Everything you need to know about The Evil Within’s Story
The Evil Within 2 is just around the corner, waiting to deliver some survival horror frights just in time for Halloween. Of course, if you’re not familiar with the first Evil Within, you might find yourself a little lost in the grand scheme of things.
In fact, even if you are familiar with the first game you could still be lost. Like most psychological, survival horror games The Evil Within’s story takes twists, turns, and occasionally leaves the player hanging. You are supposed to struggle to come to terms with events that are both scary and confusing.
So, let’s go on a journey, and brush up on the details before The Evil Within 2 drags us back into STEM on Friday the 13th.
This article will dissect the entire plot of the first game, so if you have not yet finished it, please be aware that it contains spoilers.
Important Factions, and the World of The Evil Within
The Evil Within’s world is sharply bisected by the events that happen in reality, and the events that happen within STEM. The differences between Reality and STEM can be small or they can be massive. Throughout the game the protagonist gets to see numerous examples of the differences, but it’s difficult to tell where STEM begins and Reality ends.
Let’s talk about what STEM is, and its origins. STEM is Ruvik’s masterpiece, and features the culmination of his life’s work. Essentially, an attempt to create a world where he can reunite with his long-lost sister Laura. Unfortunately, while developing the system with the help of a fellow researcher, Dr. Marcelo Jimenez, a mysterious shadow faction known as Mobius enters the fold. They bolster Ruvik’s available resources, but also attempt to seize control of the project from Ruvik.
Before Mobius can pull it off, Ruvik adapts the system so that it can only function with his mind as its core. STEM works by networking a series of minds together, fusing their psyches and allowing them to enter a world where the power of the mind matters more than reality. The subconsciousness of those within STEM create the reality we see in the main game. Think of it like the Matrix, without all the rules, and controlled by an absolute madman.
With Ruvik at its Core, he controls nearly everything, but Mobius wasn’t exactly a fan of Ruvik having total control. They developed a work-around, kind of. They kill Ruvik and rip his brain out of his body to use as the core. Mobius assumed that with Ruvik dead, his mind wouldn’t be able to influence or control STEM anymore. Unfortunately for them, Ruvik was still very much alive inside that brain, and he instantly seized control of STEM once again.
STEM is Ruvik’s playground, but Mobius wants it back. This is where Sebastian Castellanos and his merry crew come in. Mobius immediately removed Ruvik’s mind from the system when they realized their mistake. Unfortunately, Ruvik’s consciousness remained, giving him total control of STEM and allowing him to shape the world as he saw fit.
Simultaneously, Ruvik began absorbing the hundreds of test subjects who had already left their own psyches within STEM, feeding him an enormous amount of power and creating his own personal army of disfigured enemies called Haunted, and much tougher monsters from particularly traumatized test subjects. The second someone enters STEM Ruvik can begin to seed his consciousness into theirs, steadily corrupting them and either turning them into a haunted, or allowing him to absorb them into his collective consciousness.
Either as a result of this contact, or just as a symbol of Ruvik’s power, anyone that enters Ruvik’s world and escapes alive is permanently marked with a laceration that looks like a thin 7 or a bent, twisted nail.
It’s not clear what the effects of this mark could have in the real world, but a lot of characters that you wouldn’t expect have it. This includes the Administrator and Myra, who we never actually see enter STEM, implying that they’ve both been inside at one time or another.
The original STEM required all subjects to be hooked up directly to each other to function, the wireless prototype is activated at the beginning of the game by Dr. Jimenez. It’s not clear why he does this. It could have been to protect STEM and Mobius when he sees the cops are arriving, or it could be part of a test. Maybe Jimenez was trying to do something for Ruvik in attempt to right his past wrongs.
Either way, when Jimenez activates the wireless system, everyone in a large radius around Beacon Mental Hospital is instantly sucked into Ruvik’s world. Meaning that it’s not clear exactly when Sebastian and his compatriots actually enter STEM.
They could have stepped into the hospital and collapsed unconscious, only to relive their arrival in STEM while lying on the hospital floor. They also could have immediately picked up where they left off, seamlessly transitioning into Ruvik’s world the second they stepped into the hospital. Maybe they were already placed in STEM manually, and the wireless system was only activated to let Mobius move them off site.
All we know for sure is that Ruvik doesn’t exit STEM until the end of the game. As soon as we see him pulling off his supernatural stabbing spree we know we’ve officially entered his world, and therefore STEM. Aside from that, there’s a cutscene early in the game that shows Sebastian being transported down some kind of concrete hallway. We also know he and his companions complete the game in a white room filled with STEM baths. So, it could swing a variety of directions from these three events.
Not a whole lot is known about Mobius. They’re a shadow organization with a great deal of power and resources at their disposal. We also know they have an almost illuminati level of influence and a distinct hierarchy, and that they want to use STEM to create their ideal world. They’re willing to do almost anything to accomplish this, and have both the will and the resources to get away with it.
Think of Mobius as the men who made the boogeyman. Pretty much anything bad that happens, or that’s in any way suspicious or mysterious, probably has Mobius’ stamp on it.
There are a lot of main characters running around in The Evil Within, all with deep mysterious backstories that’s hidden in various collectibles throughout the game.
Sebastian Castellanos is arguably the primary protagonist of The Evil Within. In the DLC you’ll switch from his arc to Kidman. You also eventually walk in the shoes of the Executioner as he stomps his way through STEM and what’s left of Ruvik’s nightmare.
Sebastian is a detective with the Krimson City police department with a long history of successful cases. In his prime, he was the bee’s knees of criminal insight, and on the fast track to a long and successful career. Unfortunately, all that came to a screeching halt when his daughter supposedly died in a fire that consumed his home.
We now know, thanks to the The Evil Within 2 trailers, that Lily was abducted or somehow transported into a new version of STEM, likely under Mobius orders. Although it’s not clear how this happened, if Lily is actually alive, or if she’s now the center of the STEM world we see in Evil Within 2.
