Sons of the Forest’s ending, explained
Imagine if the laptop died, we’d have even less context.
There’s more to the island of Sons of the Forest than what shows above ground, and a seemingly rushed ending has produced a heft of head scratching and general bewilderment. One moment, you’re exploring a lava-filled cavern while trying to futilely defend yourself against spike-legged mutants by shaking a cross, and the next you’re looking at a cyberpunk city. Once it’s all up, you appear at the helicopter with much sage chin-stroking and trying to appear less bewildered than everyone else. If you pay attention to the various bits of lore around the island, however, the ending makes sense. Almost.
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What does the cube do in Sons of the Forest?
While exploring the island to gather the various pieces of equipment necessary to survive on the island, like the chainsaw, you’ll inevitably come across emails. These emails were printed out for unknown reasons, and strewn about most shelters in the island in what can only be taken as an act of minor ecological terrorism and a full-scale failure of cyber security protocols. Some of these emails will consistently reference to a cube as an artifact, found somewhere on the island.
This is the cube that you step into at the very end, with golden walls. Every eight cycles (which aren’t fully explained), the island enters a dimensional slip, which seemingly causes everything not within the cube to turn into mutants. Inside the cube is a soldier and Kelvin — the human that attempted to enter the cube behind Kelvin was a mere redshirt that existed to show players what happened if they couldn’t get into the cube in time. The soldier holding the laptop happened to find a countdown for the dimensional slip.
The futuristic city is the viewing of an alternative dimension that briefly joins with the islands’, and the slip ends once the image disappears. This is why, once you leave the cube, you see the bizarre mutant with the dangling head of the redshirt. With the secret of the island unlocked, and little to no reason to deal with these dimensional slips in the future, the family that was briefly seen in a prior cutscene opts to leave the island, along with the player and survivors. It’s not presumed that the members getting into the helicopter are the missing billionaire family, unless you managed to grab the secret ending.