Unlocking all the endings in Atomic Heart is relatively easy, but understanding their meaning is somewhat more difficult. The game answers many questions reluctantly or only superficially, which may cause gaps in understanding the plot of the game. In this guide, we'll show you how to unlock the good and bad endings and try to explain exactly what they mean.
You will also learn about key moments in the story, what exactly the Atomic Heart project was designed for, what the Collective network is, who the Twins are, and whether there is a secret ending in the game. Of course, the article contains SPOILERS to the plot, so we advise you to start studying it only after completing the final mission.
Key moments of the Atomic Heart plot
What the Atomic Heart project was created for
Initially, it was believed that all robots at Enterprise #3826 were ordinary working machines, so it was a big surprise for many when they switched to combat mode and began to kill civilians, considering them to be enemy invaders. Later, it becomes clear that a similar function was built into them from the very beginning. But why was it necessary to turn android workers into killer cyborgs?
As it turned out, in 1951, during the Secret Congress of the CPSU Central Committee, the Atomic Heart project was approved, aimed at capturing the United States, as well as Western European and East Asian countries, and building a communist society in them. To do this, the USSR planned to distribute “harmless” androids to other countries for free, so that they began to place them on their military and strategically important facilities. Then all he had to do was turn them into combat mode to instantly take control of all important targets, including nuclear power plants, which, according to the Soviets, would be “effectively shutting down the atomic heart of America.”
Powerless, the American government would eventually have to cede control of the state to “the people,” enabling the Soviet Union to establish socialism throughout the world. At the same time, the party was going to activate this project only when all the citizens of the USSR were completely polymerized and became part of a centralized neural network called the Collective.
What is the Collective network
The first version of the “Collective” is a system that connects all androids to the main network and increases the efficiency of their work, since they can exchange various data in real time. We are talking about a kind of Soviet Internet. As for the “Collective 2.0”, it is a full-fledged neural network, the launch of which should take place in the next few days after the start of the game's plot.
After receiving an injection of a neuropolymer, all Soviet citizens will have to connect to a single neural network. Officially, the authorities said that people would thereby have direct access to androids, which would make it easier to manage them. Plus, it will be possible to supposedly improve democratic processes in society, as decisions will be made faster and with all votes taken into account.
However, all this was just a cover for the real goal of the Soviet government, which was to control the entire society with the help of a neural network. The network would not work on them thanks to the Alpha connector and Beta connectors (wedding rings in a transparent cube). Whoever controls the network can send people connected to them to Limbo (imaginary reality), taking control of their body and mind.
What happened to P-3 in the past
Surely you have more than once thought that Nechaev is actually an android with an atomic heart, especially considering that he is not able to access his own memories and can fight battle robots on equal terms. As it turned out, everything is much more complicated.
Several years ago, he, along with his wife Ekaterina, became a victim of a terrorist attack in Bulgaria. P-3 survived, but suffered a serious head injury, which caused him to forget his past. During the operation, doctors installed titanium prostheses all over his body, which explains his incredible strength and vitality.
Scientists were also able to implant the Voskhod module into Nechaev, allowing him to transfer his consciousness to Limbo, a psychedelic and surreal world that prevents him from realizing the consequences of his actions. The success of the operation and Nechaev's ability to automatically activate his “combat mode” showed the creators of Enterprise No. 3826 that they could well develop a viable version of the “Collective 2.0” network.
If we talk about the Ballerina Twins who protect Sechenov, then they are mentally connected with P-3. As we have already mentioned above, Nechaev's wife, who was also a member of the elite Argentum detachment, also suffered during the terrorist attack in Bulgaria. The doctors failed to save Katya's body, so they transferred the girl's mind into advanced twin robots, endowing them with her dancing and fighting skills.
All endings in Atomic Heart
After completing the task “Inconvenient Truth” and leaving Limbo, you will meet Baba Zina again, who will turn out to be the mother-in-law of the main character, that is, Nechaev was married to her daughter. She will start asking P-3 to kill Sechenov. This will also be required by HRAZ. As a result, you will have two answers:
- I won't lay a finger on Sechenov. I've had enough. The fighter has won back.
- Okay, mother. Come on, show me what you have in your arsenal.
Each one leads to a different ending. Note that we conditionally divided them into good and bad, but in fact, none of them demonstrates a happy ending for the protagonist and the whole world. In addition, the ending that we listed as “bad” may seem much better to you than the “good” one, as it answers many questions, allows you to spend more time in the game and is considered canonical by the developers.