Sebastian was rocked by guilt at the death of his daughter and began drinking heavily. Simultaneously, his wife Myra Castellanos, also a detective for Krimson City, began to obsessively investigate the fire that caused their daughter’s death, which ultimately led to her disappearance as well.
With his wife and daughter gone, Sebastian sank into a deep depression. He was drinking habitually and watching his career stall as his passion for solving crime faded. Soon after, his partner Joseph Oda, reported him to internal affairs. Castellanos nearly lost his job. With a lot of help, he managed to pull himself together enough to resume work. Although not without a healthy dose of alcoholism and a few noir cop clichés.
All of this eventually led Sebastian down a dark road that ended at Beacon Mental Hospital. Here he was forcibly inserted into the STEM program, along with Joseph Oda and the rest of the cast we see throughout the game.
Sebastian doesn’t understand anything that is going on in Ruvik’s mad-world. What saves him is his brutal, forward-thinking pragmaticism. It allows him to roll with the punches and succeed where others would normally go insane. Along with his deep sense of moral purpose to protect the innocent, it guides Sebastian to Leslie, and allows him to ultimately defeat Ruvik and destroy his brain at the center of STEM.
Ruvik is a tough nut to crack. Everything in the first game is tied to his tragic past. Every fright, monster, and scene within STEM is a reflection of those events.
As a child, Ruvik was the son of wealthy parents. Although brilliant, he was also mentally ill to some degree. Ruvik conducted a number of gruesome psychological experiments, even at a young age. It’s not clear whether these were frowned upon by his parents or encouraged. He does have a small hidden lab where he conducts his experiments away from the public eye. Once again, it’s not clear whether this lab was hidden even from his parents, or an isolated environment created by his parents to control and hide Ruvik’s morbid curiosity.
Ruvik’s parents were rich, influential, and not well liked by the locals. It’s hinted that they had ties to Mobius through Beacon Mental Hospital and potentially an additional faction represented by a mysterious church. At this point we don’t know much about either relationship, or if the church is potentially tied to Theodore, the priest we see in most of the promotional material for EW2.
Ruvik’s one friend and confidant was his older sister Laura. While the two were playing in a barn on property their parents had recently purchased, the disgruntled former owners returned to burn it down. Supposedly, they didn’t know children were inside, but both Ruvik and Laura were badly burned as a result. Laura helped Ruvik escape through one of the barn windows and was forced to brave the flames as a result.
Due to the severity of her wounds Laura fell into a vegetative coma. Ruvik was badly scarred and any glimpses we see of him during this time of his life show him wrapped in bandages.
Once he recovered, Ruvik became obsessed with researching methods to join Laura’s mind with his own, in an attempt to free her from the prison of her burned body. As a result, his experiments become more aggressive and less concerned with human life.
At some point Ruvik kills both his parents and takes over the family fortune. He’s then approached by Dr. Jimenez and Mobius who wish to renew the donations being sent to Beacon Mental Hospital. In return they offer to supply Ruvik with test subjects. Eventually Dr. Jimenez joins him to continue research into developing STEM.
At some point Laura dies and Ruvik’s fragile mental state suffers significantly. He throws himself into developing STEM. He discovers that Jimenez has stolen some of his research and used it to publish several papers in his name. Even though Ruvik is angry, the publication encourages Mobius to invest heavily in his STEM research.
Not long after this, the Administrator and Ruvik meet, and the meeting doesn’t go well. As a result, Ruvik modifies STEM to specifically require the use of his brain to function as a core. In the meantime, Jimenez urges The Administrator to keep him around because he’s the only one that can influence Ruvik’s fragile mental state.
Despite this, The Administrator betrays Ruvik and he’s captured with Jimenez’s help. Ruvik is tortured and eventually dismembered and dissected until all that’s left is his brain. This is then integrated into the STEM prototype.
Eventually, Jimenez discovers a method to supposedly bypass Ruvik’s mind in STEM. Unfortunately for Jimenez, Ruvik abandons his mind almost as soon as it enters the STEM systems and his consciousness is hidden within the network of minds already present from numerous former test subjects. Ruvik becomes a demigod within the machine he created, molding STEM to his will and gaining more power with every psyche that enters his domain.
Soon after, Mobius creates a plan to send in a group of operatives to find and root out Ruvik’s consciousness. They plan to replace it with Leslie Withers, a mental patient with matching brain waves to Ruvik’s that can be used as a new core for STEM. Juli Kidman is part of this team. Sebastian’s group of detectives along with Jimenez and the rest of the cast are abducted in a manner that’s unclear, and integrated into Ruvik’s world within STEM.
Unbeknownst to Mobius, Ruvik begins plotting the second the team enters his world and he spends all of his power attempting to root out and kill the other members of the team. This includes Sebastian, Kidman, and Joseph, while trying to get his hands on Leslie Withers in order to absorb him into his psyche.
Once absorbed, Ruvik is confident that he can escape STEM in Leslie’s body. By the end of the game, Ruvik accomplishes this goal and Leslie is last seen melting into Ruvik’s essence. Sebastian kills Ruvik in STEM, but Leslie is then seen walking away from the hospital with Ruvik’s confident stride, in contrast to Leslie’s hesitant shuffle.
It’s assumed that Ruvik has at this point escaped out into the world in Leslie’s body. He most likely plans to seek vengeance on those that wronged him using the powers he developed in STEM. It’s implied that Ruvik has managed to bring many of these powers with him, although this is unconfirmed.
Leslie is a mental patient of unknown origin that Mobius and Dr. Jimenez believe they can use to replace Ruvik in the center of STEM. Leslie is extremely mentally unstable but not necessarily dangerous. He is disabled by his own mental illness and the massive trauma of watching his family die in front of him at a very young age.
