Death Stranding: Episode 13's Make a decision, and bring this to an end explained
Death Stranding Episode 13: Sam Strand is a story-heavy Episode that is part of the game's ending, and follows on from Episode 12 and the final boss.
Here you are given the Make a decision, and bring this to an end objective, which is the only real meaningful point of interaction in the Episode.
If you're looking for more from the critical path, our Death Stranding walkthrough can help.
Make a decision, and bring this to an end in Death Stranding explained
In Episode 13, as part of Order 68, you have to visit Amelie's Beach. When you arrive, head along the coast until Sam stops and rests. Watch the cutscene.
When you regain control, you'll have a new objective - 'Make a decision, and bring this to an end'.
You are given a handgun with six rounds in. Firing this at Amelie does nothing, and if she gets too far out into the water, the Last Stranding will kick in. If this happens and you fail, you are told to 'Connect again'.
To progress, you need to ignore the gun altogether. Unequip it by pressing Right on the D-Pad.
Next, run up to Amalie and there will be a prompt to Hug with R2. Doing so will start a cutscene.
This is the only real choice you can make - as otherwise if you fail, it'll start this sequence again.
After the cutscene, you'll be on the Beach alone, with some credits rolling. Walk around and after so many names, Sam will come to a stop on the beach for another cutscene. If nothing seems to happen after the credits disappear, start moving again and the next conversation should kick in.
Tomorrow is in our hands - again! Learn about the Director's Cut's new features, including new story missions, a racing mode, Half-Life missions and how to transfer saves to PS5. Our main Death Stranding walkthrough outlines how to play through the story, including Episode 3 missions, the Small Thermonuclear Device and how to find a way to change Lockne's mind As you play, you can find Memory Chip locations, learn how Death Stranding multiplayer works.
After the credits and title card shows up, head to the shore, where there are the floating figures in the air.
Now continue watching to begin Episode 14.
You'll also receive a number of rewards for completing this episode, including the Die-Hardman: Encouraging hologram, Die-Hardman: Prideful hologram, Deadman: Admiring hologram, Amelie: Yearning hologram, Amelie: Beckoning hologram and finally, the Deadman: Concerned hologram.
Death Stranding: 8 Things You Didn't Know About Amelie
By Jacob H Buchalter
Death Stranding features a whole host of mysterious characters, one of them being Amelie. Here's what players need to know about her.
WithDeath Stranding: Director’s Cut out, this fever dream of a game by Hideo Kojima is having a bit of a resurgence in popularity. That said, just because players now have the option to ride on a Buddy Bot, shoot lightning with the Maser Gun, and do sweet tricks off of ramps, the Director’s Cut doesn’t make the story of Death Stranding any easier to understand.
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So many of the characters in Death Strandinghave all these interesting and mysterious aspects to them. But, sadly, with such a large cast and crazy plot, not all over these mysteries get solved, much less even addressed. This even includes Samantha America "Amelie" Strand, one of the main characters and someone who impacts the plot of Death Stranding in some pretty gigantic ways. In an attempt to make the narrative easier to comprehend, let's talk about some of the aspects of this character people know little about so that her decisions in the story are a little more understandable
8 The Meaning Of "Strand"
Right away let’s talk about the ending of Death Stranding (once again, spoilers ahead) and the interesting concepts it brings up (and will eventually address, hopefully). In particular, let's talk about the scene with Sam and Amelie running (not walking, which is a big twist for this walking simulator) across Amelie's beach after her horrible Mario-based pun. During the whole ending scene, Amelie tells Sam the real origin of her name, in that the “Ame” is the French word for “soul”, while the second half of her name, “lie” literally means that her identity is a lie and that she’s actually a soul.
Again, this is told to the player in-game. But, what they may not know is that her last name (and Bridget's), actually have a contextual meaning as well, as the word “Strand”, actually means “beach” in many Scandinavian languages.
7 Amelie Has Technically Never Had A "Real" Body
It might seem obvious, but many people didn’t put together the fact that Amelie being the disconnected soul or Ka of Bridget Strand means that she never had an actual physical body for any part of the game. In reality, whenever she would “appear” in the real world during the story, this was actually just a well-made Chiral Hologram.
Thinking back on it now, some scenes don’t entirely make sense with that fact in mind, such as Higgs carrying Amelie on his shoulder after the big boss fight in Edge Knot City. Maybe it has something to do with his DOOMs abilities? Sadly, only Kojima truly knows the answer.
6 Came Into Being While Bridget Was Under The Knife
But, if Amelie is Bridget Strand's Ka or “soul”, then how can the two of them exist at the same time, with completely separate personalities? For example, Amelie is the Extinction Entity, but Bridget is not. And, when exactly did this body and soul separation happen?
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Well, when Bridget went in for surgery (when she was in her 20s) in relation to her uterine cancer, she had a literal out-of-body experience which turned out to be the creation of Amelie. Thinking about it now, it is sort of "on-brand" for Hideo Kojima that Bridget’s “daughter” (Amelie) is literally born dead (as a soul), and comes into existence during a surgery on her uterus. Motherhood and the "strands" that connect a mother and child play a big part in Death Stranding's story, after all, and Kojima is known to pack his many trailers with tons of hidden info.
