The story of Sons of the Forest has billionaire Edward Puffton and his family disappear, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In this guide, we dissect the complex plot, highlight references to the predecessor, and describe the three game endings.
Cannibals, demons, parallel universes: Sons of the Forest may start with a helicopter crash near an apparently uninhabited island. Also, apart from the violent appearance of a pistol-wielding lady in a silver jacket, everything seems to go its usual (survival) way at first. But if you follow the optional story, you’ll soon find yourself in the middle of an aloof theme of ancient artifacts, bizarre mutants and dark parallel universes.
How does it all fit together? Those who know the predecessor The Forest won’t be surprised about the combination of survival and supernatural. After all, the events of Sons of the Forest are similar to those of “Site 1”, the main setting of the first part. Besides, the sequel lets a few old acquaintances return.
In the following, we’ll analyze the plot and describe its three different endings. Since official details are still missing, not every detail can be explained satisfactorily; however, some backgrounds or connections are very obvious.
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Sons of the Forest: The Story Explained
Just who is the main character? This question might come to mind right at the beginning of the complex story, but the plot doesn’t provide an answer, at least not directly. However, it is possible to catch a glimpse of the supposed soldier, and according to this it is quite clearly Carl Planter, the Puffton employee depicted on the maintenance key card.
Stupidly, this answer immediately raises new questions, especially in the context of the late game and the three players. But we’ll get to that later. As you probably already know, the main character is part of an investigation squad sent to track down billionaire Edward Puffton, who has been missing for 31 weeks, and his family, wife Barbara and daughter Virginia. However, the search team’s helicopter is apparently ballistically attacked and subsequently crashes into the sea near an apparently uninhabited island.
Who is the “silver jacket”? A film sequence follows in which our main protagonist, who wakes up on the beach, is sent back to the land of dreams by a woman in a silver jacket via pistol. The woman bears a strong resemblance to the mutant girl Megan Cross, who actually perished as a result of the events of The Forest. Whether it’s really her or not remains to be seen, but her appearance would fit nicely into a certain race scenario; more on that in a moment as well.
Besides the protagonist, who we will cheekily call Carl from now on, the soldier Kelvin also survives the crash. The two team up to survive in the island world (which will later turn out to be inhabited by cannibals). Carl’s GPS device contains several markers, including the green POIs aka underground facilities. As the story unfolds, these bunkers were built by the missing billionaire’s company, Puffton Corp.
Purple markers, on the other hand, lead to the GPS devices of deceased Puffton employees, which only suggests that Carl’s squad would not have been the first to investigate the events at the site. In addition to the mutated Virginia, who is now seen pacing the archipelago with three arms and legs each, the hero also discovers other gruesome mutants. And: A surveillance video brings to light that many of these monsters are former Puffton board members, who suddenly and under initially unknown circumstances became those repulsive monsters.
Reunion Gives Pleasure
Returning characters are both Timmy and his father Eric LeBlanc. Timmy is known from the prequel The Forest and was rescued from Site 1, the main location of the game, ten years ago. The fact that the then still child soldier is now also in Site 2 is due to the fact that he was part of the second search group flown in by helicopter. His intention to visit Site 2 is also mentioned in the prequel.
It is in the context of this encounter, among others, that it becomes clear that not only Puffton Corp, but also Sahara Therapeutics had a special interest in Site 2. Or still does, because the presumed Megan Cross reappears at this point in the story; this time with a strike force from Sahara Therapeutics that shoots Eric LeBlanc in the back.
As a reminder, Megan is the daughter of Sahara scientist Mathew Cross, whose footsteps she may have followed. This would be possible with regard to certain “revival artifacts” that were already described in The Forest, for example in connection with Timmy.
What is the reason for the mutations? Those artifacts have, and also Carl finds out, something to do with the discovery of a new kind of golden metal by Puffton Corp. Possibly those ancient artifacts are made of said raw material, as is a giant cube stored in Site 2. This activates at regular intervals, causing the mutations found on the island; certainly Virginia’s extra limbs. Why the cannibals on the island are not affected by this could be explained by either a limited range or another mysterious component.
Carl finally discovers the golden cube in a cave behind the Pufftons’ partially devastated bunker. This cave, with its lava flows and the demons that dwell there, has parallels to the biblical hell. What the origin of the supposed hell servants could be is completely in the dark. The only thing that is clear is that only staying in the activated cube protects against mutations. At the end of the game, such an activation takes place, and Carl is in the strange artifact together with Timmy at the moment in question.
It looks as if Timmy’s goal all along was to reach the inside of the active cube in order to free himself from his “inner demons”, meaning the consequences of the experiments performed on him. For indeed, during the activation of the cube, several other Timmys visibly leave his body.
Was it all just a simulation? It is no less interesting when the cube then opens on one side and reveals a view of a gloomy city of a distant future. Since Sons of the Forest contains several references to the topic of parallel universes and virtual reality, it would be conceivable that at least Carl is in a single, gigantic simulation. In this case, the face of the futuristic city would perhaps be an unintentional glimpse into reality caused by the cube, similar to a glitch or dimensional rift. For as quickly as the scenery appeared before the cube, it disappeared again, becoming once more the cave that Carl had previously entered.
All’s well that ends well?
After the dice sequence, as already mentioned, there are three possible endings to consider. For two of them you only have to make a very last decision, for the “secret ending”, on the other hand, there are some (in itself simple) conditions to fulfill.
- Ending 1: You decide to stay on the island. This ending tends to be considered the bad ending, because you may have to fight mutated creatures forever, given the unexplained nature of the demons in the lava cave, as well as the regular dice activation. On the other hand, the game then continues, so you can practically pick up right where you last left off.
- Ending 2: Your decision is: Let’s get out of here. You board the rescue helicopter (maybe with Kelvin) and watch the mysterious island get smaller and smaller during the credits that run through it. That’s it. This ending may be commonly considered the good ending, but it’s also the definitive end of the game.
- Ending 3: The secret ending. For this, you have to get Virginia as a companion and keep Kelvin alive throughout the game. If you then climb the helicopter at the end, your companions will do the same. As a special reward, Virginia leans on your shoulder shortly after takeoff. And that’s what you’ve been waiting for all this time, right? Three arms and legs or not. It’s amazing what an otherwise attractive exterior can conceal.
Nevertheless, many questions remain unanswered. For example, why hero Carl wasn’t already on the island at the beginning of the game, or why he wasn’t there anymore. After all, his workplace is very obviously located there. And this is just one of many gaps or inconsistencies in the story, which could be closed or cleared up in the course of Early Access. An expansion of the story is planned in any case.
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