Video Games

SIGNALIS: Story Explained: Fake, Real and Secret Endings

Fake Ending of SIGNALIS

In the intriguing world of SIGNALIS, exploring the mysterious land of Nowhere leads Elster, our protagonist, to a strange red gate. At this gate, she encounters Adler who forewarns her about the perils that lurk beyond the gate. Adler shares a chilling tale of Falke who crossed the gate and witnessed something so disturbing, it made her sick.

Unfazed, Elster continues her journey alone. Her path is riddled with the eerie sight of her doppelgängers, lifeless, serving as harrowing reminders of her own mortality. Her journey ends at the Penrose-512, a significant element in the game, where she faces two existential questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What are you looking for?

She believed she was in search of Alina Seo. But in reality, she’s searching for Ariane Yeong, the gestalt pilot of Penrose-512. The plot takes a turn as Elster experiences the memories of her gestalt life as a soldier who had an encounter with Alina.

Attempting to open the Penrose-512’s door, Elster experiences a major setback as she loses her arm and tumbles from the ship. Critically injured and losing consciousness, the screen fades to black, signifying the end.

Following this, a condensed version of the game’s credits rolls. Post-credits, the player is seemingly returned to the main menu. Unlike the usual, where Elster’s eye follows the cursor, she appears lifeless. The options “Begin”, “Credits” or “Quit” now only serve to restart the game.

But as Elster wakes up on Penrose-512, it becomes clear that the story continues right where it left off. This false ending gives the game an unusual and intriguing twist, leading the player right back into the enthralling world of SIGNALIS.

The Real Endings of SIGNALIS

Upon solving the North Wall Puzzle in the hauntingly intriguing locale of Rotfront, Elster finds herself unable to exit the wall. She is directed into a mysterious bedroom where she encounters a safe and an ominous presence known as The King in Yellow.

From here, Elster is faced with a crucial choice, the outcome of which determines the game’s ending.

If she decides to open the safe and takes the potted Flower, the game abruptly concludes with the Artifact ending. This ending is strikingly direct, underscoring the significance of the Artifact and the immediate consequences of this choice.

On the other hand, if she decides to pick up The King in Yellow, the story takes a different turn and leads Elster to one of three distinct endings:

  • Leave
  • Memory
  • Promise

Each ending is uniquely tailored, offering varied insights into Elster’s journey and the overarching narrative of the game. The outcomes are reflective of the decisions players make, enhancing the immersive gaming experience.

Whether it’s the abruptness of the Artifact ending or the variability offered by The King in Yellow, the endings in SIGNALIS are a testament to the game’s complex narrative structure and its emphasis on player agency.

In the gripping narrative of SIGNALIS, each ending holds profound implications for our protagonist, Elster. Here’s a closer look at what each path reveals:

  • Leave: In this ending, Elster chooses to avoid entering the Cryogenics section of the ship. Instead, she disembarks and embarks on a lone journey on the planet’s surface, shedding her armor plating as she proceeds. Her journey, however, is cut short as she collapses and ultimately succumbs to her death, marking a bleak and solitary end for Elster.
  • Memory: This ending unfolds when Elster discovers Ariane in the Cryogenics pod and wakes her up. Ariane, unfortunately, suffers from memory loss and cannot recall her relationship with Elster or the promise they made. Despite this, Elster chooses to remain by Ariane’s side until her own injuries take her life. Ariane survives, but the bonds of their past have been severed by the grip of forgetfulness.
  • Promise: In a stark contrast to the Memory ending, here Ariane recalls both Elster and their shared promise upon being woken up. Elster fulfills this promise in a devastating act of mercy by ending Ariane’s life. Elster’s own life fades soon after due to her critical injuries. She dies next to Ariane, their fates intertwined till the very end.

Artifact (Lily) Secret Ending of SIGNALIS

In SIGNALIS, the fourth, Artifact or Lily ending represents a unique narrative path that hinges on a quest for three distinct keys and a secret code.

Within the confines of Ariane’s Bedroom, Elster encounters a safe that’s secured by three padlocks. To unlock it, she must procure three keys:

  • Key of Love
  • Key of Eternity
  • Key of Sacrifice

These keys are scattered across the game’s environment and must be collected and kept in the inventory before the North Wall Puzzle can be resolved.

