Have you made it to the end of Scorn but are still confused by what it all means? Here’s our interpretation of the Scorn ending and what we believe it represents.
Much like FromSoftware’s Souls games, Scorn mostly uses environmental storytelling to deliver its narrative. While there are some cutscenes in the game, there’s absolutely no text or dialogue, and what does transpire (often shockingly) before our eyes is usually open to interpretation.
However, as you begin to reach the end of Scorn, many of the game’s themes and ideas start to become clear – as does our protagonist’s motivation. Each of Scorn’s five acts lay the groundwork for the ending, yet the game pulls the rug out from under us at the last moment in a truly memorable and confusing way.
Here’s what we think it all meant, and as we’ll be talking about Scorn’s plot, themes, and ending –spoilers will be plentiful from this point on.
Scorn plot summary
Scorn opens to an alien landscape of what looks like a dying world. The biomechanical structures are clearly influenced by the work of the late, great H.R. Giger, looking a lot like the worlds seen in Alien or Prometheus.
A humanoid figure is released from an egg and sees a glistening tower in the distance that appears to be beckoning them with some sort of salvation. They make their way toward it but need to travel through an abandoned series of structures before they can get there.
The facility they’re in appears to be connected to some kind of cloning or birthing unit, where living things are being grown, gestated, and harvested for reasons unknown. There is something both human and alien about the entities there, but the structure was seemingly abandoned long ago.
Like the player was, many of these humanoid beings are in stasis and some are released from their birthing pods/eggs by his actions. At one point, the player releases another (much weaker) figure from a pod and has the choice to either force their cooperation before abandoning them – or murder them to take what they need.
A selfish callousness on the part of the protagonist is implied, suggesting they know more about what has gone on here than we realize. After equipping themselves with a gun, they then use several more eggs to apparently ‘fertilize’ a large machine. However, something goes wrong and they are covered in some goo that may contain mutagenetic properties before the scene fades to black.
We then find ourselves in control of another humanoid who’s also hatched from an egg in the hellscape outside the structure. Like the last player, they are drawn to the tower and begin to follow in the footsteps of the previous protagonist.
During their journey, the new character is stalked by a mutated creature and eventually attacked and fused with it. The creature is parasitic and uses the protagonist to keep itself alive at the cost of his health. It’s also holding the gun found by the first player, suggesting this mutated beast is him in a new form, still trying to reach the tower by attaching itself to another pilgrim.
The pair eventually make their way to the tower after facing off against multiple monstrosities. Some of the creatures they come across in their travels represent aborted children and other dark themes connected to fertility and the problems that can occur during it. One creature that appears benevolent to the player represents a mother in childbirth, it helps the protagonist progress – but at the cost of its own life.
In the tower, the protagonist sees murals on the walls depicting aliens and humans breeding together as well as what appear to be experiments in transcending psychical flesh and the material world. A large suggestively shaped portal can be seen at the very top of the tower and the player tries to reach it.
However, the mutant is beginning to sap the protagonist of their life and is gradually taking over their body. The player then uses a machine to remove the mutant but damages their body severely in the process. The mutant flees, leaving the player to attach themselves to a hive mind to try and salvage their consciousness in case of death.
They then use this to take over another body nearby and use it to scoop up their original body and carry them towards the portal so that they can ascend, or move on to another plane of existence. However, this stolen body dies or has its connection to the host severed in some way as they get close to the portal, leaving the now heavily injured protagonist vulnerable and unable to progress.
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As this happens, the mutant and original protagonist returns and once again fuses with the player. Both mutate together into a mass of flesh that becomes stuck in place, with neither able to reach the portal. Both characters appear to die in this form, with whatever lies beyond the portal out of reach forever.
Scorn ending explained
The protagonists in Scorn, the one we play as for most of the game, and the original one who becomes a mutant, both appear to have some understanding of the world they’re in. They were both seemingly grown and hatched with this knowledge and are born into a desperate quest to reach the tower and escape this dying world.
It appears that the entire population of Scorn is hatched into this life, with only a select few making it to the tower and successfully going through the portal. It also implies that the mutant character cannot go through the portal unless it fuses with another being. Or the mutant may simply want to feed on them to survive for longer until another worthy host arrives.
When we first play Scorn, we assume the world is dead and that we’re seeing the remnants of an ancient civilization that is long gone. Or like in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus (a prequel to the Alien franchise), the whole place could be a facility for DNA splicing or the creation of bio-weapons.
However, the game’s final act shows us, through murals, that humans (at least this game’s version of them) have been working with aliens to create the perfect organism and world. It’s not clear if the hive mind that the player connects themself to is part of this plan, or if they simply need to make it through the portal, but if it is, this would imply that the civilization found what it is looking for.
Or the portal could simply represent a new world to travel to now that this one is rotten and dying. Where things get dark is that it appears that not everyone is welcome in this new world. Could the whole journey be a form of twisted eugenics in that only a select few can actually reach the tower and get through the portal?
Scorn leans heavily into its themes of birth, fertility, death, and rebirth through its characters, monsters, and environments. This becomes even stronger at the end of the game when images of pregnancy are everywhere. The creature that carries the broken body of our protagonist is also heavily pregnant and needs to be injected with the blood of alien babies before it can come alive.
It seems that complications in pregnancy is a theme that hangs over Scorn like a dark cloud. Even the statues that surround the portal are all pregnant figures, pointing at it and beckoning our protagonist to be reborn. When you look at the suggestive shape of the portal, it’s clear that this is intended to be some kind of rebirth for the protagonist, if they can make it.
It could also be the case that the population started to struggle to conceive or carry babies to term, which is what led the civilization in Scorn to create such a dark path to follow. The aliens could have caused this or offered them salvation in the form of the portal. The player failing to make it to the portal and be reborn can also be viewed through the lens of a failed birth/pregnancy, something that adds another layer of tragedy to Scorn’s ending.
Finally, the mutant attaching itself to the second playable character could also be a commentary on twins and the unpredictability of such pregnancies. Could both characters have been reborn together if they hadn’t posed a threat to each other in various ways during their struggle for survival?
While Scorn’s ending is incredibly macabre, there’s likely much more to it than we’ve been able to cover here. The great thing about these games is there likely aren’t any wrong answers and that Ebb Software has deliberately left it open to interpretation.
Body horror is always frightening, but H.R. Giger’s work often involves the theme of fertility, just like Ridley Scott’s Alien did before it. In that movie, a character is impregnated by a face-hugging parasite and forced to gestate and give birth to an Alien creature, resulting in his death. Scorn also examines these ideas and plays on our fears of things going wrong in this arena of life, which in our view, makes it one of the scariest games ever made.