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Indika Ending Explained | A Deep Dive into its Themes and Symbolisms

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INDIKA is a story-driven game that deserves an Oscar, but its ending has left everyone shocked and confused due to its ambiguity. Read on to find our explanation and interpretation of the ending, along with the meaning behind the many symbolisms shown throughout the story.

A Recap of INDIKA’s Ending

Indika’s Journey to Find the Kudets

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Before we dive into our analysis, let’s recap some key parts of INDIKA’s story and its ending. INDIKA is a coming-of-age, self-discovery tale (albeit a rather bleak one) that follows the journey of the titular character, Indika, and a convict named Ilya. Together, they travel to Spasov in search of the Kudets, a religious artifact believed to heal all ailments. Ilya hopes to restore his severed arm, while Indika seeks to rid herself of the devil haunting her mind.

Warning! Full Spoilers Ahead

After a harrowing journey through the darkest and coldest parts of Russia, Indika and Ilya finally reach Spasov. They enter the Cathedral of John of Damascus, where they believe the Kudets is hidden.

Upon arriving at the cathedral, they encounter the resident priest. He informs them that the Kudets is no longer there, but Indika is convinced otherwise. Desperate, she confesses to the priest that Ilya is an escaped convict, hoping to gain his sympathy and assistance. Initially, it seems the priest might help, but he soon returns with the police. In the ensuing scuffle, the priest is accidentally shot and killed by the police.

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Ilya manages to escape to a room where he finds the Kudets, he asks Indika to hold up his severed arm while praying to God and kissing the Kudets to reattach his arm. Sadly, nothing happens and they are surrounded by police officers waiting outside the door as he throws his arm and manages to escape leaving Indika in the room.

We then get a final glimpse of Indika’s backstory, rendered again in 8-bit pixel art. In her bedroom, her boyfriend Mirko begs her to run away with him, as her father is forcing her into an arranged marriage.

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After some hesitation, Indika agrees. Mirko attempts to steal a bike to aid their escape, but Indika’s father catches them. As Mirko rushes out of the house, Indika’s father grabs his shotgun. Before he can shoot, Mirko desperately cries out, telling him that Indika knows him. Shockingly, Indika responds, I don’t know him, leading her father to shoot Mirko dead.

The flashback ends, and we return to the present where Indika is being led by a guard to her prison cell. On the way, the jailer tells her the story of Makar the Scytheman, a serial killer who murdered his own sons and the children of the village. Upon arriving at her cell, the guard offers to let her go if he gets to violate her. Reluctantly, Indika agrees, committing a grave sin. As a result, all her piety points are reset to zero.

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Suddenly, Indika finds herself floating in an eerie red space where the devil appears, telling her to stop pretending to seek heaven. He explains that good and evil must coexist, declaring, God and the devil - those are you.

After being violated by the jailer, who doesn’t keep his promise, a demon-like creature with four hands suddenly appears, knocking down the guard. Indika seizes the opportunity to escape. As she flees, she looks back to see the jailer pinned under a heavy dresser.

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We then shift to a first-person perspective as Indika roams the city. She encounters a drunk Ilya, who reveals that he traded the Kudets for a trombone at a shop. At the shop, the owner is attempting to sell the Kudets for 25, though it was initially sold for 5. As Indika tries to bargain, Ilya enters and claims it doesn’t work. Seizing the opportunity, Indika grabs the Kudets while the shop owner is distracted.

She glances into a mirror and sees her reflection transformed into the devil. Frantically, she kisses and prays over the Kudets repeatedly, but her reflection remains demonic. Desperate, she starts shaking the Kudets, trying to earn back her piety points and leveling her up as you do. Despite her efforts, her reflection stays the same.

Finally, Indika opens the Kudets, discovering it is empty. This realization restores her reflection to her true self, with the devil gone. Disillusioned, she throws the Kudets away and slowly leaves the shop as the scene fades to black.

Ending Explained

Why and How Did Indika Become the Devil?

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Many players have expressed confusion about the ambiguous and open-ended conclusion, which offers little explanation and dialogue, leaving much to personal interpretation. Fear not, as we delve into a deep analysis of this thought-provoking narrative.

One of the primary questions is why and how Indika became the devil. In the story, the devil, or the Evil One, is a constant force that only Indika can hear. The devil torments her mind and sanity, dragging her into a hellish landscape whenever she commits a sin, forcing her to escape.

While the devil mocks her constantly, there are moments when he assists her—such as advising her to flee from a lustful man, providing her with a towel in the cold, and ultimately saving her from prison.

So, what causes her reflection to resemble the devil? The transformation of Indika's reflection into that of the devil symbolizes the internalization of her sins and the constant presence of evil within her. Despite the devil's occasional help, his presence signifies the moral and psychological struggle Indika faces.

Her reflection as the devil reveals her guilt and the weight of her sins, indicating that her actions have profoundly affected her self-perception, especially by the end where she agrees to have sex to escape and ultimately has to use violence to leave.

This duality suggests that Indika's journey is as much about battling external evils as it is about confronting her own inner demons.

How Did Indika Save Herself from the Devil?