This trauma and mental illness present themselves as an almost childlike attitude and a habit of parroting words after someone speaks to him. This also gives him brainwaves that are closely identical to Ruvik’s. It makes him both the perfectly malleable core to replace Ruvik in STEM and the ideal host for Ruvik to use to escape back into the real world.
Leslie has a particular attachment to Sebastian. He also seems to like Kidman until she tries to kill him to prevent Ruvik from using him as a means of escape.
Ultimately, Leslie is captured by Ruvik and seems to willingly accept being absorbed into the madman’s psyche. Leslie’s body is last seen walking away from Beacon Mental Hospital, presumably with Ruvik in full control. It’s possible that some part of Leslie is still in there with Ruvik. After all, STEM was originally developed to allow Ruvik to share headspace with his sister Laura. There’s currently no evidence of this one way or another, and it’s equally possible that when Sebastian destroys Ruvik’s mind within STEM that Ruvik has effectively swapped brains with Leslie. This would imply that Sebastian unknowingly kills Leslie when he smashes Ruvik’s mind within STEM, because it became host to Leslies consciousness.
Not a lot is known about Juli Kidman’s past. We get small glimpses into her childhood and her training with Mobius as we play through The Assignment and The Consequence. In this DLC, Kidman takes on the role of protagonist. In the main game, Julie’s appearances are uncommon but always hint that she knows more about STEM, Ruvik, and everything in between than she lets on. This leads Sebastian Castellanos to instantly distrust her but occasionally value her insight.
Before joining Mobius, Kidman was a troubled child. Her mother was obsessed with a nearby religious community based in the local Cedar Hill Church. As a result, Kidman and her siblings were left to find their own path. It’s not clear if Cedar Hill Church is the same church that Ruvik’s parents also supported, or if the mad priest Theodore from EW2 trailers is somehow involved, but it seems like too much of a coincidence to entirely discard.
Juli left her childhood home when she was fourteen, abandoning her family and the church as soon as she could. When she returns years later, she found the community entirely abandoned. She doesn’t grieve and claims she doesn’t care in the slightest.
At some point in this time it’s implied that Kidman picks up several criminal charges. She was approached by Mobius. They offered to train her and wipe her slate clean if she agreed to work for them. Under this agreement Kidman undergoes extensive indoctrination therapy. She is also well taken care of, provided with a lavish apartment, and inserted neatly into the Krimson City Police Department under Sebastian and Joseph’s tutelage.
During Kidman’s training, she’s also outfitted with a device by the Administrator that allows her to resist Ruvik’s powers. This prevents her from becoming a Haunted and allows her to freely work to complete her objectives within STEM.
Kidman’s original goal, when she and the rest of the characters are inserted into STEM, is to find a way to kill Ruvik, and replace Ruvik with Leslie as STEM’s core. Mobius believes that with Ruvik out of the way they can easily manipulate Leslie to mold STEM in their own image. As we find out, Ruvik has other plans for Leslie. When Kidman discovers Ruvik plans to use Leslie to escape into the real world she tries to kill Leslie to prevent Ruvik’s escape.
She ultimately fails both goals as she undergoes her own journey in the DLC. It’s implied that she doesn’t know that Leslie is housing Ruvik’s consciousness at the end of the game. Part of this journey appears to be a mental journey to separate from Mobius’ control. This is symbolized by a shadow version of the Administrator. He mentally manipulates and tortures Kidman throughout both DLC’s until she kills him at the end of The Consequence. She presumably overcomes both her fear of him, and Mobius’ hold on her psyche.
The ultimate expression of that newfound freedom manifests when she lies to Mobius at the end of the game, simultaneously freeing Sebastian from STEM and saving his life.
The Executioner (The Keeper)
The protagonist of the final EW DLC, the Executioner goes by several names. Keeper, Boxhead, and technically he has a real-world counterpart who we never meet. He’s technically a Keeper, identical in nearly every way to the massive psychopath with a safe for a head that hunts Sebastian in the main game. It’s not clear if he’s the only one, or if there was a Keeper before the Executioner stepped into STEM that he then possessed, if the Executioner has always been in STEM, or if there are even just multiple Keepers in Ruvik’s world. They could be multiple manifestations of Ruvik’s need to keep his secrets tightly sealed away, but only one Executioner.
What we know for sure is that Sebastian fights a Keeper in the main game. The events of The Executioner DLC appear to occur either far after the events of the main game or in a short window of time between when Sebastian destroys Ruvik’s mind and Sebastian wakes up in the empty STEM chamber.
Either way, the Executioner is in many ways exactly what his name implies. His whole purpose is to kill every psyche left in the STEM system to help Mobius achieve the “clean slate” they need to create their own world within STEM now that Ruvik is gone.
During the DLC, we learn that Mobius is manipulating the Executioner by offering to help him free his nameless daughter, who is also trapped within STEM. Ultimately, by killing the other monsters along with whatever shadows of the main characters that are still hanging out in Ruvik’s twisted nightmare, he’s able to gather more and more shards of his daughter’s psyche. He steadily removes the other webs of consciousness from STEM until the only he and his daughter are left in the STEM program. By then purging his own inner darkness in a final climactic boss battle against a shadow version of himself, the Executioner dies to free his daughter from the tangled web of consciousness that STEM represents.
By removing every other psyche from STEM, only his daughter’s consciousness remains and it’s possible to safely remove her from the system.
The final scene with the Executioner shows a young girl standing next to one of the STEM baths, beside the body of a man in overalls. This implies that Mobius was able to remove the Executioner’s daughter from the machine. She can now say her last goodbyes to the father that gave everything to save her.
Important Side Characters
Ivan Diaz only makes rare appearances in the main game. Represented by a shadow figure in Sebastian Castellano’s sanctuary, he inhabits a nearby cell and feeds Sebastian tidbits of information about Mobius and STEM. All we really know about him is that he was once an investigative journalist trying to dig up information about Mobius and the STEM program. At some point he was compromised and used as a test subject by either Ruvik or Mobius.
