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The Forest was always considered revolutionary in executing all of its elements as a survival horror game. Endnight Games, The Forest’s developers took everything that applied to the genre and elevated it, setting a new standard for every game of similar premises that was to come after it.
The Forest’s story, no less, proved to be quite impressive, especially, when it comes to how Endnight Games approached its execution as a non-linear, interactive narrative. There are only a couple of brief cutscenes in The Forest. Most storytelling is done through the environment and found items.
The Forest’s story is actually very rich in details, including those of the horrific peninsula’s background. However, since its interactive narrative relies on you completely to uncover its secrets, you will have to constantly pay attention to each everything, including the little sketches, which you’ll find deep inside the cave systems under the cannibal-infested peninsula’s surface.
Because if you don’t, then, you’ll never know what sorts of details will remain a mystery to you. And believe me, The Forest has many mysteries.
Chief among those mysteries is the way the game ends. More often than not, people will tend to miss out on a variety of information before the game’s credits. Taking into consideration that it also has an alternate ending, many story details will be crucial for you to know in order for both your actions in the game and the ending you’ve chosen to carry meaning to you.
This is why we’ve decided to give you this thorough elaboration on The Forest’s story and most importantly, have the separate The Forest endings explained. Brace yourselves, survivors, this is our explanation of The Forest’s narrative.
The Forest Narrative
The Forest is set on a mysterious peninsula. You are Eric Leblanc, a famous survival show star who happens to be traveling on an airplane along with his son, Timmy at the beginning cutscene. The airplane suddenly comes across some turbulence and loses balance, causing it to crash.
You wake up on the plane floor next to an unconscious Timmy before a mysterious person with red paint all over his body picks him up and takes him outside before looking at you over his shoulder in a threatening manner after you make the slightest movement.
After gaining back your consciousness, you gather whatever you can find on the plane and eat the food that was left. Then, you are introduced to the region where your plane has crashed. This is when your survival experience truly begins. Conveniently, you have your Survival Guide – co-authored by yourself – to help you get a hold of your senses and show you how to build structures using various resources and avert more unfortunate circumstances. You’ll have also already made a “To-Do List,” which will have you focused on your main objectives and make the smarter decisions. Your top priority will, of course, be to find your kidnapped son.
By the time you’ve lit your campfire on the first night on the peninsula, you’ll have most likely stumbled upon a group or two of the natives to the island. They may have even tried to kill you. This is because they are cannibals and you will come across them numerous times during your stay on the peninsula. In fact, the only way for them to not be hostile toward you is by putting on red paint, similar to the person who kidnapped your son.
After a fair bit of exploration, you’ll find that the peninsula has several distinguishable regions. To the south of where your plane crashed are the beaches, to the west and north are the snowy mountains, and to the east are the vast rocky hills separated by rivers.
Right in the middle of the peninsula, and near to where your plane has crashed, you will find a giant crater that reaches very deeply below. You will also come across numerous cave entrances throughout the peninsula, which allow you to access the complex underground cave system where you will find various monsters and numerous clues to uncover the island’s secrets.
The Cannibals And Mutants
There are several tribes of cannibals in the peninsula. They can all be recognized by how muscular or skinny they are, their skin color, and the way they dress. One thing they have in common is that they are all hostile toward strangers and they will usually attack you on sight.
Your next worst threat will be the mutants that inhabit the island. Their only weakness is that they don’t come at you in great numbers. However, they are vicious and way more dangerous than ordinary cannibals. They also come in various forms.
Much evidence scattered all across the peninsula and its cave system will lead you to come to the conclusion that Christian missionaries came to the island a couple of centuries ago. There are several camps mostly inside the cave system that have bibles and crosses lying around the tents. You will even find crosses hung across cave walls and man-made walls, which were probably built by the missionaries to protect themselves from the mutants and cannibals.
You will find the missionaries’ corpses mummified and untouched by the monsters that reside inside the caves, which suggests that a mysterious catastrophic event had eventually had the better of them.