Here’s how you can obtain each key:

  • Love Key: This key is found within the unsettling confines of the Isolation Room. To obtain it, you need to turn the radio to the frequency of 096.000. Once tuned, the Love Key becomes accessible.
  • Eternity Key: The Eternity Key is discovered in the Dark Bedroom. To unlock this key, you must alter the radio frequency to 065.000. Once the frequency is set, the Eternity Key will be revealed.
  • Sacrifice Key: The final key, the Sacrifice Key, can be found in the eerie environment of the Itou Backrooms. By adjusting the radio frequency to 240.000, this key becomes obtainable.

Each key is intimately tied to a particular radio frequency, creating a thrilling game mechanic that intertwines object discovery with exploration of the game’s haunting environments. By carefully adjusting the radio within these specific rooms, players can unlock the path towards the enigmatic Artifact ending of SIGNALIS.

Upon collecting the keys, the next hurdle is a 20-digit code required to open the safe:

  • 39486 60170 24326 01064

This sequence is not randomly generated but is revealed when Elster first enters Ariane’s room.

Upon cracking open the safe, Elster finds a potted plant of white lilies — an innocent artifact leading to a profound ending.

Elster is then shown placing the lilies at a ritual site set against a dark, fleshy landscape. Here, she succumbs to her fate, and the presence of five other lifeless LSTRs is revealed, totaling six in all. At the heart of this ritual, a glowing object illuminates the scene.

As the scene transitions back to Penrose-512, a haunting image of a red eye dangles overhead. Inside the ravaged Penrose, a poignant moment unfolds. Elster and Ariane are seen sharing a dance in Ariane’s quarters — a fleeting moment of warmth amidst the chilling narrative of SIGNALIS.

Artifact Lily Ending Explained

The Artifact ending is a special and different kind of ending. This ending is not easy to understand, as it has many parts that can be taken in different ways. This makes it hard to say for sure what it means, and different players may see it differently. Some might think this ending is good, while others might think it’s not.

But, let’s talk about what we think it means.

This secret ending is about finishing a special journey between two characters, Elster and Ariane. The Artifact is a special ritual that Elster does so that Ariane can wake up. This helps to stop a dream that was causing trouble in the “real” world.

The other endings in the game feel like they don’t really finish the story. They feel like the story just goes around in a circle and starts again. But the Artifact ending feels different. It feels like it truly finishes the story.

My take on the story of SIGNALIS

SIGNALIS is a game that takes us on a wild journey. Most of the story happens in the head of a character named Ariane, who is stuck inside a cryochamber. This chamber is part of a spaceship called the Penrose, which has crashed on a strange and distant alien world.

This world is very, very far away and the spaceship is broken and old. Ariane is what’s called a bioresonant, which means she can use a special kind of technology that is linked to aliens. She can use this technology to reach out to other machines, even though she’s still stuck in the spaceship.

There are radio frequencies in the game that represent the harmony of the universe. Even though the spaceship is stuck on an alien planet, Ariane can use her powers to connect with other machines in different parts of the universe. These machines, called Replikants, are made from the same kind of alien stuff as Ariane.

Ariane is stuck in a kind of dream state that is like being both alive and dead at the same time. She wants to escape from this state, so she uses her powers to affect the Replikants. This causes one of the Replikants named Elster to wake up and try to end Ariane’s suffering.

Elster, however, is confused because she has the memories of another person called Alina Seo. Alina was the original human that Elster was based on. Alina inspired Ariane to join the military, but she had already died by the time Ariane joined.

This leads to a sad cycle where both Ariane and Elster are looking for each other, but can never find each other. Ariane’s suffering causes a kind of psychic disaster, where her thoughts and feelings are sent out into the universe. This causes lots of trouble for the Replikants in the game.

Throughout the game, you journey through different locations that represent Ariane’s mind and the problems she is facing. There are also two other characters named Isolde (or Isa) Itou and Erika Itou, whose roles in the story are hard to understand. But they seem to be connected to a mysterious book known as the King in Yellow, which also plays a role in the story.

About the author

Tom Henry

I worked as a PM in video games, now I'm trying some new things.

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