HEAVY SPOILERS AHEAD!
Outlast 2’s story is easily its shining star, but that doesn’t mean it’s the easiest thing in the world to follow. There are a lot of moving parts, and a large part of the plot is confined to various documents and scenes you can record. Without doing a lot of reading, certain parts of the story, especially Outlast 2’s ending, can be very confusing. We’re going to break down the ending for those who have reached it and are having trouble grasping what the heck happened.
Before breaking it down, let’s quickly recap what happens in the final scenes. Blake is in the chapel with Lynn as she gives birth and dies. Before dying, she says “there’s nothing there.” Almost immediately after delivering the baby, Blake passes out. He awakens to Knoth sitting nearby. He asks Blake if that’s the baby he’s holding, then advises him to kill it if he has any love for himself or the world. He then informs Blake that he’s killed all his followers before taking his own life. Blake gets up and carries the baby, which appears to be perfectly fine, through the town. He sees the bodies in the street, and as he watches the sun rise he has one last vision. Jessica returns, yet it’s the dead Jessica, you can tell by the deep bruise around her neck from when she hanged herself. She takes Blake back to their hiding spot, in the school kitchen, where she proceeds to pray. That’s the end.
That’s a lot to take in, and if you played without reading any documents or anything you would think that Blake is just a little crazy but he’s now a dad and everything is okay. But there are a few weird details that make the ending darker and more twisted. For starters, as far as we can tell, you haven’t been in this area for long and when you first arrived, Lynn definitely wasn’t pregnant. Some say that perhaps you’ve been there for a long time, but Blake’s wounds say otherwise. All the injuries he suffered through the game are still relatively fresh, meaning months couldn’t have passed. So how the hell could she just have a baby in front of you?
During the game, you will find documents that bring up the Murkoff Corporation. Yeah, that Murkoff that was responsible for the Mount Massive Asylum incident in the first Outlast. They were conducting mind control experiments in the area. Unfortunately instead of controlling anyone, the experiments were driving people insane. Even worse, there was a rare effect called a “feedback loop” in which some subjects could project onto others. Essentially, it made the effects of the microwaves used for the experiment contagious in a sense. Taking this into account, it makes Outlast 2’s ending make a bit more sense.
It’s very possible that there was no baby at all, that didn’t actually happen. Based on the documents and how the feedback loop supposedly works, it’s likely that Sullivan Knoth, the leader of the religious cult that chases you throughout most of the game, was projecting his beliefs. He was the one that stated Lynn was pregnant although she adamantly denied it. And when he sees you he asks if that’s the baby in your hands. Now this could mean nothing, but it could also mean that he needs some type of confirmation before seeing what it really is. Yet there is a chance that it was Knoth that cleaned the baby, or whatever it is, when you fell unconscious. You were holding a bloody baby at first, but now are holding a clean, swaddled baby. It’s almost as if you’re now the holder of the loop and Knoth can see what you believe.
But if it’s not a baby, what can it be? This is where things get muddy. You could’ve very well cut a part out of your wife, killing her in the process. Her saying “there’s nothing there” could be her saying that there is no baby in your arms. However, there could be an even stronger connection to the first game in this baby. It could be the Walrider. This was one of the main antagonists in the first game, and kept its creator alive since it viewed him as a father, which means this wouldn’t be the first time it saw itself as a child. The Walrider also needed a host, one who witnessed true horror and trauma (something Blake certainly fits the bill for). Blake could either be holding some form of the Walrider, or can be possessed himself. Seeing as how it control people, it could be what Knoth meant when he said he could no longer kill the baby. Blake was now number one, so Knoth couldn’t do anything against him.
Either way, the chances of the baby actually existing are quite slim. There’s no way Lynn could’ve given birth in such a short time, nor is it possible for all of Blake’s wounds to be so fresh and for him to have survived for 6-9 months with no food while being actively hunted by a cult. Outlast messed with the minds of players and the characters within the game, and there’s a strong chance that Outlast 2 is doing the exact same thing. It’s difficult to discern what’s real anymore, and the entire experience may have very well been in your mind.
It will be interesting to see if any DLC sheds some light on the ending. You walk through the town with the baby, but there’s nobody around to say that it isn’t really there. As the sun seems to expand and a new vision forms, it appears that Outlast 2’s nightmare isn’t actually complete.
Do you have any theories on the ending? Feel free to share your thoughts below.