Although technically a main character, Joseph Oda does very little to make himself stand out in the main story. As a result we learn very little about his backstory, which has earned him a spot in this list rather than in the one above.
What we do know is that Oda is Sebastian’s longtime partner and fellow detective with the Krimson City Police. At one-point Oda reported Sebastian to Internal Affairs when Sebastian was on the brink of losing his badge. By all accounts this event is the only thing that saves Sebastian from drinking himself into an early grave.
As a result, Sebastian and Oda are still extremely close, even if things are tense between them at the beginning of the game. This is to be expected considering they served together for nine years before the events of EW. Oda’s by the books mentality occasionally clashed with Sebastian, but often served as a workable contrast to his partner’s more unorthodox detective style. Oda serves as Sebastian’s stalwart backup through many difficult challenges as Sebastian progresses through Ruvik’s world. They manage to save each other’s lives on multiple occasions.
The last time we see Joseph in the main game is when Kidman is about to shoot Leslie. In the kerfuffle Kidman accidentally shoots Joseph and it’s implied that he may have died.
Implied, but likely not the case. When Sebastian wakes up, after Mobius leaves the building, Joseph is noticeably absent from STEM baths. This is unlike Jimenez and several other characters that Mobius leaves behind dead. Additionally, when you approach Joseph’s body in Kidman’s DLC, he noticeably still has a heartbeat in contrast to the other dead characters at the time.
So, don’t be surprised if Oda makes an appearance in EW2.
Myra Hanson (Castellanos)
Myra Hanson is Sebastian Castellanos’ wife and a fellow detective for the Krimson City Police Department. Myra mysteriously disappears after diving deep into the events behind the death of her and Sebastian’s daughter. We learn through a number of audio logs that this is tied up with Mobius and STEM.
It’s implied that Mobius makes her disappear, but at the end of Kidman’s DLC run it’s revealed that Myra is alive, and working for Mobius. It’s unclear if it’s willingly or due to a hefty dose of Mobius’ indoctrination kool-aid. It’s also hinted that the voice interviewing Kidman when she first joins Mobius is Myra. It implies that she may be Kidman’s handler, and therefore a trusted, high-ranking member of Mobius.
We only see Myra at the end of the The Consequence DLC and at the beginning of The Executioner DLC. She briefs the Executioner on his goals before they insert him into STEM.
Myra’s motives working for Mobius are unclear, but there’s no doubt that it’s in some way tied to her daughter. Considering Lily Castellanos is featured heavily in the promotional material for EW2, it’s almost guaranteed we’ll learn more soon.
Lily Castellanos is Myra Hanson and Sebastian Castellanos’ daughter, who at the age of five supposedly dies in a house fire with her babysitter. In the trailers for EW2, it’s revealed that Lily is alive in some capacity, and is now the core for Mobius’ new STEM program.
This puts her in line with Ruvik in terms of sheer raw power within STEM, but with a child’s fears and insecurities. Mobius and several of the other factions within the new STEM are intent on capturing and controlling Lily because it ultimately means control over that entire world.
In EW2, it’s hinted that something has gone terribly wrong, forcing Sebastian to dive back into STEM to find and save his daughter.
Dr. Marcelo Jimenez
Dr. Jimenez is one of Ruvik’s longtime acquaintances, colleagues, and the head of medicine at Beacon Mental Hospital. He’s also a member of Mobius on some level. He is technically Leslie’s caretaker and physician, and believes that science should be advanced at any cost to human life or sanity.
Jimenez shares this philosophy with a young Ruvik when he first discovers the morbid tests the disturbed, but brilliant antagonist is performing beneath his family’s estate. When Ruvik matures and kills his parents, Jimenez steps in. He offers to provide Ruvik with test subjects, resources, and his own insight into Ruvik’s experiments. All this is in exchange for Ruvik’s continued financial support of Beacon Mental Hospital.
At some point Jimenez intentionally publishes much of Ruvik’s early work to the scientific community, without citing Ruvik’s involvement, which leads to a great deal of tension between the two scientists. That catches the attention of Mobius. They immediately throw their wide net of support and control over the STEM project, ultimately leading to the catastrophic events of the main game.
Laura – Ruvik’s Sister
There isn’t a wealth of information available about Laura. We know that she was Ruvik’s sister and that she was horribly burned and disfigured alongside Ruvik in a barn fire set by two disgruntled land owners. During the fire, Laura manages to save Ruvik by helping him reach a high farm window, where he escapes but is still horrifically scarred.
Laura survives the fire as well, but her wounds leave her in a permanent vegetative coma. Ruvik’s original plan for STEM is to use it to create a world where he can reunite with Laura. He wants to pull her psyche from her destroyed body and join it with his, either to share his body, or to live happily in STEM for the rest of their lives.
Unfortunately, before Ruvik can achieve his dream, Laura passes away under unknown circumstances. It’s possible that Laura dies due to complications from her injuries, but the prevailing fan theory is that when it becomes clear that there’s no hope for her to wake up, Ruvik’s parents have the doctors pull the plug. This in turn motivates Ruvik to kill his parents and seize the family fortune.
Laura makes quite a few appearances within STEM as a monstrous woman with many limbs. The only way to defeat her is to use fire. It’s not clear whether this monster version of Laura is the product of Ruvik’s attempts to reunite with Laura, or if it’s just a twisted product of Ruvik’s subconscious given form. The third and more terrifying option is that Ruvik attempted to recreate Laura within STEM, but the twisted nature of the other psyches present or Ruvik’s own much darker nature caused her to manifest in this form.
The Administrator is a mysterious, high ranking member of Mobius. Other than that we don’t know much about him. We only see the Administrator as part of Kidman’s DLC, where he offers a small amount of advice and outfits Kidman with something that allows her to resist Ruvik’s power.