5 Bridget Killed Sam & Amelie Resurrected Him
Death Stranding has a ton of narrative bombshells, almost too many to keep up with, but one of the biggest ones comes near the end of the story when Sam's origin as a repatriate is explained. To make a long story short, Cliff Unger tried to escape with his infant son (who turns out to be Sam) to save him from a life as a bridge baby and was killed by Bridget Strand. But, accidentally, Bridget also shot the young infant, killing him as well.
Plagued with guilt, she had Amelie, who exists on “The Beach”, bring Sam back to life as a repatriate, and raised the child as her own adoptive son. This makes Sam the first person with DOOMs, the first resurrected human, and now with the Director's Cut, the first person to see this horrifying PT Easter Egg.
4 She’s The One Who Started The Death Stranding
And, as it turns out, Bridget killing Sam and Amelie bringing him back is apparently what started the chain-reaction that was the Death Stranding, an event that turned the world into a desolate wasteland. Now, it’s not entirely clear if Sam’s revival is what “started” everything, since there are records of a void out happening before this, but it is assuredly what set the Death Stranding in motion at whatever point in the future.
Basically, bringing Sam back upset the balance of life and death, and the universe’s reaction to this was a lot more “drastic” than Amelie or Bridget were likely expecting.
3 She Can Shapeshift Into Anyone She Wants
Amelie has quite a lot of supernatural abilities, given her existence as a soul, the sixth Extinction Entity, and as someone so closely connected with The Beach itself. But, one ability she has that isn’t ever really explained and is used pretty sparingly is her shapeshifting power. She shapeshifts into Higgs during a few different moments, confronting Sam “as” him. And, when Die-Hardman appears on Amelie’s beach, she shapeshifts into Bridget to confront him.
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Thinking about it now, who knows how many times she used this power over the course of the story to manipulate the events of the game since she could quite literally have been anyone at any time.
2 She’s The One Who Gave Everyone DOOMs
Once Bridget and Amelie became a separate "Ka" and "Ba", Amelie “became” the sixth Extinction Entity. And, when that happened, she started having constant nightmares of the apocalypse. In an attempt to find an answer or to understand these nightmares, Amelie used her Beach to give other people these nightmares, giving them DOOMs in the process.
So, Amelie and Bridget were the first ones with DOOMs, Sam got it from them, and all the other characters with it in the game are people that Amelie either willingly or randomly bestowed these horrifying nightmares on. It's a shame that new DOOMs lore or even new DOOMs abilities for Sam weren't added in the Director's Cut of the game, but it did add a fair amount of other stuff.
1 Without Her, Higgs’ DOOMS Abilities Would Be Nothing
And lastly, how many people knew the Higgs actually doesn’t have a high DOOMs level? Yes, throughout the course of the game, it’s explained that he has level seven DOOMs and players can see he has plenty of power since he manipulates BTs and can summon Timefall, but this is all due to Amelie.
Higgs already had DOOMs before Amelie started using him, but it was relatively weak, as in not much stronger than Sam’s level two DOOMs. But, when Amelie corrupted Higgs and drove him insane so that he could end all life, something she was too afraid to do herself, Amelie also enhanced his DOOMs as well.
Death Stranding was released on November 8, 2019, and is available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Playstation 5. The Director's Cut of Death Stranding was released on September 24, 2021, and is currently only available on Playstation 5.
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Samantha America Strand
Unknown (stranded on the Beach)
I know not everyone shares our vision for the future. If we Americans don't come together again, humanity won't survive.
Samantha America Strand, widely known as Amelie, is the "ka" (soul) of the sixth extinction entity, publicly recognized as the daughter of her counterpart "ha" (body), President Bridget Strand and "adoptive sister" of Sam Strand.
Bridget Strand, the sixth extinction entity, developed uterine cancer in her early twenties. During surgery, her "ka" and "ha" separated, with her "ka" woke up on the Beach. Strangely, both halves of her essence were aware of each other's existence and worked in tandem. Due to the timeless nature of the Beach, Bridget's "ka" did not age, and the age gap between the two became noticeable. Eventually, rumors began to spread of a younger version of Bridget wandering the White House, and in order to deflect suspicion, Bridget created the persona of Amelie for her "ka", fabricating a cover history.
In the story fabricated by Bridget, her daughter, Samantha America "Amelie" Strand, was born with "locked-in syndrome", a condition that caused her soul to be born on the Beach. This separation of body and soul caused her to be hospitalized for her entire childhood. However, her DOOMs abilities were unprecedented, and by the age of twenty, she developed the ability to transport herself to and from the Beach, where she ended up spending the majority of her time. Due to her condition, Bridget kept Amelie's existence secret, but Amelie chose to move with her mother upon her recovery.
Causing the Death Stranding
During her time on the Beach, she discovered that it housed numerous biological archives up to the creation of the Earth, and both halves worked in tandem to put in place the Chiral Network, made to extract and study the information contained within those archives in order to prevent a future mass extinction event she nightamare of.
Shortly before the Death Stranding, both conducted experiments on Clifford Unger's wife and baby, chosen for its potential as a first sacrifice for the future network , but Cliff discovered the nature of these experiments and tried to escape the facility with his son. As Bridget, she ordered her special advisor and security guard John Blake McClane, an old comrade of Cliff, to kill him and recover the BB, but Cliff released him from his pod. When John hesitated, Bridget decided to pull the trigger herself, but accidentally killed the BB along with Cliff. Feeling immense guilt at killing the baby, Amelie found the child's body on the Beach. She restored him and sent back to the world of the living, where Bridget then chose to raising him as her own child and naming him Sam, making him a repatriate in the process. However, in doing so, she upset the balance of life and death, and set the Death Stranding in motion.
