Thanks to my OCD, I ran through it several times to examine everything and try every permutation. Here are the results I came up with:
- There are a few nooks and crannies, but no special items.
- Turning the flashlight off for too long (either purposely or by running out of batteries) will result in death.
- Avoiding direct contact with the screecher throughout the game (by always quickly turning away whenever you come across one) will prevent the close-up flash when you look at it for more than ~1.5 seconds. You still die at the end.
- Turning off the light before talking to Kristine will prompt her to say Hello?, but she still runs off. You still die at the end.
- Avoiding Kristine and Chris altogether will prevent her from running away and him from triggering the flash of his skinless face, but she will still get eaten by a screecher once you pass a trigger line in the path. You still die at the end.
- Running away from the helipad as soon as you start the generator doesn’t help. You still die at the end.
- Getting to the helipad quickly so that you still have a lot of battery left doesn’t help. Once you start the generator, the flashlight still flickers and you still get mob-attacked and die.
There’s some discussion on the Klei forums, but it seems the consensus is that there is only the single moribund ending.
That said, there is still a little bit more that one can get from this mod: the story. One thing that some people miss is that the screechers are actually people! It seems that they are like zombies and either kill/eat people, or turn them into screechers. There is some compelling evidence to this effect:
- Their mostly humanoid appearance with only the head being different.
- The screechers appear to be a solitary creature, but suddenly there are a bunch of them, and there just happened to be a bunch of people on the island right before the events of that night.
- The note which lists the status of the campers lists two of them as “monster”.
And now for the definitive answer. If you look in the file
mods\screecher\scripts\components\scarymodencountermanager.lua, you will find a variable called
phases which is an array of events in the game. The second last event is called
Helipad and it triggers when you, well, arrive at the helipad; go figure. It has several conditions which dictate what happens at that point in the game like whether or not to show the “face eating screen”, whether or not the beacons around the helipad should be on or not, what line Bill should say, and most importantly, what happens when you pull the cord on the generator. This critical bit counts the number of times you have pulled the cord and reacts accordingly.
1. The first pull changes Bill’s breathing and causes him to say Dammit, start already! There is also a line that plays a screech, but it has been commented out which indicates that the devs decided not to use it there, but kept it in the code anyway.
2. The second pull plays a sound of a helicopter to indicate that it is nearby and is coming. This gives the player a sense of relief, but also a sense of urgency because Bill then says Come on, come on!
3. The third pull begins with an ominous comment:
--DEATH In this block of code, Bill says All right! which conveys that he is about to be rescued. Unfortunately it is followed by a command which makes the music more intense, increases Bill’s breathing, plays some creepy sounds, and increases the camera distance to give a better view of the next part which calls a function called
breakalllights which as you guessed, turns off all of the lights including the flashlight, the helipad beacons, and any campfires. Then it flickers the flashlight and turns it on and disables it so that you cannot control it anymore because they want to force you to witness the end of the game which involves spawning 40(!) screechers (called “shamblers” in the code), all of which have a tag called
finale attached to them and a type called
killer which makes them aggressive and attack Bill.
The next bit of code simply fades the screen, sets some variables which include words like
gameover, and cleans up by removing the screechers and resetting variables and such.
4. The final event is called
EndGame which simply re-initializes the game, ready to start over (or quit).
So yes, I’m afraid that the game truly does end like that. Bill gets to the helipad, starts the generator to turn on the beacons to light the way, but then the lights go out and he gets surrounded by (40) screechers which kill him. (I wonder what happens to the helicopter; do they see the screechers? Do they fly away? crash? report what they saw?)