After that, he continues to appear within the STEM program, but it’s likely that this version of the Administrator is a manifestation of Kidman’s fears and Mobius’ indoctrination methods, rather than the real thing. It is revealed that the Administrator bears Ruvik’s mark, which implies that he managed to both enter, and escape Ruvik’s world mostly unscathed. It’s not made clear when he entered the STEM program.
This could mean that the Administrator we see in Kidman’s DLC arc is a shadow version of the Administrator that he left after he escaped, or it’s actually the Administrator attempting to bend Kidman to his will through alternative means. Either way, at the end of Kidman’s arc, she shoots and kills the shadow Administrator, potentially freeing herself from Mobius control.
With character introductions done and gone, let’s talk a little bit about the story.
The Sebastian Castellanos Arc is the main meat of EW, and all you really need to know about to jump right into the second game. All the other arcs come from EW’s three DLC packs featuring Juli Kidman and the Executioner. These packs do their best to fill out the plot of the main game while also expanding a lot of the behind the scenes lore.
The Sebastian Castellanos Arc
As you would expect, you play through the main game entirely from Sebastian’s point of view. Keep in mind that because this is all going down inside of STEM, timelines and actual events get extremely wonky.
The game opens with Sebastian, Juli, and Joseph arriving at Beacon Mental Hospital on a call. When they enter there’s a lot of blood and a lot of dead bodies. Kidman stays behind to radio for backup, and Joseph find Jimenez unconscious in the lobby. Sebastian immediately moves to the security room to try and get a clue about what’s happening where he sees Ruvik on the camera feed teleporting behind a number of officers, patients, and hospital staff, killing them relentlessly. Ruvik looks into the camera, then appears behind Sebastian, stabbing him and causing everything to cut to black.
Sebastian wakes up hung from the ceiling like a slab of beef. He has to retrieve a nearby knife to free himself, then carefully sneak away from the Sadist, a massive chainsaw wielding murderer controlled by Ruvik. On his way out the door he triggers an alarm and has to run through a massive gauntlet as the Sadist chases him. Sebastian manages to escape through an elevator. At the top is greeted by a massive earthquake that begins to destroy the city. Sebastian takes cover in an ambulance with an officer and Kidman, and they drive away with Leslie and Jimenez in the back. As they make their escape the officer transforms into a haunted and the ambulance drives off a cliff.
Sebastian loses consciousness and wakes up in a strange noir themed asylum where he’s greeted by a monotone nurse who teaches him how to save his memories. Sebastian can return to this safe area throughout the game to look at clues, upgrade himself and his gear, and occasionally speak with other patients in the asylum through their locked doors. As the game progresses this area continues to degrade as Ruvik gains more power over Sebastian and Leslie, it’s not clear which of the two created this haven subconsciously but it’s welcome none-the-less.
After upgrading for the first time Sebastian is again knocked unconscious and wakes up in the ruins of the ambulance. He finds Connelly, the officer driving the ambulance, nearby eating a corpse, entirely transformed into one of Ruvik’s Haunted.
Sebastian kills him and then has to weave around an army of haunted until he’s forced to jump in a river to escape. He swims ashore to a small village and encounters Dr. Jimenez where they narrowly avoid the army of haunted. Sebastian is then fights and beats the Sadist, using his chainsaw to open a nearby gate.
Jimenez and Sebastian travel to a nearby hospital in search of Leslie. Jimenez recognizes the village and believes Leslie might venture to the hospital because it’s familiar territory. When they arrive, they find Jimenez’s brother Valerio as a Haunted and Sebastian is forced to kill him. The duo hears Leslie outside and follow him into a nearby building. When they finally manage to catch up to him, Ruvik appears and Sebastian is separated from Leslie and Jimenez. Sebastian is then forced to confront the monstrous from of Laura, and barely escapes her many, many arms.
Ruvik then transports Sebastian to a different section of the hospital where he has to avoid a number of traps and Haunted, but is rewarded when he finds Joseph in a STEM tub. Sebastian and Joseph proceed through the hospital. Joseph almost loses himself, temporarily becoming a Haunted and attacking Sebastian for a short moment. The partners proceed and find Kidman in a massive tank of water, and they’re forced to fight an army of Haunted to free her. Immediately after freeing Kidman the floor collapses beneath Kidman and Joseph. Sebastian jumps down to follow them.
The monster version of Laura immediately intercedes and Sebastian is uses fire to fight her off. Sebastian escapes only to be knocked unconscious by an explosion in a nearby room. He takes another trip to his noir safe room, only to wake up in another location entirely. Sebastian finds Joseph nearby and they fight their way through a number of haunted, the Sadist, two giants named Neun and Zehn, and a massive beast called the Sentinel as they attempt to follow Leslie and Kidman to a nearby church.
Joseph is steadily losing his hold on his sanity and believes he’ll transform soon no matter how hard he fights it. Sebastian keeps Joseph from killing himself and Joseph falls unconscious. Ruvik interrupts and teleports Sebastian to a new dungeon where Sebastian is forced to deal with the Keeper as he searches for Leslie. After dodging hundreds of traps, and killing the Keeper by crushing his box-head, Sebastian navigates through the rest of the maze until he finds Jimenez in a room with the STEM machine. Jimenez disappears after a few cryptic words about this being Ruvik’s world, and Sebastian is chased into his noir safe haven by Ruvik’s most powerful creature, the Amalgam.
In the haven Sebastian gets a few more hints at Ruvik’s backstory, but is forcibly teleported away to Ruvik’s mansion when the scarred antagonist infiltrates the haven and attacks Sebastian. Sebastian is forced to repeat a number of Ruvik’s experiments to proceed, and gets little snippets into Ruvik and Jimenez’s relationship along the way. This is where Sebastian learns the story of how Laura and Ruvik were burned in a barn. Along the way Sebastian has to avoid a strange blood like creature formed from Ruvik’s childhood memories, finally entering a hidden basement below the manor. To proceed Sebastian has to restore power, dance around a massive bladed amusement park ride, and kill a monster named Trauma.