During Sam youth, as a sufferer of DOOMS, he had severe nightmares and would find himself stranded on the Beach unable to find his way out. Always there for him in such moments, Amelie would arrive to calm Sam and help him make his way out. At some point Sam fashioned a quipu for her in the world of the living, and was able to bring it with him to the Beach, where he gifted it to Amelie as a representation of their bond. However when Sam left Bridges, caused by the suicide of his pregnant wife and the relative voidout, Amelie loses the only true connection to the outside world.
Carrying on her "mother's" legacy, Amelie embarked on an expedition to bring her message of unity to survivorcommunitiesacross America, convincing many of them to join the UCA and connect to the newly Chiral Network. She protected the expedition team while they looked for survivors, using her preternatural ability to anticipate craters and BT-occupied territories to circumnavigate the areas. Three years into the expedition, Amelie and her team reached Edge Knot City, whereupon the team was wiped out and Amelie was captured, and held within the city, by the separatist lead by Higgs Monaghan, as an insurance policy against the UCA, but is allowed to use Edge Knot City's facilities and communicate with her UCA allies in Capital Knot City.
In truth, Amelie intended to use Higgs, gave him a fake Bridge baby that would serve him to enter Amelie's beach and detect BTs, and then taught him part of the truth of the Death Stranding, whom she tasked to destroy humanity the fastest he can in order to precipitate the Last Stranding, as she realized that no matter what humanity tried to prevent it, they would only delay the inevitable.
While carrying out the Last Stranding implementation plan, Amelie also plays the part of the daughter who inherits her mother's will, after Bridget's death, to complete the Chiral Network and thus reunite America. For this he makes sure that Sam, recently brought back to Bridges, accepts the mission to the west, which leads Higgs, in full jealousy, to attack Sam several times during his journey. At some point Higgs take the quipu from Amelie, preventing her to independently comunicate with Sam, whether this action is the result of Higgs' will or part of Amelie's plan to speed up the expedition is not certain, however.
When Sam finally reach the terminal in Distribution Center North of Edge Knot City he is is eventually attacked by Higgs, who puts Amelie under his control and manifests a colossal BT to combat Sam, battle won by the porter, even if Higgs then takes Amelie to the beach. On the Beach, Amelie speaks to a kneeling Higgs when Sam arrive, trought Fragile's jump, and she is promptly locked in a net as the two fight hand-to-hand. Following Higgs defeat, Amelie is rescued and she confirms to Sam her status as an extinction entity who can "end it all". Furthermore, she confesses to him that she slipped out of the Beach to visit him on one occasion while he was still back east, having lied to him about being held hostage to coerce him into embarking west, a plan concocted by Die-Hardman. The two then briefly run blissfully along the Beach's shore, before stopping to witness Die-Hardman attempt in vain to shoot down Bridget, and Cliff's subsequent arrival. Amelie then pushes Sam away into the Seam.
The Last Stranding
Unaware of Sam, having reconnected America via the Chiral Network has also connected all the Beaches to that of Amelie, which is the main one, eventually triggering the Last Stranding that begins to scourge the world.
Arriving on Amelie's Beach, Sam searches for Amelie until she appears to him and reveal all the truth. She then presents Sam with two choices: watch the swift ending of the world together with her "until the last flame winks out", or use Die-Hardman's left behind revolver to sever his connection to her and her Beach and postpone the Last Stranding. Sam chooses instead to embrace her, assuring her he would always be there for her as she has for him. As an extinction entity, she has been fated to usher in the Last Stranding, and that after an agonizingly long span of solitude on the Beach, she opted to set the Last Stranding in motion but, after Sam's actions, she chooses to remain on the Beach, to spare humanity the Last Stranding, form the moment, in the hope of providing life an opportunity to come out stronger from the extinction.
After sharing one last embrace with Sam, Amelie pushes him out of her Beach and into his own to return to his allies, thus remaining forever alone.
It's hard to describe Amelie's Personality due her status of extinction entity. She's usually kind and condescending. For moments she's also sad, because she has to live alone on the beach. But mostly, Amelie has a manipulative nature to get what she needs.
Amelie is a young white woman with an appearance between 25 and 35 years old, blue eyes and mid length blonde hair. She wears a red blazer dress with heel shoes of the same color. Sometimes the color of her dress change to black, expressing a certain emotion.
The other relevant aspect in this appearance is the use of the quipu on her necklace.
Amelie is able to sense BTs to great effect and can circumnavigate craters and BT-occupied territories entirely.
Amelie, as an extinction entity, is ultimately the one responsible for bridging the gap between the living world and the Beach and is therefore the cause of the Death Stranding. She can potentially force all beaches to merge with her own, and the Chiral network. This would allow untold numbers of BTs to pass onto Earth and ultimately cause a chain reaction of Voidouts that would permanently end life on Earth, an event called the Last Stranding. Amelie has resurrected dead beings, such as Sam. She is the one responsible for DOOMS abilities, by sharing her visions of potential extinctions with others, and allowing them some measure of her connection with the other side.
