How to Get the Good Ending in "Metro: Last Light"
4A Games announced that their third game, Metro: Exodus, would follow the “Redemption” ending of their 2013 entry Metro: Last Light. This guide will help you respond in the best possible way during key moments where your decision has a major impact on the climax—so that can get the best ending possible.
How to Get the Redemption Ending
When this game first came out, I played through it an unhealthy amount of times attempting to get the Shadow Ranger achievement. Along the way, I managed to figure out how to get the Redemption ending, too! Either chalk it off to dedication or obsession, but one thing's certain, you're going to get the Redemption ending after reading this article!
It's almost impossible to talk about how to get a particular ending for a video game without spoiling some story points along the way. This isn't my intention, and I don't want to ruin the game for you, but I have to mention certain characters that are related to getting the Redemption Ending.
Sorry in advance.
Endings and Achievements
Judging by comments I’ve read on various social media platforms, and forums, a lot of players seem to be confused by this—particularly why the main character Artyom is able to return for the third game when he was depicted as being blown up in D6.
The "Bad" Ending
Well, this might shock you, but that was not the only ending. In fact, that was technically the "bad" ending that people usually get at the end of a game that has choices. Don't fret chances are you wanted to get revenge on those characters you had the choice to forgive and save. I know it's hard, but those aren't the only examples of the "moral" points you need to achieve in order to activate the Redemption ending.
The Shadow Ranger Achievement
People seem to get the Redemption ending mixed up with the Shadow Ranger achievement in which you have to go through the majority of the game not killing anybody. This isn't true, you can knife kill or shoot your way through every level in the game if you want. However, there will be times where you have to turn the other cheek. The choices will be obvious but the game never lets you know when you've earned a "bad" point. I'll try to point out all of the bad decisions that can be made to help you avoid them.
1. Free the Prisoners
In Chapter 3: Pavel, you will go through an airlock and have the option to either shoot or sneak through the following tunnel. Seriously, it's part of a tutorial so to each his own, but flip the switch at the command center before the next airlock/end of the level. It will be on the far left side of a large panel with a red light. Doing this will free all of those prisoners in the cages you undoubtedly came across during the earlier stealth sections. Oh, you didn't notice them? You might want to turn your brightness up just a little bit . . .
Don't feel bad, this is an easy thing to miss. It does glow, but it's something subtle. I actually didn't spot this until my third playthrough.
- Metro Last Light Playthrough: Pavel - YouTube
The lever in question is at the 12:30 mark.
2. Spare the Surrendering Soldiers
For just three moments in the game, ignore your inner Aldo Raine and spare these Reich soldiers. Feel free to stealth kill or gun down every other one, but these three are important for those moral points.
The first soldier is at the end of Chapter 4: Reich. This guy is so easy to miss since you're more likely aiming and shooting at the attacking Nazis that come through the door across the room. Though if you shoot him during the escape, somehow, you will get a bad point.
The second soldier is in Chapter 5: Separation, after you sneak through the warehouse. You will have the option to knock him out—do so! Make sure to loot his body to get Military Grade Rounds, and the box across from him has ammo as well.
The third surrendering soldier is hiding in a meat locker between areas in Chapter 6: Facility. The game won't give you the option to knock out the soldier, but he won't attack or sound an alarm as you walk away. He's actually the poor guy who was being bullied earlier. He has a Bastard SMG with IR Sight and Suppressor that you can take. I mean . . . he said we could . . .
- Metro Last Light Playthrough: Reich
The guy at the 2:25 mark should be left alone. Not hard to do since you'll be shooting at the soldiers attacking from the door.
- Metro Last Light Playthrough: Separation
The relaxing soldier at the 6:57 mark should be Knocked Out.
- Metro Last Light Playthrough: Facility
The soldier, in the meat locker, is at the 5:41 mark. Just leave him be.
3. DO NOT Kill This Guy
In Chapter 11: Red Line/Revolution, you'll have to sneak through a large military station. Notice how I said "sneak" there? Yeah, the game gives you the option to go through holding the shoot button down. BUT, in this case, not everybody is open prey. The man pictured above is a civilian crane operator that you'll come across about a third of the way into the level. As you sneak through the large depot area, near the exit, he will have a conversation with a Red soldier.