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While some may attribute Indika's transformation to the discovery of the Kudets, there's more to the story. Throughout her life in the monastery, Indika has been striving to live a virtuous life according to her religious beliefs, convinced that this is the only path to repentance and inner peace. The devil himself has been whispering in her ear, warning her that good and evil coexist and that ignoring the darkness can be harmful. It's as if the devil is urging her to acknowledge her flaws and imperfections.

When Indika finally accepts the devil's offer of help, she simultaneously accepts her sinful nature and embraces her sins. But this moment of acceptance is complicated by her lingering religious views, which still condemn her for acknowledging her flaws. It's only when she realizes that there is nothing inside the Kudets and that praying to it would not bring her salvation that she loses her glimmer of hope and her faith in religious dogma.

In this moment, she comes to understand that her journey was never about finding peace or being good, but about accepting her flaws and recognizing that religious laws are not always absolute.

As she stands up physically, Indika is symbolically standing up for herself and accepting her true self, free from the constraints of her former identity as a nun or a devil. The act of throwing away the Kudets in the ground represents her loss of faith in God, and it is a powerful symbol of her newfound self-acceptance.

Who is the Devil and How Did Indika Start Hearing Him?

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The devil, a mysterious and enigmatic figure, remains shrouded in mystery, with little known about his origins or how he first began to manifest in Indika's mind. One thing is clear: the devil's whispers did not begin until Indika's childhood. The first recorded instance of the devil's presence was during a pivotal moment in Indika's life.

This moment of reckoning came when Indika's father, driven by rage and anger, killed her boyfriend as she committed a grave sin and lied that she didn’t know him. The crushing guilt that followed left Indika's psyche in tatters, making her vulnerable to the devil's influence. As she struggled to come to terms with her newfound trauma, the devil slipped into the cracks of her mind, exploiting her deepest fears and insecurities.

It was likely this event that led to Indika's father seeking help for her at the monastery, hoping to exorcise the demonic entity that had taken up residence in her mind. The monastery became a refuge for Indika, a place where she could attempt to find solace and healing from the wounds of her past.

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But what if we tell you that Indika is the devil herself? This idea has been subtly hinted at throughout the game, but two key moments in the jail scene solidify this conclusion.

First, the devil tells Indika, God and the devil - those are you, suggesting that the struggle between good and evil exists entirely within her mind. This line indicates that Indika embodies both divine and sinful aspects, and her journey is about reconciling these internal conflicts.

Second, during her escape from prison, the devil appears to help her by pinning the guard. However, if you listen closely to the guard’s dialogue, he doesn’t sound frightened or shocked by the devil's appearance. Instead, he continues speaking to Indika, using slurs, as if he still sees her. This implies that the guard the devil isn’t there at all.

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The most telling moment is when Indika looks back and sees just a drawer pinning the guard. This suggests that it was Indika, not some external devil, who knocked down the guard. The devil’s presence and actions are manifestations of Indika’s own psyche, reflecting her internal struggle and the darker aspects of her character.

The uselessness of the pious point system within the game serves as a poignant metaphor for Indika's journey. Initially, she earnestly engages in religious practices, convinced that they will lead to blessings. Yet, as the game progresses, she realizes the emptiness of her pursuit. The points lose their significance, mirroring her disillusionment with a life dictated by rigid beliefs. Eventually, she breaks free from the constraints of narrow religious dogma, embracing a broader perspective that allows her to live authentically…as Indika.

What’s with the 8-bit Aesthetic?

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People have been pondering the juxtaposition of the constant showcasing of 8-bit aesthetics within a game boasting realistic graphics, particularly a game set against the backdrop of a frigid and somber Russia. Even for our team, the presence of 8-bit art, especially in the depiction of the pious system and Indika's flashbacks, can be jarring. But why this choice?

Our theory delves into the deeper narrative purpose behind this aesthetic decision. The 8-bit style employed in the flashbacks could symbolize Indika's last moments of purity and joy, offering a stark visual contrast to the harsh reality she now inhabits. It serves as an important reminder of the innocence of her youth, which has since been stripped away by the harshness of her environment.

The manifestation of pious points in this pixelated form, akin to gleaming gold, represents Indika's fervent belief that adherence to religious practices would lead her back to a state of happiness and freedom reminiscent of her childhood. These points embody her fleeting grasp on her innocence and hope for a return to the past.

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However, as she comes to realize the limitations of the religion she once held dear, the pious points vanish, symbolizing her acceptance of reality and her resolve to forge a new path forward. It signifies her transition from dwelling on the past to embracing the possibilities of the future.

Conclusion

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INDIKA is the type of game that gets deeper with every pondering, inviting thorough analysis into its philosophical depths. It stands as a profound challenge to our notions of religion and perception, urging us to confront the nuanced shades of good and evil that permeate our existence. In essence, Indika serves as a reflection of humanity itself—a complex amalgamation of thoughts, beliefs, and actions.

Our interpretations and theories merely scratch the surface of its narrative, for Indika's ending is open to myriad interpretations. It exemplifies the boundless potential of video games as a medium for profound artistic expression. Indika is not merely a game; it is a cinematic masterpiece, deserving of recognition and accolades, particularly for its narrative prowess.

Here at Game8, we really hope it gets more recognition and secures awards for its outstanding, dark, but beautiful story.

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