If you’d like the Scorn story explained, we don’t blame you. Like the artwork of H.R. Giger and Zdzisław Beksiński that inspired it, the meaning behind Ebb Software’s horror game is largely up to interpretation. Depending on how you look at it, you might consider Scorn an allegory for humanity’s overreliance on technology, the death drive of capitalist systems, or just a slorpy glorpy good time.
However, the overarching themes of life, death, and rebirth remain at the forefront of Scorn’s story, and the anxieties of pregnancy manifest in every significant moment of your journey. It seems credible that, above all else, Scorn is an exploration of the tenuous balance between life and death in childbirth. Here’s our full interpretation of Scorn’s story and ending; needless to say, this guide does have major story spoilers for Scorn, so do read on at your own peril.
Scorn story plot recap
Before we get stuck into the meaning behind Scorn’s story and ending, here’s a quick plot recap for you. The game’s opening cutscene depicts the humanoid protagonist of Scorn traversing a desert landscape, towards a colossal tower of alien origin in the far distance. After falling through a crevasse, you find yourself trapped within some kind of alien reproduction facility, and its various doors and mechanisms must be activated in order to escape. One such mechanism malfunctions and explodes, and you’re consumed by a wave of living flesh.
Following the apparent death of this protagonist, your perspective switches to an identical humanoid that hatches from an egg in the alien desert. After ripping out its umbilical cord, you are stalked through a nearby alien structure by a parasitic creature that attaches itself to you. Eventually, you and your parasitic pal reach some kind of paediatric unit, where mutated foetuses are artificially gestated and harvested into a power source for doors, elevators, and even reanimated sentry guards. You emerge from this area to find yourself within the tower’s inner sanctum – though whether it serves as your salvation or your final resting place remains to be seen.
Scorn story and ending explained
The shadow of childbirth and death follows you throughout your journey, and it hangs over the most significant moments in the game. The first puzzle in Scorn involves assisting in a complicated birth, forcing you to choose between a saw or scoop mechanism in order to break a humanoid hatchling from its shell. The newborn’s survival won’t hinder your progress, but this choice must be made. A few chapters later, you encounter a colossal, apparently pregnant creature that you must cut open in imitation of a caesarean section in order to progress. Even your healing tool in Scorn resembles a placenta, holding the blood and nutrients necessary for survival.
Scorn’s alien landscape is full of danger, populated by twisted mutant creatures that attack on sight. However, the greatest threat to your life is the parasitic creature that binds itself to you and accompanies you on your journey. It appears to both help and hinder, holding your inventory in its hands while progressively sapping your health as its mutation slowly infects you. Once you find a machine capable of surgically removing it, there is a sudden revelation that it’s you – or rather, the protagonist you played at the beginning of the game, mutated into a monstrous shape that scarcely resembles its original human form.
The process of attempting to prevent your previous self from consuming you entirely causes it to lash out, inflicting grievous wounds in its efforts to remain connected to you. You push inexorably onwards, into what appears to be a fertility temple, your last hope for survival. The surgical procedure that ensues connects you to a neural network, and your mind transitions into the pregnant figures imbued with the blood of the mutated offspring you encountered earlier.
Your connection with the gravid bodies of the fertility temple finally grants you the opportunity to escape this sanguinary world. Cradled in their arms, you take the final steps to deliver yourself through a yonic portal, flanked by statues of human bodies beckoning towards it as they shed their corporeal form. However, this is not to be. Before you can begin your journey through the portal, your parasitic, previous self appears, tearing you from the arms of your deliverer and dragging you backwards as it finally consumes you entirely. Instead of transcending through the portal, both protagonists of Scorn fuse into a twisted monument, a stillbirth of twin beings.
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There are multiple ways that Scorn’s story can be explained. Its ending may serve as a tragic representation of miscarriage caused by Vanishing Twin Syndrome or the development of conjoined twins. It might also infer how progeny necessitates a collapse of the self, as you become an inexorable part of a greater whole. Either way, it’s a game that invites conversation, and the events of its story are certain to stick with you for the foreseeable future.