How many endings are there in Dredge? All Dredge endings explained
Are you sure you want to know the truth?
Dredge is an engrossing game that will take you on a journey around the waters surrounding Greater Marrow, exploring cosmic horrors and strange pockets of humanity. It’s a journey you never want to end, but it will at some point. This guide explains how many endings there are in Dredge and what they each mean. Spoilers ahead.
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Does Dredge have multiple endings?
Yes, Dredge has two endings. While some players label them good and bad, it’s hard to say which one is which. It’s all down to your perception of the journey the protagonist has been on. We’ve outlined how to get each ending below.
How to get the bad ending in Dredge
To get the bad ending in Dredge, you need to gather all the Relics for The Collector. Once you’ve done this, he’ll tell you that you can now take him out to sea to make the final journey. The game will prompt you at this point, informing you that this is the final phase of the game, and nothing will be saved from this point onwards. Agree to this because it means you can return to complete any Pursuits you still have open later.
The Collector will make you wait until the dead of night before heading out to sea, but there are no aberrations or horrors to speak of. You must sail to the red glowing point in the distance. When you arrive, The Collector will throw all of the Relics into the sea. This will summon a woman from the depths. However, in the background, you’ll also see a colossal monster rise from the deep.
The credits will roll over a destroyed Greater Marrow, implying that the beast that was raised has gone on a rampage and consumed the world.
How to get the good ending in Dredge
The good ending in Dredge is much more challenging to get. Collect all the Relics as you would for the bad ending, but don’t then go out with The Collector. Instead, head back to Twisted Strand and look for a campfire somewhere in the mangroves. You’ll need some Packed Explosives to get at it. When you approach the campfire, you’ll meet The Old Mayor, a character hinted at in Greater Marrow.
He’ll speak about the book that The Collector holds, but he won’t come with you. Next, you need to go back to Greater Marrow and speak to the Lighthouse Keeper. Ask her what she knows about the crimson and silver book, and she’ll tell you an unsettling tale. It’s clear that you need to go and get it from The Collector.
When you ask The Collector for the book, he’ll refuse a few times before you punch him. It’s then revealed that the protagonist is actually The Collector. In their madness, they forgot who they were. With the book in hand, you can return to the Lighthouse Keeper one more time.
The Lighthouse Keeper will tell you that you need to throw the book back into the sea. She shines a light out to sea for you to follow. Once you’re there, after you’ve thrown the book back into the sea, a huge monster will eat the boat. The protagonist, and therefore The Collector, is dead.
Dredge endings explained
Now you know how to get each ending; you might be wondering what they mean. We’ve explained each one below so you’re not left in the dark.
Dredge’s bad ending, explained
The bad ending in Dredge is simple to understand if you’ve picked up the messages in bottles around the sea. These tell the tale of a couple who set out to live on a boat at sea but were plagued by bad luck. The wife kept an item with the boat’s old name on it, and the husband desperately wanted to get rid of them before they set sail because it’s bad luck to keep these items. The wife didn’t take this seriously. The messages tell of how the husband slowly went mad, throwing all sorts of things off the boat. Before long, he threw his wife off too. The final note shows his madness is complete. Whatever Old Gods lurk beneath the water’s surface have made their way into his mind and taken him over.
When you throw all the items into the sea at the spot where the woman appears, you’re returning the items thrown over initially when the husband had gone mad. The wife then returns, in a way, because she is the only thing that was thrown over that hadn’t been returned yet. However, the Old God in the background, that also rises from the depths, knew this. It used the madness it inflicted and the desire for a loved one to convince The Collector to go on this pursuit for knowledge and Relics. The final piece of the puzzle with this ending is actually revealed by the good ending. Spoilers ahead if you haven’t gotten that ending yet.
The good ending reveals that the protagonist and The Collector are the same people. Therefore, when you see The Collector raising this woman, his wife, from the depths, it’s actually the protagonist doing it. This is because the protagonist is the man who went mad at sea. This is why at the start of Dredge, you see the boat crash into the rocks near the lighthouse. You, the captain, are mad, but were washed ashore because the Old God had work for you to do. With this ending, you have succeeded, but at what cost?
Dredge’s good ending, explained
A lot is going on in Dredge’s good ending. The Old Mayor was driven mad at the sight of a book that a group of people out at sea saw. He ended up washed up on an island, whereas the Lighthouse Keeper somehow made it back to Greater Marrow. In the town, everyone says The Old Mayor was a bit mad anyway, so maybe he’d been exposed to the book before or was weakened by the power of the Old God through it.
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When you meet The Old Mayor, it sparks a reminder about this character, which is why most players then ask the Lighthouse Keeper about him. The Lighthouse Keeper has known about you and your true identity from the start. That’s why she sends you to The Collector. When you meet with him and take the book, revealing that you are, in fact, The Collector, it all falls into place.
When you started the game and crashed into the rocks, the Lighthouse Keeper recognized you. That’s because she was there when you all saw the book. She survived, The Old Mayor was driven mad, and you were somehow transported to or reborn on a boat and sent to Greater Marrow by the Old God. The Collector is the Old God’s will acting through you, giving you strange powers and trying to be freed. When you throw the book into the sea, you’re killed by a giant fish because the Old God is displeased with you. It knows it’s lost its hook in you, so it may as well kill you because you’re of no worth to it any longer. The reason this is the good ending becaus the town of Greater Marrow survives at the end, indicating that the Old God is still very much locked away.