- Amelie first appeared in the E3 2018 trailer, where she is briefly seen in the same setting of the E3 2016 trailer.
- Amelie's appearance is based off of a younger Lindsay Wagner.
- In pre-release materials and in-game credits, Lindsay Wagner is not credited as "Special Performance", unlike other characters where a real-life person only served as the model like in the case of Deadman (Guillermo del Toro) and Heartman (Nicolas Winding Refn). This is most likely done to hint at Amelie's true identity and connection to Bridget.
- Her/Bridget's last name "Strand" is the German and Dutch word for "beach".
- The name "Amelie" itself was a portmanteau of "âme" (the French word for soul) and "lie", an admission of sorts that Amelie was "a soul that's a lie".
- It is unknown if she is the one who resurrect Lou, making the ex-BB a repatriate like Sam, or not.
TGS 2018 concept art of Amelie
15 Confusing Plot Points In Death Stranding, Explained
Death Stranding has been out for over a month now, so most interested gamers have probably picked it up and completed the story. Sam Bridges' epic journey through the post-apocalyptic United States is a lot to take in. After the credits roll, many gamers may be scratching their heads in complete bewilderment, or at least they are just a little unsure about certain plot points.
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The following list will clear the air about the ten most perplexing parts in Death Stranding. This is a Hideo Kojima game after all, and it wouldn't feel right if everything was coherent and logical. Obviously, this list is for people who have beaten the game, so look at some of our other spoiler-free content on Death Stranding if you haven't reached the end yet.
Updated by Jason Wojnar on July 15th, 2020:Death Stranding was previously a PlayStation 4 exclusive. That is about to change on July 14th when the polarizing, unique, and expansive Kojima Productions title comes to PC. To help newcomers sort through the wild story they just experienced, we decided to add five more entries to this list further explaining some of the events and ideas some players may find confusing. The campaign takes between twenty five and fifty hours to complete, so it may be difficult to keep all the events and revelations in order throughout the story.
15 Amelie And Bridget
Characters eventually grow suspicious of Amelie further into the journey. With this doubt also came an uneasiness regarding the late Bridget Strand. As it turned out, Bridget and Amelie are the same person, just inhabiting two different spaces.
The story presented was Amelie suffering from locked-in syndrome, causing her extended isolation. In reality, the young woman is Bridget's Ka, or soul, and Bridget is the Ha, or body, of the same consciousness. Because she lives on the Beach, Amelie does not age.
14 Mama And Lockne
Margaret Qualley had a good professional year with roles in both Death Stranding and Quentin Tarantino's highly-regarded Once Upon a Time...In Hollywood. In the former, she plays twin sisters, which is easy enough to understand. Things get weirder when one of the siblings passes away and inhabits her sister's body.
Their connection was always considered so close, as if they were the same person all along. When they merge, both of their consciousnesses are active in the same body, but they were so similar it's impossible to notice if it is Lockne or Mama talking to Sam.
13 Sam And The BB
Throughout the game, Sam experiences memories whenever connecting to the BB. For the most part, the game leads players to believe these experiences to be the BB's memories. Ultimately, however, these turn out to be not Lou's flashbacks, but Sam's. Bridges was a BB before his father, Cliff, tried to rescue him from the experiments.
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After failing, he and the infant Sam died. Bridget then revived him, making him a repatriate and letting him live as her adopted son. Lou has entirely different biological parents who are unknown by the time the game ends.
Higgs Monaghan's motivation throughout most of the game seems to be a resistance to joining the UCA. His final appearances make clear his desire to trigger the Last Stranding and end all life on earth. He wasn't self-motivated, though.
Amelie manipulated him and gave him his powers. Given his hubris as a successful porter, it wasn't hard for her to give him the chance to feel like a god. Amelie was always in control, however, which is why he was unable to manipulate her after Sam defeated him and Fragile takes him prisoner.
BTs, or Beached Things, started showing up after the first Death Stranding that put the world into its current state. The game explains what they are, but it can fly over people's heads if they aren't listening close enough.
These monsters are the souls of dead people who have yet to cross over to the other side, composed of mostly anti-matter. The umbilical cord is what keeps them connected, which is why they vanish after Sam cuts it.
10 The Expedition
Sam isn't the first member of Bridges to trek through the country, attempting to re-establish some semblance of order. Amelie led a prior expedition, called Bridges One, through the UCA. Sam was sent in to finish the job, connecting all the country to Chiral Network, and rescue Amelie.
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The latter objective was just a ruse, done to ensure Sam would reconnect the country. Die-Hardman knew the idea of a network wasn't enough to get him on board, but he would do anything to help Amelie.
In the game, Bridge Babies are tools used to detect BTs, keeping porters and other workers safe when outside of cities. Their initial purpose was different, however, and arguably even more unethical than the ideas behind their creation established in the beginning of the game.
When Sam was a part of the program, Bridget planned to use him as the foundation for the Chiral Network, which would have sacrificed his life, preventing him from ever having a normal childhood. This plan went down the drain after Cliff freed him, however. Funnily enough, he still ends up connecting the whole country as an adult, so perhaps Bridget's plan went off as expected after all.
8 The Extinction Entity
If the reasons behind Amelie's appearance seem confusing, don't worry; the game never clearly explains them either. Amelie herself wonders why she was sent to end humanity.