How to open the bad ending
If you decide to fight Sechenov, you will have to return to the complex where you first met the Twins, but now you have to defeat one of them. When you finally get to Sechenov, HRAZ will betray you, since in reality he is the consciousness of Professor Khariton Zakharov, one of the authors of the Atomic Heart project and the creator of the neuropolymer.
After stunning Nechaev, HRAZ will crawl out of the glove and tell him that he has been manipulating him from the very beginning, slowly turning him against Sechenov. It is he who is responsible for turning on the “combat mode” of the P-3 and transferring his mind to Limbo. Despising the limitations of the human body, Khariton tried all his life to become something more in order to move to a new stage of evolution. Now that Sechenov can no longer stop him, he is finally ready to make his plan a reality.
HRAZ will crawl into a bathtub filled with red polymer, and then absorb the liquid, turning into a higher being. He will finish off Sechenov and absorb him, thus gaining all the knowledge of a scientist. Zakharov is going to turn the androids into his servants and take control of all people when they are connected to the “Collective”. Then he will take the Alpha Connector from the table and break it. Thus, no one will be able to escape control after receiving a neuropolymer injection.
Then we will again be shown Limbo, in which one of the Twins extends her hand to Nechaev (perhaps this is the wife of the protagonist, trying to pull him out of the hallucination). This ending shows that P-3, as well as other people who are connected to the “Collective”, were trapped in an imaginary reality and now cannot control themselves in the real world.
At the same time, in a cartoon intro, they state that there is a force free from the “Collective” network and aware of what happened at Enterprise #3826. The Argentum agents, however, were unable to detect Zakharov's new polymer body. Most likely, he has begun the second stage of his plan to enslave mankind.
- Pros of the ending: Allows you to fight the final boss, demonstrates new cut-scenes and reveals all of Zakharov's plans, answering some questions. It is considered canonical, so the second part will be based on it.
- Cons of the ending: Sechinov dies, and Zakharov gets to the neuropolymer, becoming almost omnipotent. The main character is trapped in Limbo.
How to unlock the good ending
To do this, you just need to refuse to kill Sechenov by choosing the 1st option in the dialogue. HRAZ (Khariton Zakharov) and Baba Zina will begin to reproach the hero, pointing to the “atrocities” of the scientist and believing that Nechaev simply chickened out. P-3 will call them manipulators and refuse to lynch the man who practically became his father.
After that, Nechaev will pull Zakharov out of his glove and crush him with his boot, indicating that it was Khariton who turned “people into monsters.” At the same time, P-3 understands that Sechenov is not a saint at all and also conducted anti-human experiments, so he will not continue to work for him.
Then the main character will leave the scientific complex, going on vacation. The top will not punish him for this, since Sechenov will call this offense insignificant. Later, an unknown black polymer object will be captured by the camera near the exit.
- Pluses of the ending: Nechaev remains alive and personally comes to the realization that everyone was trying to manipulate him. Zakharov fails to realize his project of turning into a “god” and enslaving all people on Earth.
- Cons of the ending: Many questions never get answered. Sechenov continues his work, so “Collective 2.0” will be launched sooner or later. The player loses the opportunity to fight the final boss and watch additional cut-scenes. Zakharov may have survived (black polymer), so he can try again to achieve his goals.
Most likely, the developers implemented this ending only because of the need to follow modern trends, suggesting presence in high-budget games from two or more finals. It is for this reason that it turned out to be much shorter than the first one and less developed, as if it was added just for show.
Is there a secret ending in the game
Unfortunately, you can only open two endings: conditional good and bad, and access to them opens only at the very end of the story and depends on only one single decision. There are no secret or comic endings in the game, despite all the rumors.
Will Atomic Heart get a sequel
Given the canon ending's open ending, where the protagonist is trapped in an imaginary world and the villain was able to acquire divine powers and escape unnoticed, there's no doubt that the developers are planning a sequel. Fortunately, the Mundfish team has already confirmed their desire to work on a sequel. Therefore, formally the announcement of the second part has already taken place. The full presentation will not take place soon.
When will Atomic Heart 2 be released
According to reports, the production of the first part has begun in 2018, that is, it took the studio about 5 years to produce it. However, the sequel is likely to be created much faster, as the management managed to form a strong backbone of experienced specialists, establish workflows and fully understand the existing technologies.
In addition, Atomic Heart demonstrated the most successful launch in Steam among all other Focus Entertainment projects. On consoles, the game also sells well, so there should be no problems with financing the sequel. Thus, its release will take place in the next three to four years.