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I don't know whether I was right or wrong, I guess I'll never know... But I made it. And I guess I should be thankful for that.
- Strelok

Like a number of modern games, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl features multiple endings. These are 7 in total, both "true" and "false". These endings are achieved based on the actions of the player throughout the course of the game. The protagonist can be greedy and self-serving, a goody two-shoes or the most evil bastard to ever walk the planet. All of the 'false' endings are shaped by how you play the game from start to finish; while two of the requirements can be tailored to your liking, the last cannot (to a degree). If you insist upon a given 'false' ending, you will need to play from the beginning accordingly. The 'true' endings can be achieved regardless of play style, as long as you accomplish two specific quests.

There are 2 true endings and 5 "false" endings.

The False Endings Edit

When you enter the inner parts of the Sarcophagus, you reach the wondrous Reactor #4, which was the cause of the real Chernobyl disaster. Here you find a large monolithic crystalline structure (about 5-7 meters high); the so-called Wish Granter, a legend in its own. If the protagonist activates the Wish Granter, one of the 5 endings are shown, based on your actions throughout the course of your campaign. The thing about the Wish Granter is that, although it fulfills your wish, it does so in an unexpected fashion, which always ends with the Protagonist being punished rather than rewarded; sort of "corrupting" your wish.

The 'Positive' ending Edit

Shadow of Chernobyl Ending - I Want The Zone To Disappear

Shadow of Chernobyl Ending - I Want The Zone To Disappear

You may achieve this ending if you have "excellent" reputation, less than 50000 Rubles on your person, and the leaders of both Duty and Freedom are still alive.

As The Protagonist asks for a wish, he says:

I want the zone to disappear.

A blinding white light surrounds him, and he appears to be standing in a field of grass and trees. He stands still for a moment and lets his senses take over, only to open his eyes, which have no irises or pupils, to discover that he is blind. The Zone has disappeared, but only for him. As mentioned earlier, this is an example of the Wish Granter´s sick irony.

The 'Greedy' ending Edit

Shadow of Chernobyl Ending - I Want To Be Rich

Shadow of Chernobyl Ending - I Want To Be Rich

To achieve this ending, you simply have to have at least 50000 RU, making this a very common ending for first time players. This ending will replace all other endings.

The protagonist simply utters:

I want to be rich.

After he says this, the bolts and screws of the roof structure start to loosen and fall to the ground. The Protagonist, affected by the Monolith´s spell, believes it is gold coins falling. As he reaches out to catch these coins, the roof falls onto him, killing him. It is ultimately the greed of The Protagonist that results in his downfall as he is crushed by gold (or so it seems to him).

The 'Ruler' ending Edit

Shadow of Chernobyl Ending - I Want To Rule The World

Shadow of Chernobyl Ending - I Want To Rule The World

To achieve this ending you have to kill both faction leaders and have less than 50000 RU on you.

The Protagonist walks up to the Monolith and says:

I want to rule the world.

As he says this, he starts bending over in cramps. All of a sudden, he is raised into the air, and blue light shoots from his arms and head. Now with him being in an almost spastic state, the Monolith emits a small pulse, and the Protagonist disappears, suggesting that he has been consumed by the Monolith. Since the Monolith is part of C-Consciousness, which wants to rule the world, becoming part of the Monolith is like becoming part of the C-Consciousness; so, in a twisted sense, the wish is granted.

The 'Immortality' ending Edit

Shadow of Chernobyl Ending - I Want Immortality

Shadow of Chernobyl Ending - I Want Immortality

This can be achieved, if you do not fulfill any of the other criteria. So you must have less than 50 000 RU, between and doesn't have "terrible" or  "excellent" reputation, and at least one faction leader must survive.

The Protagonist says to the Wish granter:

I want immortality.

In a somewhat anti-climatic fashion, he is quickly turned into a metal statue: Something that is neither living nor dead.

The 'Negative' ending Edit

Shadow of Chernobyl Ending - Humanity Is Corrupt

Shadow of Chernobyl Ending - Humanity Is Corrupt

You may achieve this ending if you have "terrible" reputation, less than 50000 RU on your person, and the leaders of both Duty and Freedom are still alive.

As The Protagonist ask for a wish, he says:

Humanity is corrupt, mankind must be controlled.

Note: in Russian he says destroyed, not controlled.

The Protagonist now stands in darkness. Suddenly, pictures begin to rush through his mind. The protagonist himself acts, during this, as if his brain is receiving too much information. As the pictures stop rushing by, the camera zooms out, to confirm that The Protagonist is indeed standing in total darkness.

This is one of the most metaphorical endings in the game. The pictures that roll by the screen consist mostly of nuclear detonations, desolate landscapes, sickness and death. The ending may thus refer to two different possibilities. Either the Protagonist altered the course of history, or he simply saw a glimpse of the future. When he asked for a controlled humanity, it would appear that instead death and destruction spread out across the world. Humanity was indeed controlled numberwise, but, ultimately, this led to our complete destruction (which, according to the Russian translation may be the original intent of the Protagonist). The Protagonist now literally floats around the nether, because the world no longer exists.