Her best guess is the universe summoned her because it considers humanity a fluke in need of correcting. It's a logical hypothesis, but it doesn't explain why it sent her when it did. At the end of the day, it's all a guess, and no one knows why the extinctions happened.
7 Sam's Choice
During the epic final act, Amelie offers Sam a choice. He can either shoot her and prevent the Last Stranding by severing her ties to the real world, or he can watch extinction occur with her on the Beach. She warns that the former choice will still lead to the end of life, but it will simply prolong the inevitable.
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The wording can make the choice confusing, causing some players to believe the opposite. Confusing or not, the player ultimately has no choice, as shooting her will restart the segment. Sam feels like he owes her for saving his life all those years ago and being with him at his darkest moments. Of course, he tells no one about embracing the apocalypse once he gets back.
6 Amelie's Isolation
After Sam embraces Amelie, she is moved enough by this gesture to stop the incoming extinction of her own fruition. Unfortunately, her purpose and drive don't allow her to simply cease the process.
Her only choice is to isolate her Beach from the world, dooming herself to eternal self-imposed isolation. If she stayed, she would have had no choice but to end the world.
The Beach is not necessarily a literal beach, though in the game it is represented by one, nor is it the afterlife. Instead, it is the place one's consciousness goes after death and before crossing over into whatever is next. Time also stands still in this mysterious zone, which is why Amelie does not age as Sam grows older. For Sam, the beach is also special because he will die if his life ends on it, despite his repatriate status. It is also not one place, as everybody has their own Beach.
4 Heartman's Life
Heartman is a strange fellow, though we suppose anyone would start acting weird if they lived in twenty-one minute cycles. He does this because his family died during the Death Stranding. In these moments he was in the middle of surgery and also passed away. While on the Beach he saw his wife and child but was unable to catch up with them because doctors brought him back to life. Since then, he has been constantly triggering cardiac arrest to search for them on the beach every twenty-one minutes. His death cycles are two minutes long, but on the beach, it is almost an eternity.
Fragile took over her father's delivery service upon his death and eventually teamed up with Higgs before realizing his terrorist intentions. Unfortunately, it was too late by the time she inadvertently delivered a nuclear bomb to Middle Knot City. She tried to save South Knot City, but Higgs caught her and offered her a deal; walk through Timefall with the bomb and throw it in the tarpit, or teleport out of the area and let the bomb explode. She did the right thing, at the cost of her body rapidly aging due to the Timefall's effects.
2 How The Chiral Network Works
Sam Bridges' main goal is connecting the country to the Chiral Network and uniting the broken nation. The titular event severed all connections between cities and made travel between them dangerous, so porters are the only method of transferring things and information across the land. Some people also chose to live outside the city in their own bunkers, relying on porters for supplies. With the Chiral Network, people can once again instantly transfer data and communicate across long distances.
Deadman's personality can mostly be attributed to his origins as an artificial human being. Most of him comes from other dead body parts, while the rest was grown. He refers to himself as Frankenstein's monster, an appropriate comparison considering his likeness is taken from Guillermo del Toro, iconic horror movie director and good friend to Hideo Kojima. Del Toro is a huge fan of Frankenstein, so he was probably thrilled at the idea of his character being like the famous monster from Mary Shelley's novel.
Next: 10 Hilarious Death Stranding Memes Only True Fans Of Death Stranding Understand
New villagers, new features, quality of life adjustments and a DLC. Find out more about the upcoming ACNH content showcased at Nintendo Direct.
Read NextAbout The Author
Amelie death stranding
Death Stranding ending explained - what the story is about and what it means
There's a lot to unpack in the Death Stranding ending, and if you're finishing the Director's Cut you might want answers. The game's ending goes to some strange places and the conclusion really needs a bit of an explainer for some of its more out there moments. Some it doesn't make obvious sense, and some of only works if you noted some of the deeper Death Stranding lore. It's a lot, basically, so if you just want the Death Stranding ending explained, we can help you give you brain a rest.
In this guide we're going to breakdown the Death Stranding ending in stages, from Episode 11 onward and explain everything up to Episode 14. Because, yes, in true Kojima style, the ending takes a while. It's not one to start late at night if you were planning on sleeping - it easily lasts around two hours. It mostly makes sense, although you'll have to suspend disbelief to make some things work but it's probably a little less confusing than some of the more massively convoluted Metal Gear games conclusions. So read this explainer for the Death Stranding ending and hopefully it will all come together.
OBVIOUSLY BIG SPOILERS AHEAD.
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Episode 11: Clifford Unger
After defeating Higgs and learning that Amelie is an Extinction Entity (more on that later) Sam is sucked inside a supercell storm vortex and deposited in Vietnam (this being Clifford Unger's Beach/afterlife, built from the shared Beaches of those who died en masse in war). After another fight, you’ll immobilise Clifford who will try to take BB, telling it that “we’re getting out of here.”
Sam theorises that Cliff is BB’s father. Cliff finally addresses Sam, saying “they told me your name was Sam Porter, but your name is Sam Bridges, my bridge to the future. You bring people together, you’re their bridge to the future.” Keep that in mind for later, it’s important. He then gives Sam with his dog tags, which Sam attaches to BB.
