It goes without saying that this article is packed with spoilers, so turn back now if you haven’t completed the game.
Similarly to Playdead’s last game, Limbo, much of the story of Inside is left up to interpretation of the player, and things are often left intentionally ambiguous. It’s a mind-bending game shrouded in mystery, but we’re here to try and help you make sense of some of the big events. Since the game’s release, fans have been coming up with some wild theories on what everything means. At this point there isn’t really a way to say one is definitively true, but that’s part of what makes Inside such a unique experience.
Inside starts without any explanation, immediately dropping you into a dark foreboding forest. As you trek forward you encounter some strange masked men with flashlights who make one thing clear: they’re here looking for you. The moment any of them spot you they chase you down and either choke you, or knock you out.
Our first hint at what’s really happening in the game, is shown when we make it out of the forest and into the slaughterhouse. Here we stumble upon a strange device hanging from the ceiling, with lifeless human forms lying in the background. Once you figure out a way to reach the device, the boy attaches it to his head and the forms spring to life.
Through mind control, the boy can solve various puzzles throughout the game using these devices. It’s also worth noting that before the boy can gain access to the first device, he has to evade a rabid pig, then pull some kind of a slug out of its rear. After doing this, the pig falls into a zombified heap in the corner. This could suggest that pigs were first used as experiements for mind control. With that information out of the way, let’s move on. From here we have a few different theories on what the rest of the game means, with some pieces of evidenced pointed out for each.