The Sinking City starts with a single murder case, but it evolves into something much, much bigger. At the end of the game and Charles Reed’s investigation into Oakmont, he gets to make a decision that affects the entire world. This guide covers the end of the game and the three options Charles can choose from.
Into the Depths
To get to the ending, you have to progress the story until you get the “Into the Depths” case. This is The Sinking City’s final case, and you won’t be able to return to the city after it ends.
You’ll need to collect three parts of the seal, called Kayfingers, and then travel to Cthygonnaar, the hidden temple beneath the city. Until you head to the temple, the city is still open to you; after you head underwater, you’re locked out.
Once you have all three Kayfingers, go to St. Michael’s Church in central Advent, and use the seal to head underwater. Follow the path, and then keep walking through Reed’s nightmare-filled walk down memory lane. When you get to the end, you’ll see a large statue. Now you have to make your decision.
How to choose an ending
You have three choices at this point. It does not matter what conclusions you have drawn in your Mind Palace. You’ll decide the fate of the town (and the world) by which way you walk and which pedestal you use here in the hidden temple.
There is a pedestal ahead of you, one to the left, and one to the right.
It’s not clear as you’re standing there that you even have multiple options, let alone which pedestal does what. If you use the first pedestal — the one in the center, just ahead of you as you walk in — you’ll choose to release the Hidden Daughter (annihilation). If you turn left, you’ll choose to restart the cycle and keep the Hidden Daughter locked up. If you turn right, you’ll choose not to decide.
Below, we’ll go into a little more detail about each option.
Walk straight forward to the first pedestal you see ahead of you. Place the seal, and then piece together the two flashes of memory (the one by the pedestal is first). You’ll see a quick cutscene of Charles’ and the town’s fate as the Hidden Daughter is freed. It’s about as happy as you’d expect. This is arguably the bad ending.
No choice (right)
From the center pedestal, turn right and head through the door in the rock. A little way down the tunnel, you’ll come to another pedestal. Use this one, and piece the memories together again. This ending shows Charles a few years in the future in Boston after deciding not to take part in the Cycle. An old friend shows up just as the same unnatural flooding from Oakmont reaches Reed in Boston.
Turn left from the center pedestal this time. There’s another pedestal nearby at the edge of a cliff. Use this pedestal and link the two memories. This ending restarts the Cycle, presumably saving the city and everyone in it (and everyone on Earth, really) — for now, at least. None of these are happy endings, but this probably the best ending.