Video game protagonists aren’t known for having great luck, but Sebastian Castellanos surely trumps most of his peers in the category of misfortune. Over the course of two games, 2014’s The Evil Within and 2017’s The Evil Within 2, our poor hero has been hunted through haunted hospitals, forests and other dreary locales by a madman’s menagerie of mutated monsters. That’s in addition to losing his daughter in a house fire and the subsequent implosion of his marriage. So yeah, while it looks like he’s not going to pick out the winning lottery numbers anytime soon, it’s par for the course for the lead of an action-horror franchise.
If the ending of The Evil Within 2 left you scratching your head, or if you were too depressed (or scared!) to even make it that far, never fear; simply keep reading for a quick summary of the conclusion, but be warned: There are major story spoilers ahead!
The Story So Far
Since The Evil Within 2 is a direct sequel to the first game, it’s good to have some context regarding what’s going on with Sebastian by the time we find him drowning his sorrows at his local watering hole at the start of the second game.
Sebastian’s previous adventures took him to Beacon Memorial Hospital, where as a detective with the Krimson City Police Department, he was charged with investigating a reported massacre alongside partner Joseph Ora and Junior Detective Juli Kidman (a Mobius double agent). Of course, this being a video game, things aren’t as they seem and Sebastian and company are soon thrown into a world of otherworldly horror and conspiracies.
It is during the course of this investigation that Sebastian first encounters STEM, a kind of enhanced virtual reality system that allows the minds of users to connect with one another, with the caveat that death in STEM translates to death IRL. This system has to be supported by a “Core” - one mind that acts as the host for the entire simulation that others enter into.
Unfortunately for Sebastian, the mind that hosts this particular world is that of a psychopathic genius named Ruvik, who developed the system as a means of reconnecting with his deceased sister Laura, who died in a tragic barn fire. After a doctor named Marcelo Jimenez aided a sinister corporation named Mobius in co-opting Ruvik’s technology, Ruvik calibrated STEM to only function with his unique brain. In turn, Mobius killed him and extracted his brain to continue to power the machine, while seeking out a compatible, more compliant brain for future use - in this case, that of Jimenez’s patient, Leslie Withers. The search for Withers and a means of escape from the simulation provide the main through lines of the plot. After many grisly trials and tribulations, Sebastian manages to escape from the simulation and destroy Ruvik’s host brain, seemingly putting an end to STEM and the horrors within.
A More Perfect Union
The events of The Evil Within 2 take place three years after its predecessor. Having left the police department in the wake of the events of the first game, the apparent death of his daughter Lily in a house fire, and the subsequent abandonment of his wife, who refused to accept the truth of Lily’s death, Sebastian has hit rock bottom and spends his days at the bottom of a bottle.
Approached by Kidman and informed that his daughter is still alive, Sebastian is taken to a Mobius facility. There, the head of the facility, known only as The Administrator, informs him that Lily is acting as the Core, or host, for a new STEM system that simulates an American small town called Union. All contact within the simulation has been lost, so Sebastian agrees to once again enter STEM and face the madness within.
And madness is indeed what Sebastian finds. Not only have all the citizens of Union been killed or transformed into mutated monsters, there’s also a murderous photography-obsessed serial killer on the loose, a cult leader who wants to use Lily and STEM for his own nefarious ends, and - surprise, surprise - Myra, Sebastian’s ex-wife, who had entered the simulation in order to find Lily and protect her at all costs.
After dispatching of the various sub-antagonists, Sebastian finally confronts Myra, who at first appears as a hooded apparition. It seems Lily is alive and well in a house within the simulation, constructed after the real house the Castellanos all lived in as a family. Myra has become obsessed with protecting Lily, causing her to go a little off her rocker. Sebastian tries to convince Myra that they can all leave the simulation together, but she’s not having any of it. After a brief confrontation, Sebastian is forced to shoot her, causing her to transform into a huge, mutated version of herself.
After a typical “shoot the glowing parts” boss fight, the mutant Myra is defeated, and she returns to her human form. Exhausted, she tells Sebastian to rescue Lily, and promises she will follow. Sebastian finds Lily in her bedroom in the house and is ready to remove her from the simulation, when Myra arrives to inform him that she cannot follow. As part of a plot to destroy Mobius, Myra had entered STEM in order to take Lily’s place as the Core to transmit a signal that will end the simulation and kill every Mobius agent via an implanted chip in their brains. Sebastian and Myra reconcile, and Sebastian exits the simulation with Lily.
This is all intercut with happenings in the real world, where agent Kidman disobeys orders to destroy Sebastian’s body, and instead helps Sebastian and Lily escape. Myra then triggers the signal, and all Mobius agents are killed, including the Administrator. Kidman, having previously removed the microchip, is safe.
Together, the three leave the facility.
…but that’s not all!
STEM Rises Again
During a post-credits scene, Sebastian and Lily part ways with Kidman. Having found that acceptance is the only real answer to overcoming pain, Sebastian is ready to move on and begin his life anew. We then transition to the abandoned Mobius facility, where it is revealed that the STEM system has reawakened. Whether on its own or as the result of someone’s actions is unknown.
The Evil Within 3 has yet to be announced, however creator Shinji Mikami’s new project, Ghostwire: Tokyo, did have a release date of October, 2021 but was just delayed until 2022.
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