Remember that throughout the game we’ve been drip-fed BB’s memories of Cliff and given the knowledge that there were unethical experiments conducted by President Bridget Strand to create Bridge Babies to try and understand the BTs that arose from the Death Stranding. In these flashbacks, we’ve also seen an unmasked Die-Hardman trying to help Cliff save BB and his comatose wife.
Sam lands back in the real world and in the Private Room and tells Deadman that he thinks his BB, that he's calling Lou, is Cliff’s child. Deadman notes that this is impossible because Cliff would be too old for that. He then shows Sam a video of Die-Hardman “for BRIDGES eyes only” where he points out that nobody has met Amelie in person. Sam counter this noting that he’s touched her and met her lots of times when he was a child. Deadman says that this is correct, but the meetings took place on Amelie’s Beach, not the real world.
Amelie was born on the Beach (Death Stranding’s version of a personal afterlife, remember). Her soul or Ha remained there whilst her physical body, her Ka, came to the real world. This meant she spent her childhood in the hospital before learning to jump between the afterlife and the real world when she was in her 20s. Die-Hardman then relays that Bridget was diagnosed with uterine cancer in her 20s and therefore can’t have kids, so Amelie can’t be her daughter as the game made us believe.
Die-Hardman then alleges that Amelie/Bridget’s separation must be the cause of the Death Stranding and accepts an invitation from her to her Beach. He brings a gun with him, loaded with Hematic Rounds made from anti-BT Sam’s blood which connects the trio. This allowed him to take it to her beach and try to kill her (usually you get stripped of any items when you jump.) This hologram recording is actually happening before, and explaining, the scene where we saw Clifford rise from the beach and greet Bridget and Die-Hardman.
Episode 12: Bridges
Fragile Sam what Higgs told her: that the terrorist voidouts, and plan to summon another extinction event - in this case The Last Stranding, referring to the previous Death Strandings recorded in fossil records and cave paintings as mentioned by Heartman - was Amelie’s idea. Higgs was caught up in the allure of Amelie’s BT-controlling power, corrupted and turned into the Agent of Extinction (more on that later!)
Fragile then reveals a broken doll used by Higgs to connect him to Amelie and her beach. We’ve seen this doll before, used by Die-Hardman to get to Amelie’s beach and scattered throughout Cliff’s Beach war nightmares. Think of the doll as a mind-control device used by Amelie to corrupt Higgs, Cliff and Die-Hardman. A makeshift BB.
Sam heads back to the ICU in Capital Knot City and finds the whole team back together. Heartman cuts in to say that Amelie’s Beach is above all other forms of the afterlife. Her beach is the heart of the afterlife that pumps blood through the other beaches which act like capillaries. She is essentially the goddess of the afterlife.
Sam decides to see Amelie and try to talk her out of The Last Stranding. He'll have to kill her if she won’t see reason, but it means Sam will be stranded outside of the world forever. Sam then delivers an emotional speech about how emotionally stunted and misanthropic he was at the start of the game (we learn why later) and how his new friends have made him believe in living again. He hands his BB to the BRIDGES gang and jumps to Amelie’s beach.
In a flashback we see Amelie picking up a baby Sam and swaddling him — she says she’ll help him get home via her repatriation powers. Baby Sam sinks into The Seam and now we know where Sam got his ability to return from the dead.
Episode 13: Sam Strand
Adult Sam wakes up on Amelie’s beach, the nexus of the afterlife. Bridget confirms to Sam that Amelie, her daughter, doesn’t exist in the physical world. (This was why she wore a mask, it’s her secret shame.) Amelie and Bridget are both parts of the same person — essentially, neither name matters. Amelie/Bridget's real identity is that of an Extinction Entity, a harbinger of doom whose sole purpose is to usher in a new mass extinction.
The Extinction Entity explains that in connecting America, Sam linked each Prepper and Station (and thereby, every soul in America) to her 'master' Beach, enabling the extinction event. This was the goal all along. Sam can prevent The Last Stranding from happening by severing his connection to the Extinction Entity, but he loves her, which makes the choice difficult for him - one supernatural death god, or all life on the planet.
The Extinction Entity gives Sam two choices. Sit here and watch the world burn or cut the Extinction Entity loose from the Beach and prevent The Last Stranding from happening right now - regardless of what you do, it explains, the sixth extinction is inevitable and “Mankind will live to die another day.”
The Extinction Entity notices Sam’s dreamcatcher that she gave him and gives him the gun. “Pull the rope or cut the noose, but whatever you do, don’t hesitate.” You can do nothing, or try and shoot the Extinction Entity here but it doesn’t do anything. What you really have to do is ditch the weapon and hug the Extinction Entity.
The Extinction Entity’s dreams, as well as the people with DOOMs it created, were always of the apocalyptic The Last Stranding. The Extinction Entity was just as confused - they didn’t ask for this, and were constantly tortured by visions of the end due to the fact that they don’t exist within the confines of natural time and space on their Beach. As they note “I am not a line, but a single point.” The Extinction Entity was so angered and upset by the haunting nightmares of human extinction that they had tried to come to the real world and end it by connecting the chiral network and opening the floodgates - their goal at the end of the day, to harbour the extinction event.