Another interpretation could be that the monolith implants all of humanity's knowledge and history into the protagonist's mind, only to leave him by himself in a dark and endless void - he therefore controls humanity by virtue of the fact that he is humanity.

The True Endings Edit

To get these endings there are several criteria. First of all, you must speak with Guide after disabling the Psi-emitter in Lab X-16. You must then follow his questline, which leads you to Doctor, who hides out in Strelok's hiding place. He informs you that the Wish Granter is simply an illusion, and it was created in a secret laboratory next to the Sarcophagus. He also gives you the coordinates of a stash in Pripyat. The stash contains a decoder made by Fang, which must be used to decrypt the lock on a peculiar door inside the Sarcophagus. The stash also contains some notes from Strelok's Group, and a SKAT-9M Military Armored Suit. However, there is a way of opening the locked door without getting the decoder by using the Gauss Gun glitch and still get the good endings without meeting either the Guide or the Doctor.

After opening the peculiar door in the Sarcophagus, Strelok discovers the Monolith Control Center, a place where no stalker has ever set foot. After fighting through hordes of Monolith soldiers, Strelok arrives at a hologram, which has an image of the Wish Granter. After destroying orbs that surround it (which supplies some sort of power to something), the hologram shows a man, which is indeed the C-Consciousness. The hologram tells Strelok about the goal of the C-Consciousness, the formation of the Zone, the use of the acronym "S.T.A.L.K.E.R.", and about Strelok's past. In the end, Strelok had to make a very difficult decision. He had to either join the C-Consciousness by devoting his mind to it, or he could refuse to join the C-Consciousness.

Accepting the offer Edit

Shadow of Chernobyl Ending - Joining C-Consciousness

Shadow of Chernobyl Ending - Joining C-Consciousness

Mhh... I haven't seen Strelok in a long time, is he dead already? Although he's hardy as a cat, he should be OK I think. But well... (looks at his dog) well let's leave this place pal, let's have some dinner. I know that you are more interested in that, than our old friend.
- Doctor

The hologram will, at the end of your conversation, offer you a place among them. If you choose to accept, you will see Marked One being put into some sort of stasis tube and having electrodes placed on his head. He is now part of the C-Consciousness. After this, Doctor is shown in some remote swamp, with his pet Pseudodog. He was expressing his anxiety about Strelok, saying he hasn't seen him for a long time.

Declining the offer Edit

STALKER Shadow Of Chernobyl True Good Ending HD

STALKER Shadow Of Chernobyl True Good Ending HD

I don't know whether I was right or wrong, I guess I'll never know... But I made it. And I guess I should be thankful for that.
- Strelok

If you choose to decline, the hologram will have you teleported outside. You are forced to walk around outside the Chernobyl NPP on various platforms. Portals have appeared, and to get this ending, you must pass through all 15. You will also encounter some rather fierce resistance on your way there in form of large numbers of well-armed Monolith troopers and a few Snorks, plus an extremely surprised Sidorovich as you teleport into his bunker and then back to the Chernobyl grounds. Finally breaching the last of the portals, you achieve the real ending. Marked One enters a room and discover the stasis tubes that contain the bodies of the C-Consciousness. He pulls out his AKM-74/2U and destroys the tubes, destroying the C-Consciousness. Afterwards, Marked One is shown in a peaceful field, with the Zone seemingly gone. He will always wonder whether he made the right choice or not. This is the ending that actually occurred, according to the events of Call of Pripyat. It should also be noted that the 'S.T.A.L.K.E.R.' mark on his right arm is seemingly gone as well.

Trivia Edit

  • The "corrupted wish" motif was most likely borrowed from a 1902 short story by W. W. Jacobs, titled "The Monkey's Paw". In the story, a couple comes into possession of a supernatural object (the titular monkey's paw) that is said to grant its owner's wishes, though they always come true in a twisted and often macabre way. For example, after one of the characters wishes for a money for his mortgage, his son is killed in a factory accident, and the money comes in a form of reparation from his son's employers. At the end of the story, after his grieving wife wishes her son to come back, it is heavily implied he literally rose from his grave, despite having been mutilated in the accident and buried for a week, before his terrified father wishes him gone. The story has since been adapted in theatre, film and literature, and the "corrupted wish" had become a popular theme in various media.
  • The division into "canonical" and "non-canonical" endings is similar to that of Half-Life, one of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.'s spiritual inspirations. At the end of the first installement of the series, the main protagonist - Gordon Freeman - is given a choice to either accept or refuse a "job offer" from the enigmatic G-Man. Should he accept, he's put into stasis, awaiting "assignment", whereas if he refuses, he's teleported in front of a horde of aliens with no weapons. The latter option is now considered non-canonical, since Freeman survived and returned in Half-Life 2. Additionally, a similar canonical/non-canonical ending occurs in Metro 2033, which is a very thematically similar horror FPS, which at many times pays homage to the S.T.A.L.K.E.R series.