Past Cure Ending Explained (SPOILERS)
Hey, everyone, I created a video discussing and analyzing the ending of Past Cure. If you haven't played the game and were looking for a spoiler-free review, check out my previous post. In the video, I will be breaking down the ending and explaining what happened to Ian throughout the story and the ending scene. I haven't read or watched any other reviews to keep my interpretation unbiased. As a disclaimer, this is MY interpretation of the ending, and I haven't researched other theories or reached out to the game's developers. After recording my footage for the review, I went back and re-watched all the cutscenes, dialogue, and pieced together my OWN final explanation of the ending. Below is the video with scenes from the game. Below the video is just the text I recorded if you would prefer to read or skip over the video.
The last scene has Ian waking up from a dream with two figures hovering above him, talking about putting him back to sleeping and resetting the dream. The story has you think that Ian has been searching for clues about his disappearance for 18 months after reappearing from a 3-year abduction which he has no memory of. In fact, the whole story from when we take control of Ian is already part of this dream. He is in some type of medically induced coma/dream state where his captures are training his mental and physical powers to make him a stronger weapon. The opening scene and notes of the secret CIA program mention that there are shady underground organizations trying to harness the power of the human mind as weapons after WW2. Marcus has Ian keep a detailed dream journal where he encounters the porcelain figures over and over and encourages Ian to develop his powers. Even the repetitive climb up the Crowley arms to find Dr. Fletcher is an opportunity to train Ian's skills as he takes out countless generic enemies.
Even though Ian has memories of Marcus and photos of him as a soldier, most of his memories are fabricated. Even though Ian's captures has erased and manipulated his memory, he is still able to recall some significant events and memories that feel familiar to him. Ian and his real brother were actually created by his father in the underground medical facility, and we learn they were test subject 64 and 65. Ian was the weaker of the two, but when his brother dies the trauma develops into a split personality he names Amos that embodies the power his brother had.
There is another female test subject that Ian becomes close to that also has strong mental powers, that ends up being “Sophia” or the girl in his nightmares. Based on the children's drawing, the handprints, and story of them falling in love, they grew up together and have similar mental powers, but Sophia seems to be stronger and is able to enter and manipulate Ian's dreams. Sophia is responsible for the messages on the fridge and the bluebirds that are giving Ian hints throughout the game.
At some point when Ian is younger in order to help control the delusions due to the death of his brother or side effects of the treatment of mental powers, Amos is locked away in a part of Ian's mind, where Amos' anger toward Sophia builds. While Ian's memories are wiped, Amos still remembers what was done to them and vows to take revenge on both Sophia and the doctors that are keeping them captive. Amos sees Sophia as a weakness and tries to get Ian to kill her, join with his power, and take revenge on the scientists using their full mental powers.
The black pill is something that Sophia brings into Ian's dream, first with the bluebird in Fletcher's hotel room and then again at the end telling him its the only way to win against Amos. What the black pill does is give Ian control of everything in his dream, which is why he is able to control the porcelain figures, overpower Amos, and ultimately why Marcus doesn't want Ian to have or take the pill.
The black pill was not originally in Marcus's plan when he sent Ian on the mission, which is why he freaks out when Ian tells him about it and why Marcus sends armed guards to Sophia's place to steal the pill. Amos reveals to Ian that Marcus is not who he believes he is and he has been manipulating his memories to use him. Throughout the game, Ian is referred to as a pawn. By the end, it seems like one of the figures standing above Ian is, in fact, the voice of Marcus who has been trying to prevent Ian from waking up. Marcus is referred to as a doctor in the game and acknowledges that soldiers are expendable while doctors are like gods. When things didn't go according to plan, for example when Sophia shows up in Ian's dream, he orders Ian to kill her so she doesn't reveal the truth. Also when Ian finds the drawer full of pictures in Fletcher's room, Marcus freaks out not knowing it was going to be there.
Dr. Fletcher is another strange character in the story. From Marcus, we learn that Dr. Fletcher is a pharmacologist that was selling drugs to the organization Dioscura that gives the users superpowers. Ian recognizes him but can't remember where. From going into his mind and seeing the image of the underground medical facility, Dr. Fletcher is, in fact, Ian's father, whose real name is Dr. Gottlieb Schneider. In Schneider's office, where is a porcelain figure called “the thinker” that says Ian's father used to keep on his desk. There is also a recording of a story of the bat and the war between the birds and the mammals in the same room, with his father directly talking Ian. Not only does the painting of Dr. Schneider have scissors suck in his eyes, the way Dr. Fletcher's eyes were removed in the apartment, but Dr. Schneider's desk is also covered with pill bottles like a pharmacologist would have. Sophia mentions that Fletcher abused children, and Ian's father abused both Ian and his brother, and at least 74 other patients while training them to be strong soldiers.
At the last scene before Ian's awakening, Sophia tells Ian not to be scared that she will come back to get him out of this. Knowing that the two figures say that there have been two other awakening this month, Sophia must be going into the dreams of people being held captive at the facility trying to help them wake up. She may have already escaped the facility, might still be held captive, or is acting as a double agent with the scientists is yet to be determined.
I'm surprised how much I enjoyed this game and hope there is a sequel to answer some of these questions I still have. Like the first Assassins Creed, the ending had me hooked and left me wanting more. Let me know what you all thought of the ending or anything I missed in my analysis. I still can't figure out a good explanation on why the game is titled Past Cure, so let me know what you think in the comments. I've never been good at titles unless directly mentioned in the game or movie.
If you made it to the end, thank you for sticking with me. Thanks for the support and See you again soon!