded and left to be consumed by the world around you, which could parrallel marginalised groups in society such as, homeless people, or those that run into problems like crime, drug addicition, and more. Society no longer supports them as they are outcast they don’t have anything beneficial to offer society collectively, so they don’t get that support from the shared unity humans and a support network can bring. And, as seen in our own world, they are forgotten about.
The final thing that contributes to our reading of the ending is that the creature who latches onto you in the first half of the game stays with you for pretty much the rest of the experience. It is constantly damaging you, eating away at you and you have to “refill your health” in order to recover from the wounds it leaves you with.
It’s hard to know what Ebb Software meant by this exactly, but when you consider the other themes about society and life, this creature could symbolise the fact that over time our lives slowly eat away at ourselves. Whether it is work, which tires you out in the evenings leaving you unable to do anything, society’s opinions of you sending or lived experiences that send you into depression or leave you with trauma, or physical injuries we get over time, in addition to the natural process of aging.
It slowly just tears away at your physical form until you are left barely alive, struggling through your days just to get to the next. Similarly, as this creature binds its self to you, this parasite may also reflect the harm we do to ourselves. We all do things that aren’t entirely healthy whether it is not exercising enough, smoking, drinking, eating junk food, or just engage in behaviours that feed negative emotions.
So, this parasite damaging you could reflect the harm we do to ourselves during those parts of our life as it is technically a part of your body in the game. This is also enhanced by the fact that these moments where you take damage happen sporadically throughout the game, rather than all of the time.
But, there does appear to be a more certain explanation as to who the parasite is. It seems to be the character you play at the start of the game. During Act I-II they die and become infected by the liquid that explodes from the tower. This same liquid looks to be what slowly takes over your character later on as it has the same look and design.
This would also make sense as it is the only creature we see in the game. Not many people likely end up in that situation our first character ends up in and it being the sole threat in Scorn’s world that isn’t a regular or standard enemy lends some credence to the idea that our original body morphed into that creature.
The final thing that leans us towards this being the case is that when he attaches itself to you, you get your gun back from Act I-II. Its the only weapon of this type in the game and it likely would have binded itself to you when that liquid had its effect on your original body.
All of this is our interpretation of Scorn’s ending and the core themes that run through the game’s plot. You may have you own readings on what disgusting creatures and scenes you witnessed while playing, but that is a part of the beauty of Scorn. There is no one answer. To read more about what we though about the game, check out our Scorn review which covers aspects of the experience beyond the story.