The Ancient Ones
The Ancient Ones’ element of the story is definitely my personal favorite. All across the peninsula, specifically inside the caves, you will come across a couple of obsidian gates, which you can open by sacrificing valuable resources. Crossing the last of these ancient-looking doors will be one of the last few things you need to do before you reach the climax of The Forest’s narrative and enter the Sahara Laboratories, which I’ll let you know all about in a bit.
These enigmatic gateways are not the only ancient objects that you’ll come across in The Forest. There are also three “Obelisks”. The first is called the Power Obelisk. It’s a large oval-shaped supernatural machine that hangs from the ceiling inside the Sahara Laboratories. It works like an enhanced EMP device and was the cause of your plane crash.
The second artifact is the Resurrection Obelisk. It looks like a body chamber with exterior spikes. A human sacrifice is placed inside and the person who is to be resurrected is placed on top of another machine hooked to the Resurrection Obelisk.
The third Obelisk is only hinted at and is called the Death Obelisk. It is presumed to use some sort of radiation to kill humans within its radius.
The Sahara Therapeutics is the centerpiece to the mysterious peninsula’s puzzle. In recent memory and long after the Ancients and the missionaries walked on the peninsula, Sahara came along. It’s an assumption of mine that they found out about about the ancient artifacts from clues left by the missionaries who were successful in leaving the island.
They’ve purchased the island sometime in the past century and began the “Jarius Project.” It was probably initially labeled as a medicinal program to treat terminally-ill children. This is hinted at by the overall theme of kidnapped and experimented-on children throughout the game. We can even find a carton of milk with a missing child on the yacht to the southeast of the peninsula and a newspaper with a “siblings still missing” headline in cave 3.
Dr. Matthew Cross was assigned as head scientist to oversee the project. His daughter was diagnosed with a terminal disease and he tried to heal her several times prior to the game’s present storyline to no avail.
The Sahara Laboratories on the island stretch across so much hidden space in the peninsula. They are built from deep below the ground to as high as the snow mountains. As fortified as they are, however, several breaches occurred, and the last one proved too viral to be contained. Everyone was dead or turned into a monster, but Dr. Cross survived and was still determined to resurrect his daughter, Megan from the dead.
The Forest’s Ending
Dr. Cross was successful in resurrecting his daughter by using Eric’s son Timmy as a sacrifice. However, Eric later finds out that Megan brutally murdered him by stabbing him multiple times with a crayon (possibly because he was coated in red paint and she thought he was a monster.)
This is because when a person is resurrected using the Obelisk, they grow to be short in temper and aggressive at the slightest provocation. With varying periods of time, they eventually turn into mutants, not dissimilar to the Armsy or Virginia.
At the climax of The Forest, Eric a keycard to enter to gain access to the laboratories and finds his son Timmy dead inside the Resurrection Obelisk chamber. Overwhelmed with grief and consumed with the desire for revenge, Eric sets on a hunt for Megan.
After being led by a series of drawings and finding the dead body of Dr. Cross, Eric finds Megan. He sees that she is a mere child drawing on the floor and tries to speak with her. Then, she crashes her toy plane and points at Eric, hinting that she knows who he is before she gets a seizure.
Mid-seizure, deformed limbs begin to grow out of Megan’s mouth and she turns into a large, spider-like mutant. In design, this is the final battle as per The Forest’s narrative. After defeating Megan, Eric attempts to use her in the Resurrection Obelisk to bring Timmy back from the dead. Although, it wouldn’t work since the Obelisk needs a live body for sacrifice.
He finds a new keycard on Megan’s body and uses it to find the Power Obelisk. He is then faced with the choice of either selfishly using it to crash another plane and curse another father with his perils, or shut down the artifact and live with his loss.
Choosing the original ending to The Forest will have you save Timmy and leave the island. This is how it goes:
The Power Obelisk Chamber:
After finding the keycard on Megan’s body, Eric uses it to access a large chamber with a mountain view of the snow lands. Hanging from the ceiling of this chamber is the Power Obelisk. A control panel by the windows displays an airplane flying nearby and carrying three potential matches that could be used as a sacrifice to bring Timmy back.