Ruvik then teleports Sebastian back to the mental hospital where he’s forced to fight Laura once again. Sebastian narrowly escapes, using an elevator to slice off a few of Laura’s arm when she attempts to kill him through the door. Sebastian finds Leslie and Jimenez in a nearby room and Jimenez reveals that Leslie could help them escape Ruvik’s world. Before he has a chance to do so, Amalgam appears and kills Jimenez, sending Sebastian and Leslie flying.
Sebastian lands in the hospital parking garage and is forced to fight and kill the Amalgam to escape. With the Amalgam dead Sebastian proceeds into Krimson City, and reunites with Kidman after a series of encounters with Haunted. Almost immediately after reuniting, Sebastian temporarily transforms into a Haunted and attacks Kidman. Sebastian blacks out, and when he wakes up Kidman is locking a door between them. Sebastian lets her go, and believes that Kidman shot him. Leslie appears and helps Sebastian open the locked door, but runs away before Sebastian can stop him.
Sebastian reunites with Joseph after navigating his way through a warehouse flooded with explosive gas, and they board a working bus Joseph found nearby. Kidman sprints inside and immediately starts the bus and begins to drive just as Heresy, a massive monster, attacks. The trio drive away, shooting at Heresy as he charges the bus. They manage to narrowly escape when a building falls on Heresy, killing it. Then Joseph is shot by a Haunted and Sebastian needs to retrieve medicine to treat him.
After gunning down a host of Haunted, the trio drive away, medicine in hand. Ruvik appears and throws the bus through a building. The trio is separated and Sebastian finds Joseph a short while later, fighting the Keeper. They work through a maze of traps and hold off the Keeper long enough for an elevator to arrive.
After escaping, Sebastian and Joseph catch up with Kidman and Leslie, only to find that Kidman’s about to shoot Leslie. She claims that she has to in order to keep Ruvik from escaping out into the real world, despite her orders stating otherwise. Sebastian intervenes and when Kidman looks at him she looks shocked. Leslie runs, screaming so loud that windows in the area shatter. Kidman shoots at Leslie but misses and hits Joseph when he dives to protect Leslie. The floor crumbles and Sebastian is sent hurdling into space.
Sebastian encounters a final dream sequence in his little noir haven, except everyone is gone and the area is clearly crumbling as Ruvik rips at Sebastian’s psyche. Leslie appears and guides Sebastian to the hospital, where the massive beacon is spreading its light. Ruvik appears and throws Sebastian into a massive arena forcing him to fight back to the mental hospital. Sebastian makes his way to the final floor, and finds Leslie, Kidman, and Ruvik. Leslie hides behind Sebastian at first but then walks willingly to Ruvik’s side, dissolving into liquid light at a touch, which Ruvik absorbs.
Sebastian is suddenly thrown through the air, and the final battle begins. Ruvik ascends into Amalgam Alpha, a larger, much more powerful version of the earlier monster and Sebastian has to use every resource available to defeat him. At the end, it all comes down to a single bullet, as Amalgam throws himself towards Sebastian to deliver the killing blow Sebastian fires a single shot that hits Ruvik within Amalgam’s mind. Amalgam and Ruvik die, and the final battle comes to a close.
Sebastian wakes up in a STEM bath and gets up just long enough to rip Ruvik’s brain out of the core; symbolically destroying Ruvik’s consciousness within STEM the way Mobius did in the real world. Sebastian passes out and wakes up again in the same bath. This time Kidman is beside him and there are several other people working nearby. Kidman indicates that Sebastian should stay quiet and not move, which is fine with Sebastian, because he passes out again.
When he awakes, everyone in the room is gone, and the circle of baths around the core are empty except for corpses. Joseph isn’t there, Kidman is gone, so Sebastian drags himself out of the bath and down to the entrance of the hospital. When he opens the front door, police stream in, ignoring him entirely, and he walks outside. Leslie is seen walking away, his stride confident and perfectly matching the lazy strut used by Ruvik throughout the game.
Ruvik at this point is in control of Leslie’s body, free from STEM. He turns back to look at Sebastian and Sebastian’s head throbs, forcing him to look away. When he glances back, Leslie is gone.
The Kidman Play
Juli Kidman stars in both The Assignment, and The Consequence, and her role is two-fold.
In The Assignment we get a chance to walk in Kidman’s shoes, beginning from when she’s thrown from the ambulance along with Sebastian, Leslie, and Jimenez. Kidman regains consciousness inside the destroyed ambulance. Once she gets her feet on solid ground, Officer Connelly, now a full-fledged Haunted, throws her off a cliff. Despite the tumble, Kidman survives, and Connelly is nowhere to be found.
Kidman then walks through a short forest and cave sequence, we hear splashes of audio from Sebastian, Joseph, and several unknown sources, all of which concludes with a final vision of the Administrator. The Administrator gives Kidman her ultimate objective. She is to find and retrieve Leslie, and to potentially replace Ruvik in the core with Leslie. As part of the vision, the Administrator also reveals that Jimenez plans to release a prototype wireless version of the STEM project at Beacon Mental Hospital, which will potentially pull everyone nearby into STEM. To protect her from Ruvik, the Administrator gives Kidman a dose of a serum which will protect her from Ruvik’s power.
After the injection, Kidman wakes up alone with the needle from the injection still in her arm. She removes it and begins exploring the area. She finds a flashlight and encounters Shade, a spotlight monster. After finding a keycard for a locked door, a Haunted tries to break into the room Juli is in. She hides in a locker, and when the Haunted breaks in, it’s immediately eaten by Shade, who then looks right at Juli before running off.
