The Dredge endings are very different from each other; there's a bad ending if you follow the main path, and a good ending - also a secret ending - if you find a special NPC and do some extra objectives to find out the truth of the Relics and the Collector. We can show you how to get all endings in Dredge below, including that special, secret ending for something marginally more upbeat than the regular one.
Obviously, major spoilers for Dredge below!
All Endings in Dredge and how to get them
There are two endings to Dredge that players can get:
These are both determined by a split in the narrative that occurs after the final Relic is obtained, but the good ending isn't obvious, and requires you to visit an island that's wholly optional and meet an NPC that you aren't told about.
Fortunately, we can lay out both of them below and how you can get them. Keep in mind that after you get one, it's totally viable to reload a save and get the other, to see the difference.
How to get the Bad Ending in Dredge
To get the Bad Ending in Dredge is very simple:
- Obtain all five Relics in the main plot.
- Return to the Collector on Blackstone Isle and hand them over.
- Tell him you're ready to make the final voyage.
- Sail to the marked spot on the map (Coordinates G-8). There will be a pillar of red light to make it clear where you're going.
- When you reach it, interact when prompted with a question mark icon to begin the final cutscene.
This is effectively what you're told to do, and by simply following the main quest, this is the point you'll reach at the end of the game. However, there is an alternative, and considering that the game autosaves just before step 3, where you lock into the final ending, you'll be able to go back and try again for a better result.
How to get the good, secret ending in Dredge
To get the good ending in Dredge, players need to take a secret route that's far less obvious. We've laid it out below.
- Obtain all five Relics in the main plot.
- Sail to the unnamed island South of Devil's Spine (map coordinates P-10)
- In the channel going through the island there will be some ruins you can dock at.
- Dock here and speak to the NPC - the Old Mayor.
- Listen to his whole story until he tells you to talk to the Lighthouse Keeper.
- Head back to the starting town of Greater Marrow. Ask the Lighthouse Keeper what she knows of the Crimson Book.
- Go to Blackstone Isle and speak to the Collector. Choose to conceal the Relic.
- Ask him to tell you more about his Book and press the issue whenever prompted.
- Choose to step closer and take the Book.
- Leave without handing over the Relic and go back to the Lighthouse Keeper. Tell her you're ready.
- Sail to the marked spot on the map (Coordinates G-8). The lighthouse will keep its beam trained on the point to help guide you.
- Choose to "Throw it back".
Well, we did say "good ending", not "happy ending." But what actually happened, and what does this all mean? Why do you have to... feed the fish in the good ending, and who was the Collector?
Dredge Ending explained
Dredge's ending is based on a plot twist, one you find out in the secret ending: the unnamed main character and the Collector on Blackstone Isle are the same person. Between the Collector, the Lighthouse Keeper, and the Old Mayor, you get the full story handed out in pieces in the secret ending.
Your character was married at some point before the game started, and the two of you found the Crimson Book, also known as the Book of the Deep, dredged up from the ocean and filled with dark magic. They were accompanied by others, including the Old Mayor of Greater Marrow, but while they were leaving with it, some monster attacked the boat.
The wife was killed in the attack, and the Old Mayor was driven mad by what he had seen, fleeing the town, the Lighthouse Keeper herself a witness to what had happened. However, the Book itself was the key to all sorts of evil power, including the summoning of an eldritch god, and wanted them to use it. With this in mind, it wiped the protagonist's memory of the event and created hallucinations in his mind of The Collector, a mysterious figure who guides him towards finding the Relics necessary to use it, suggesting that it could be used to bring the wife back to life - that's the story that you play through in the game.
The endings vary depending on whether you work out the truth. In the bad ending, your character never realises who the Collector is, and helps fulfil the ritual, thinking he's bringing back the wife but in reality summoning an ancient god and the apocalypse with it. In the good ending, the protagonist realises the truth, resists the influence of the Collector, understands that he's had the Book on him the whole time and throws it back into the ocean in the hope nobody will find it - only to be eaten by a sea monster, possibly the one that attacked the ship initially.
The actual identity of the monster is unclear - either it's a creature guarding the Book, attempting to destroy all who know about it to stop the eldritch god getting through, or it's a monster summoned by the Book to punish the protagonist for not performing the ritual. Either is possible… or it's just a random leviathan that notices a free snack at sea level.
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