If you press the button “activate” on the center of the display, the Power Obelisk will begin to generate energy until a great wave of light violently emerges from it and spans so far beyond even the peninsula itself. A brief moment later, you will see the targeted airplane falling from the sky.
The Ending Cutscenes:
The game, then, cuts to a cinematic from one year later. You and Timmy are on a talk show where you are supposed to be interviewed for your perils and celebrated for surviving alongside your son.
The host welcomes you to the show and introduces a book you wrote about your story of what happened on the island. You wrote the book Eric wrote the book on his own and it is implied that Timmy does not remember any event from the peninsula. Then, he invites you to a friendly contest of chopping wood.
After a couple of swings, the host pauses and stares behind you in shock. You look behind you to see your son on the ground, violently twitching and jerking due to a similar seizure to that which had occurred to Megan before she transformed into a monster, terrifying everyone in the room, including yourself.
After calming Timmy, the game cuts to one final cutscene of him as an adult. He walks out of the shower in his apartment and sits in his bedroom. He grew up to be an alcoholic who uses multiple medication pills.
Several cans of beer and pill bottles are on his desk and several documents, sketches, notes, and a map of what is presumed to be “Site 2” of the Sahara Laboratories are pinned on top of his desk, which implies his obsession with exposing the truth and curing himself.
He stares at the bottle of whiskey in his hand right before another seizure begins to happen to him. He stands and finds bubbles crawling under his skin, which implies that if he hadn’t already experienced a mutation, he doesn’t have much time left before his body stops resisting the seizures.
Timmy, then, walks to his windows and leans on them while staring at the city before The Forest ends.
Spare The Airplane
Let’s say you choose to go with the alternate ending. You will, then, have to shut down the Power Obelisk by opting for “emergency shutdown.” When that happens, the Power Obelisk will effectively be dimmed.
An elevator will be available for access right after, which will be your first step out of the Sahara Laboratories. It will take you downwards and open to another cave, which comes as linear as they can be, except for a branching path toward a secret artifact that allows you to either activate the “Horde Mode,” or make the Cannibals passive.
Near the artifact will be a pile of rocks that blocks your way out. After blasting the pile of rocks, you will finally be able to slide your way out of the cave to find yourself near the cockpit half of your plane.
A cinematic will be triggered where the airplane, which you’ve targeted earlier will safely fly above the island. Eric will, then, grab the half-burned photo of Timmy in his possession and burn it to ashes.
By then, you will be able to roam the peninsula freely and continue your journey of survival in The Forest.
Question: Why did Timmy have the seizures at the end?
Answer: By the end of The Forest, Timmy has his seizures because, just like Megan Cross, he was brought back from the dead using the Resurrection Obelisk. Those seizures occur to him because they are the initial phases of him transforming into a mutated monster. He either cures himself, or he will eventually turn into one of the monsters his father fought to save him.
Question: What caused the airplane crash?
Answer: The airplane crash in The Forest is caused by the Power Obelisk, which Dr. Cross used to obtain a live body to sacrifice for his daughter’s resurrection.
Question: Who is the final boss in The Forest?
Answer: The Forest has one final boss, which you will have to defeat before you finish the game. You will find Megan, Dr. Cross’s daughter inside the Sahara Laboratories and she will transform into a huge spider-like mutant that will try to kill you.
Question: Can we still play after finishing The Forest?
Answer: If you choose the alternate ending in The Forest, you will still be able to play and continue your survival experience in the horrific peninsula.
A Change Of Heart
As alternate endings go, Endnight Game’s approach to The Forest’s is very simple, yet exceptional. It contrasts not only the original ending but Eric Leblanc’s whole journey.
In this ending, he lets go of every peril and foul deed, which he had to do and leaves his son to finally rest in peace. Sparing the airplane and its passengers is not only noble and selfless but it also grants absolution to both Eric and Timmy.