Juli continues through the facility gathering keycards, dodging Shade, and catching little snippets of Jimenez’s time with Mobius as their relationship breaks down. Eventually she arrives at a biometric scanner, but finds that her credentials are no longer valid. This forces her to sneak through Biometrics to add herself to the system once again. With that done, she bypasses the hand scanners and eventually finds Sebastian and Joseph as they ride up an elevator to the upper floors.
When she tries to activate the scanner to call the elevator for herself, the computer relays that the power has just failed and Juli will need to wait for the generators to reboot. At this point Shade enters the room and Juli is forced to sneak around and carefully avoid Shade until the power resets. When power kicks back online Kidman sprints to the elevator and the doors close just in time to shut Shade out. Furious, the monster slams itself against the glass, cracking it, but unable to enter.
At the top of the elevator, Kidman attempts to reunite with Sebastian and Joseph but is instead confronted by Ruvik. Knowing that he can’t affect her mind directly with his powers, he taunts her with information about Mobius. Ruvik then floods the room with water. Before Kidman is submerged, the room transforms into the tank of water, as seen in the main game. Seconds later Sebastian and Joseph appear and save her. Kidman spills out onto the floor of the cave next to Joseph. A fiery rune then appears beneath Kidman and Joseph, destroying the floor and sending them hurtling into darkness.
Kidman wakes up alone in a sewer. While searching for Joseph, she finds a massive steel gate that requires three fuses to open. While searching for the fuses Kidman runs into Shade, and eventually triggers another trap that causes her to fall through the floor. This time, rather than landing unscathed, a large portion of rubble lands on her legs. Shade appears and summons several Haunted to attack Juli. Juli grabs a gun from nearby and kills the Haunted, then nails Shade with her last bullet, cracking the monster’s spotlight and sending it running.
Carefully pulling her body out of the rubble, Kidman finds the final fuses and returns to the gate. Popping it open, she continues her search for Joseph, reuniting with him a short time later. Joseph originally looks at Kidman as an enemy but quickly realizes this isn’t the case as they proceed to a large locked gate. Joseph goes to investigate the sounds of some nearby Haunted, and Juli proceeds down another path that she reveals with her flashlight.
She then sees another vision of the Administrator, and it’s clear this isn’t a flashback. He tells her to focus on her mission and to kill Joseph before he betrays her. Kidman protests and ignores his orders. She is suddenly teleported back to the room with the gate where she last saw Joseph. Sebastian is now with them, and they lift the gate enough for Juli to slide under and open a side door.
With that done the trio continue through the sewers until they’re confronted by Ruvik and he blasts them with a psychic attack. Sebastian screams and runs away clutching his head, but Joseph is immediately turned into a Haunted, and begins to choke Kidman while screaming at her. Kidman breaks Joseph’s hold and they’re immediately teleported to a new area. Kidman’s gun is gone and she sneaks around until she steals a hatchet from the skull of a nearby Haunted. Using the hatchet, Kidman is able to steadily sneak around and attack Joseph from behind. She is eventually able to snap Joseph back to reality as he falls to the ground, unconscious.
Kidman herself is then transported to her childhood home. She reminisces about her childhood and sees a specter of her mother in a nearby rocking chair. She proceeds into the village square, where she sees Leslie lock a gate behind him to escape a horde of Haunted. Kidman uses a nearby bell Tower to lure the haunted away, and Leslie unlocks the gate to let her through.
The duo proceeds through another short series of puzzles only to be confronted by Ruvik. Ruvik reveals that he doesn’t want to stop Kidman from freeing Leslie from STEM, and thinks it’s a great idea. Leslie pulls her gun on Ruvik as he possesses Leslie, using him to choke Kidman all the while taunting her with words echoed between Ruvik and Leslie. Kidman breaks Leslie’s hold and prepares to shoot him. Before she can pull the trigger, the shadow Administrator steps in and reprimands her, reminding her of her goal. In a rage he throws Kidman across the room and a chase scene ensues through the halls of the church.
When Kidman finally escapes, the Beacon at the top of hospital shines towards her. The Administrator leaves us with some parting words before the DLC draws to a close, “You will bring us back that boy.”
In the next DLC, The Consequence, we step into Julie’s shoes once more as she wakes up in the odd noir haven Sebastian uses as a base of operations during the main game. In this area, Julie confronts visions of the Administrator and several other characters in the game, including Sebastian and Leslie. She gains little insights into their lives, scenes she may not have been present for in the main game.
When she leaves, she immediately appears back in the Mobius headquarters from the beginning of the first DLC. In search of Leslie, she heads down to the bottom floor to a STEM terminal. Along the way she gets multiple vision of Ruvik’s time with Mobius, and eventually is confronted by Shade, once again forcing her to sneak around to the STEM terminal. She discovers that Jimenez did in fact activate the wireless STEM prototype, immediately pulling all of them into STEM the second they stepped foot into the hospital.
Kidman transitions from Mobius HQ to the Krimson City Police Department. She sees visions of her time working with Sebastian and Joseph, as well as several scenes before Kidman arrived at the department. Kidman proceeds into Krimson City proper, searching for a path to Beacon Mental Hospital. This leads to a final encounter with Shade where Kidman kills the monster for good.
She meets up with Sebastian, parallel to the events of the main game. Sebastian then transforms into a Haunted and attacks Kidman. Kidman notices a specter of Ruvik behind him, and gambles both their lives to shoot the Ruvik specter. As soon as she does, Ruvik disappears and Sebastian immediately passes out, reverting to his normal self a few minutes later. Kidman locks Sebastian away, just in case, apologizing to an unconscious Sebastian for pulling him into all this.
Seeing Leslie nearby, she follows him. Suddenly, the shadow Administrator appears and pursues her through the city alleys while taunting and reprimanding her. Simultaneously, the massive monster Heresy begins to attack her and she pushes through the alleys to where Sebastian and Joseph are waiting in the bus.
