It's only been out for a matter of days, but Far Cry 4 has already proven itself quite the treasure trove. Before it was released, an easter egg was discovered that was actually an alternate ending. Since then, one of its creators has continued to hint there's another, even more secret ending gamers haven't uncovered.
UPDATE 11/15 2:45 pm: With the help of many wonderful Kotaku readers and other gamers on the internet, I've gotten more clarity on the "super secret" ending to Far Cry 4, which I will spell out more fully a section below the original story.
It all started when Alex Hutchinson, creative director on Far Cry 4, fessed up to the first secret ending after it was unearthed by GameSpot:
But it didn't end there:
There's another, "super secret alternate ending" buried somewhere in Far Cry 4. And by the sound of Hutchinson's playfully cryptic banter with people on Twitter, it's somewhere very close by the original secret ending.
Argh! The proximity of one secret alternate ending to another, super secret alternate ending makes it supreme secrecy all the more maddening, doesn't it?
To refresh our memories, Far Cry 4 begins with protagonist Ajay Ghale riding into Kyrat on a bus carrying his mother's ashes. The bus then gets commandeered, and Kyrat's evil tyrant Pagan Min shows up. Min escorts Ghale and one of the other bus riders to one of his fortresses, where he forces both of you to participate in a very scary meal. After monologuing (as villains are want to do) and torturing the other bus rider for a moment, Min steps away, saying he'll return shortly. Here's how Nathan described the original secret ending, which players can access the moment they gain control Ajay Ghale—after Min steps out of the room:
First things first: If you play Far Cry 4 the way it's intended to be played (as, you know, a first-person shooter), it will take you much longer than 15 minutes. However, as a sort of joke alternate ending, Ubisoft's given players the option to wait around near the beginning of the game for Pagan Min to return to his snazzy villa after he takes you, Ajay Ghale, a young man who's returned to Kryat to scatter his mother's ashes, captive.
Normally this would be the part where you flee, rampage around, and get embroiled in the civil war at the heart of Far Cry 4's plot. However, if you simply sit there, "enjoying the crab rangoon" as Min says, for a little more than 10 minutes, he'll come back and be your BFF. Or at least, he'll give you a very personal history lesson and take you to a place where you can put your mother's ashes to rest.
After exiting the shrine where you've deposited dear old now-conveniently-travel-sized mom, you rejoin Min near his helicopter. He then quips, "Oh good. You feel better now? Get it out of your system? Maybe now we can finally shoot some goddamn guns." Then "Should I Stay Or Should I Go" by The Clash plays and the credits roll.
Apparently, there's another branching moment somewhere in Far Cry 4's prologue as well:
I just can't find it yet. I started and restarted Far Cry 4 three times today to poke around the game's prologue in search of some magic lever or hidden button that I missed. I use those two terms metaphorically, don't worry. Or maybe there is an actual magic lever sitting somewhere at the introduction to the game, and I just haven't found that yet?
I could continue to bang my head against Far Cry 4's virtual walls. But I'd rather ask you, all the Kotaku-reading gamers out there, if you've had any luck uncovering the deepest secrets in Kyrat. Have you found any additional easter eggs? Any that seem not just secret, but super secret? Tell us about them in the comments, and we'll see if we can get to the bottom of this.
UPDATE 11/15 2:45 pm: So, it turns out I was way off in my reading of Hutchinson's original tweets. It looks like he was referring to the very end of the game, not a discrete section of Far Cry 4's prologue. Here's how it works.
Be wary of end-game spoilers after this point.
The final story mission in Far Cry 4 tasks you with seizing Pagan Min's fortress. After you capture it successfully, Ajay heads inside to confront Min. The player is then presented with an option to either shoot him in the head, or not do that. If you choose the latter option, Min sits down at a table with you, and the two of you have a quick meal and a little chat. Then he takes you to Lakshmana.
People who've seen (or played through) the original secret ending should already know that "Lakshmana" is actually the name of Ishwari Ghale's infant daughter, and therefore also Ajay's half-sister. Mohan, Ajay's father, killed Lakshmana after he discovered that she was the product of an illicit affair between Ishwari and Min. Pagan explains to you that Lakshmana's death was the event that turned him into the crazy person you see today. Sad.
After the conversation, Pagan steps into a helicopter that proceeds to lift off—presumably carrying him somewhere safer than the fortress you just captured. It's at this point that the secret ending presents itself—but only if you have an RPG or grenade launcher in your inventory. If you do, then you're prompted with an option to shoot the helicopter down. And if you do that, you can return to the game after the credits are done rolling, find Min's corpse at the crash site, and—in true Far Cry 4 fashion—loot the thing.
Here's how choosing to kill Min in that moment plays out, as captured by Kotaku reader xGarbett:
Here's a slightly more thorough rundown from Eurogamer:
As you can see from Eurogamer's description, they're still not sure if there's another as-yet-undiscovered secret that might just be the "mini location" Hutchinson was referring to (emphasis added):
So after that bombshell, Pagan flies off, but you get a few seconds chance to down his chopper as he makes his getaway. Do that and the game ends. Well done, the king is dead. Long live you.
After the credits jump back into the game and you can immediately head back to Pagans Fortress. Blow a hole in this door here, leg it up the hill and near the top you'll come across the downed chopper and a very pristine Pagan corpse just ripe for the looting. In his jacket you'll find his golden pen - the one he used to stab that dude with right at the start of the game, and a lapel pin netting you a cool 250,000 kyrati royals.
And that's about all you can do with the body, you can't burn it and you can't carry it, so there's no laying it to rest alongside his lover and his daughter. So what mini location has this unlocked then?
I still consider the helicopter crash site a possibility for the "mini location." But who knows. Maybe there's still another secret somewhere out there in Kyrat, just waiting to be found.
If nothing else, this helps my pet theory that Kyrat is actually run by an elite group of hyper-intelligent honey badgers stay alive for a little while longer.