Sam, however, essentially saved the world from The Last Stranding by bringing people together in his expedition, living one day at a time and persisting and adapting to change: against all odds he became the embodiment of the unstoppable human spirit to survive. Due to Sam’s efforts, he made the Extinction Entity believe in the beauty of the human spirit. Since birth the EE was trapped in purgatory and despite being desperate to feel emotion, form relationships and give love, they were never allowed to make human connections. The EE is convinced by Sam’s efforts to stop fighting and stay on the Beach to delay the otherwise impossible to stop mass extinction. “The extinction isn’t just an ending, it’s an opportunity,” it states in reference to all the life that came after the previous five events. The implication is that the five figures in the sky we’ve previously seen in trailers and in-game are the ‘Big Five’ that came before that the Amelie/Bridget Extinction Entity.
Sam wakes up on his own beach. As Sam runs around in purgatory the EE tries to explain their reasoning. The EE realised they were split between worlds during her first operation for Uterine Cancer. Bridget grew older in the real world as she should, whilst Amelie woke up on the beach, hence why she never aged and why it’s feasible to believe that she is Bridget’s daughter. 'Ame' is french for soul, so the Extinction Entity came up with the name Amelie - “A soul that’s a lie.”
Once Amelie realised that her beach was the nexus of the world of the dead, she pursued the knowledge of the 4.6 billion years of biological history that was entombed here and sought to build the Chiral Network in the real world via Bridget to try and understand things. Due to the fact that there is no concept of time on her Beach, simulations are done in an instant and all lost information can be reclaimed.
Unfortunately voidouts started occurring (The Death Stranding happened, more on why later) so she started rushing to complete the network and look into Bridge Babies out of desperation to understand why the last five extinction events occurred and how Extinction Entities come to exist so she could perhaps go against the grain and not end the world.
Bridget/Amelie is essentially a rebellious Extinction Entity who chose the noble route and asked questions about her role in life, so when her physical form (Bridget) died, she got Sam to complete the network so that they could answer these questions and hopefully stop the end of the world.
Unfortunately, the truth is that the universe has always been trying to return us to nothing with extinction events. After all, its creation via the Big Bang was just one massive fluke. She learns this and decides that she may as well just get it over with, and pushes Sam to connect everything in her stead so she can bring about The Last Stranding.
However, Sam makes her realise with the second BRIDGES expedition that extinctions force life to defy the universe’s constant onslaught of suffering. The human spirit never surrenders and always finds a way to persist and survive, hence “extinction is an opportunity.”
She then alludes to a situation where she shoots two bullets from the aforementioned important gun and that she made a mistake. A flashback shows her doing something to Sam in a foetal form and sending him home, saving him from Death on her beach and gave him his special power of repatriation. She does it to try and rectify the aforementioned mistake, yet by doing so, she created the Death Stranding. She disrupted the natural process of death, meaning that people wouldn’t die naturally anymore in the real world. BTs used the opening she created for Sam to come back to the world of the living - they then caused chaos, devouring the dead and creating explosive voidouts. The EE was forced to wait and watch the end of the world, but instead chose to end it quickly. However to trigger The Last Stranding they had to have Sam by their side - the problem they created.
Sam, trapped on his own beach, shoots himself with the important gun but it doesn’t fire. The EE mentions that she brought Cliff and Sam back together, and he then reconnects with the living. The BRIDGES crew used the revolver and a set of Quipu made from Bridget’s DNA to find Sam on the other side and he is repatriated in the world of the living.
Episode 13.5: Capital Knot City
Back in the real world, Die-Hardman becomes the new president of the UCA and swears to break down the walls and masks between the people, fixing the divided society now that the Death Stranding has come to an end. Deadman says that Cliff’s wife was called Lisa Bridges… Sam’s last name and the name of the network connectivity project. He also notes that Die-Hardman used to be called John and was involved in the flashback gun scuffle where Cliff is apparently shot. He donned a mask and took a new name to get away from that past, becoming Bridget’s right-hand man.
Die-Hardman breaks down and tells Sam about the mistake he made all those years ago. He says he killed Cliff for Bridget, because he loved her, but he says he loved Cliff just as much because he saved him as his captain in the wars they fought together. He wonders why Cliff didn’t kill him when he saw him on the beach because he doesn’t deserve forgiveness. Cliff’s anger for losing his BB is what brought him back and caused the supercells. Sam warns Die-Hardman that the old ways have to die and gives him his gun back, making the point that conflict and weapons won’t help build a new, better America.
Deadman gives Lou back to Sam, but the baby inside is dead… Sam has to go and incinerate the body before it starts necrotising and creates a crater. He tells Sam that he could try and burst Lou out of the pod and bring it to life, but that would be illegal under the current America’s laws. Deadman turns his cuffs online and tells him they'll stay that way until he activates the incinerator, giving him a window to disappear tracked. Fragile then tells Sam she’s starting up Fragile Express again under Bridges and that she didn’t kill Higgs, rather gave him the choice of death or exile on the beach.
Episode 14: Lou
Sam delivers Lou to the incinerator but before he gets rid of the body we get a long flashback sequence once Sam connects to Lou. Bridget and Die-Hardman muse about the one of a kind baby and how they need to keep him in the pod and use him in their BT experiments instead of letting Cliff raise it. Cliff chats with John (Die-Hardman) who gives him a ten minute window for saving him in the war. He damages the security system so Cliff can try to escape with his baby.