Ruvik throws the bus through the building, just like the main game. Kidman is now alone once again, and without her gun. She proceeds through the floors of the hotel, burning strange pictures of Ruvik along the way. After burning the final painting, Laura’s arms stretch out of the flames and grab Kidman. The camera pans over to a possessed Leslie who is aiming a pistol at Kidman. Kidman begs him not to shoot. He manages to shake off Ruvik’s control, shooting the painting and freeing Kidman from Laura’s arms. The duo proceed through the basement of the hotel and exit onto the playground.
Time stops, and Kidman sees Leslie flickering between himself and Ruvik, indicating that Ruvik is trying once again to possess the young madman. At this point, what Kidman sees is wildly different than what Sebastian sees in the main game. Kidman apologizes to Leslie and points her gun at his head. Where Sebastian normally stands, we instead see the shadow of the Administrator, who commands her to stop. Kidman argues her case, saying the same words we saw in the previous scene, but in response to the Administrator’s angry commands instead.
When Kidman finally looks back at the Administrator, the illusion is broken and she sees Sebastian. Leslie screams, runs, and Kidman shoots; accidentally shooting Joseph like we saw in the original scene.
Kidman chases after Leslie and he immediately transitions back into his possessed state. Leslie destroys several Haunted that were in his path, and Kidman sneaks around the remaining enemies. She then transitions through a number of areas, catching snippets of conversations between Dr. Jimenez and Mobius about Leslie. Kidman sees that they considered her an expendable asset to be thrown at Ruvik to retrieve Leslie. Kidman continues through the areas, and finally ends up back at Mobius HQ. She manages to kill a Haunted with a sawed off shotgun and add it to her tiny arsenal of gear.
She then proceeds through an army of Haunted and takes an elevator to the top floor of Beacon Mental Hospital. She finds Leslie, Sebastian, and Ruvik. She sees Leslie first hiding behind Sebastian and then walking to Ruvik, where he’s absorbed into Ruvik’s essence.
The scene shifts, and Kidman is confronted with a final boss battle of her own against the shadow of the Administrator. After several tense encounters, Kidman shoots the Administrator with the shotgun, dropping to his knees in defeat. The scene shifts to the Administrator’s office. As the Administrator delivers a final series of taunts and jeers, Kidman denies him and uses a pistol to shoot him in the head.
Kidman snaps back to reality where she’s standing in the STEM chamber, rather than sitting in one of the nearby STEM baths, beside a number of Mobius agents. Leslie emerges from his own STEM bath, coughing and sputtering, but apparently himself. Kidman is confused and asks how long she’s been under. A woman, that’s later identified as Sebastian’s wife Mira, tells her it’s only been 37 minutes.
Mobius staff carry away Joseph’s body and Kidman approaches the terminal beside Sebastian. She saves his life, freeing him from STEM, and convinces Mobius to leave him, and the two other bodies, for dead. As she does this she notices that she has a thick laceration on her arm, Ruvik’s mark.
The Executioner’s Purpose
The Executioner DLC is as much a boss rush DLC as a narrative event. Stepping into the massive trousers of the Executioner, a powerful Keeper tasked with cleaning up the remaining psyches left in STEM for Mobius. You yourself are mentally ill to some degree. Mobius is using your daughter, who was at one point one of Ruvik’s test subjects, as a carrot on a stick.
They’ve convinced you that the only way to free her is to kill every other person in STEM. Cutting down the number of psyches left would theoretically allow them to remove her from the program. You have to act quickly, the fainter your daughter’s memory becomes the more likely she is to become a monster and lose herself in STEM forever.
The Executioner is the only DLC in the game where you play exclusively in first person. It’s relatively short, more of a murder fest with several boss mechanics and secret battles than anything else. The Executioner goes from one level to the next, killing the Sadists, the giant Zehn, Joseph’s shadow, Amalgam Alpha, and eventually battling a shadow variant of himself known as the Dark Keeper.
When the Executioner damages the Dark Keeper his own safe takes considerable damage, and it’s symbolic of a final sacrifice. To kill everything in STEM and free his daughter the Executioner has to kill himself as well, and the only way he can accomplish this for sure is to confront his own darkness, his own shadow, and die.
At the end of the DLC, the camera transitions to the STEM chamber. You see a man in one of the STEM baths, wearing clothes similar to the Keepers, with a small child standing holding his hand. It’s assumed that the Executioner is dead and he saved his daughter. The scene transitions to a final journal entry that confirming this and also chronologically placing the events of this DLC after Ruvik escapes in Leslie’s body. Something Mobius is now aware of.
What Comes Next?
The Evil Within 2 is up next. Although we won’t know much until the game is released, we do know that the story continues shortly after the main events of EW. Only now, it’s focused on Lily Castellanos and a new STEM program rather than Ruvik, although we’ll probably see our hooded friend again at some point.
We know that Mobius abducted Lily. They’ve placed her in the center of a new STEM program as the core where they were using her to create some kind of village paradise. Unfortunately, something’s gone terribly wrong and Lily’s been lost inside the new STEM. This is causing everything in the world to slowly break down, and allowed some pretty nasty psyches to start wreaking havok. Mobius has recruited Sebastian to enter the STEM program once again, to find and extract Lily before she goes insane. They want to avoid another Ruvik scale catastrophe.
Hindering this are a number of insane enemies like Theodore, the mad priest, and Valentini, a perverse artist that uses bodies and blood to paint his scenes. Both have expressed an interest in Lily in order to control the destiny of this new world, and something tells us they don’t care if that hurts or destroys Lily in the long run.
Each of these will likely pose their own problems. Sebastian will come equipped with plenty of stealth and combat options to help offset their legions of minions as he fights through madness incarnate to save his daughter.
We'll have a review up soon, so check back soon for our thoughts on The Evil Within 2.