John gives Cliff his confiscated pistol (the important one mentioned throughout this article) and he silences it with a towel and puts his wife Lisa out of her misery after a kiss goodbye. We flash back to the present and Sam takes Lou off of the stand so the BB isn’t incinerated. We see the rest of the flashback, where Cliff is caught trying to leave with BB.
Cliff is shot and found by John and later Bridget. He takes John hostage for a moment and heads back to the room with Lisa’s dead body, locking himself inside. He apologises to Lisa for his failure and gives advice to the child he is about to lose. Bridget breaks into the room and her security shoot Cliff again, but before he passes on he frees BB from the pod and starts swaddling it. John points Cliff’s gun at him and Bridget urges Cliff to shoot him unless he hands BB over. Before they shoot, Cliff addresses Sam between worlds and reiterates “They told me your name was Sam Porter, but your name is Sam Bridges. My son, my bridge to the future.”
He tells him that having a son made him realise that he was only ever good at dividing people, a cliff, an obstacle in the way of connection. He tried to be a good father but wasn’t given the chance. Sam is the perfect legacy for him, a bridge who brought people together. Cliff gives Sam BB, who we now know is Sam as a baby. The trio embrace.
Back in the flashback, Bridget takes John’s hand and pulls the trigger for him, shooting Cliff, which kills BB/baby Sam at the same time. This weapon is the stick that became a rope - the gun that started the Death Stranding by killing baby Sam
and then saved him when he was lost on the beach.
Bridget cries over Sam’s fetal corpse and we are then shown a dead baby on a beach, Amelie’s beach. She picks him up and fixes the gunshot wound leaving him with his cross shaped scar, and bringing Sam back to life from death. Cliff has the same scar, which would imply that Amelie also brought Cliff back to life in some capacity. She lets Sam float in The Seam once more as Cliff watches on in the distance. Sam is brought back to life and moved back into the BB pod where Bridget and John nurture him as a human child instead of decommissioning him, turning Sam into Bridget’s prime candidate for finishing the Chiral Network, but also her adopted son. This repatriation process is Bridget’s atonement but as we know, it also brings about the Death Stranding.
With that, we come back to reality. Sam burns his cuffs instead of Lou and pops her out of the pod, yet she still looks dead. Sam tries in vain to bring Lou back to life, crying as he does it with BT babies surrounding him (the previous BBs who had to be incinerated once decommissioned.) All of a sudden Lou wakes up and starts giggling. Sam embraces his adopted child and walks out into the rain which is no longer Timefall because the Death Stranding is over.)
Roll credits! In a post-credits scene we see Sam looking at his damaged picture of his pregnant wife as Lou’s hand comes into his own. He calls his new child Louise.
Postgame: Higgs and Lucy
In the postgame Sam starts to receive more emails as he continues to deliver, although the 'end game' actually takes place two weeks before the final moments of the story. These messages talk about events and help tie up the loose ends. Three journals can be collected too, one from finishing all of Peter Englert’s Pizza Missions and heading to his shelter, the other two from collecting memory chips.
The Unnamed Man’s Journals essentially give Higg's side of things. He wasn’t always a evil nihilist, he fell victim to his father’s physical abuse as a child and suffered terrible nightmares courtesy of the Extinction Entity, which is why he has DOOMs and feels connected to the Beach. He killed his dad to escape the shelter he was being held by him in, and was working earnestly as a porter with Fragile to create a better America. At some point he eventually realised the two of them alone couldn’t do it. He was then seduced by power upon introduction to Amelie, who he believed could make America whole again. Amelie then corrupted him, turning him into her Agent of Extinction. He then cut his ties with Fragile and became a terrorist harbouring The Last Stranding.
In Lucy’s Report we learn about Sam’s wife Lucy, who killed herself whilst pregnant by committing suicide, subsequently causing a voidout. The child was seven months along and had already been named Lou, or Louise. Sam was away at the time and given he was a key member of BRIDGES, he resigned from the company due to public pressure over the incident, as it was assumed he caused it. This is why he had to be forced back into the role at the start of the game by Amelie and Die-Hardman.
Lucy started out as Sam’s therapist, trying to help him overcome aphenphosmphobia and abandonment issues. At first she didn’t get it and insisted that Sam’s Repatriation and The Beach weren’t real. She later became the only person he opened up to and eventually they fell in love, which forced Lucy to resign from her post.
Yet, as she grows pregnant with Louise, she starts to have terrible DOOMS nightmares of the end of the world, much like the ones suffered by an Extinction Entity. This is due to Sam’s blood being inside of her. Bridget tells her the truth about the beach and that her nightmares are real. These revelations are too much for Lucy who is home alone a lot whilst Sam is off trying to reconnect America. She kills herself as she cannot handle the knowledge and is terrified of the life ahead of her in the Bridges/Strand family. It’s unclear as to whether Bridget/Amelie orchestrated this to force Sam back into the fold, but either conclusion works.
How old are you, girl. - Twenty two. A short pause. - Are you aware of the nature of your future work.
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A couple of young men were melancholy fiddling with equipment, adjusting video cameras and setting up lights. A clean-shaven man in a white coat, perched on a high stool near the nurse's table, was in charge of the whole process. in the corner, two girls are at ease: a long-legged young blonde in a short colorful dress and an older girl dark-haired and somewhat less pleasant.