After he shuts off his crane and goes to have a smoke break, knock him out or just leave him be altogether, but if you knife or shoot him, you'll lose a moral point. Just to be safe you should do the Knock Out option for every soldier in this chapter, of course, you may need to use a silenced pistol and/or Throwing Knife occasionally, but try to be as non-lethal as possible.
- Metro Last Light Playthrough: Red Line - YouTube
The guy at the 9:53 mark is the civilian crane operator. DON'T KILL HIM.
4. Save Everyone in the Bandits Tunnel
Chapter 13: Bandits, apart from Chapter 12: Regina, and Chapter 16: Marshes, is one of the chapters that gives you full exploration freedom. Meaning you can complete it as quickly as you want, though that kinda defeats the purpose of the Metro series. In Bandits, there are three moments where you can rescue captured innocents to gain moral points. Actually, one of them (the guy in the second screenshot above) is required in order to continue through the level.
Unfortunately, the first and third encounters are considered optional since you can just keep driving by. For those of you not living in the age of apathy, you can get additional moral points by playing the hero. Not to mention loot from the extra bandits you'll fight.
5. Win Back the Boy's Teddy Bear
We've all had that moment or known someone who had that feeling of losing a precious item. As a child, you haven't quite developed the apathy for material items. So when a kid loses his stuffed animal it can be very upsetting for them. Luckily there's a "side quest" in Chapter 15: Venice where you not only make some boy's day but gain Military Grade Rounds at the same time.
To do so approach the large chinned man in the first screenshot to compete in a shooting competition. Once you beat all three rounds you're awarded not just M.G.R.s, but the kid's teddy bear, too. Returning it to the boy and his mother gains you a moral point and also the achievement/trophy "Reunion."
Also in Venice, plus Chapter 9: Theater for that matter, there are other miscellaneous tasks you can do to gain moral points. Such as giving Bullets to beggars, and eavesdropping on conversations and events, but avoid getting a private show at the strip club. You will get a bad point for every time you pay for a dance. Which would probably explain why a lot of players got the bad ending . . .
- Metro Last Light Playthrough: Venice - YouTube
The drama starts around the 15:09 mark.
6. Take off Your Gas Mask for Anna
At the end of Chapter 19: Contagion you will see the above cutscene. Every cop movie from the '80s and '90s tells you that you should perform a headshot to save the hostage, but that's actually going to get you a bad moral point.
Do as Lestnisky says and take off your gas mask as you normally would. Yeah, that seems like a beta way of handling the situation, but the macho B.S. way will get you an even more awkward cutscene. Not to mention that you won't kill him by wasting a bullet. At least the mask thing will make more sense for the narrative, and for those of you with at least some basic sense of how projectiles work, won't feel like a plot hole.
7. Listen to the Little Dark One
Around Chapter 23: The Crossing, Artyom's mission will be to escort the Little Dark One back to The Order. Along the way, there will be moments where he will stop, out of curiosity, and point out things about humans. Listening to these muses gains you moral points.
More importantly, the game choices listed below are all observed by the Little Dark One, and thus picking the "bad" option will change his perception of Artyom and humankind in general. Which is kind of a big deal if you want to get the Redemption Ending. The hidden theme of "Act 3" of the game is to turn the other cheek; which isn't easy if you're filled with vengeful angst toward what some of these characters have done earlier in the story.
However, for the sake of getting the good ending, you need to show some forgiveness. In fact, that wouldn't be such a bad idea in real life either.
8. Spare Lestnisky
In Chapter 25: Road For Two (or Depot as it's also known) you'll have to sneak and/or fight your way through a train depot of Red soldiers to get to Lestnisky. How you deal with his men are up to you, the Little Dark One won't commend nor condemn you for killing them.
Lestnisky must be knocked out or you will get a major bad point placed against you. I guess it could be argued that all of the choices you make up until this point don't matter, but I would disagree. Even though the Little Dark One didn't see you win back a teddy bear or knife a civilian crane operator the moral points you gain are all essential to getting the Redemption Ending.
9. Practice Some Trigger Discipline
In Chapter 26: City of Phantoms, there will be a couple of moments, versus mutants, where the Little Dark One will tell you to just leave them alone. Like in Chapter 8: Echoes avoiding the pack of Watchmen will save you an unnecessary battle, and give you a moral point. However, ignoring the Little Dark One and engaging any of the following creatures will get you a bad point.
The pack of Watchmen (in the first screenshot) can easily be avoided by crouching down out of sight until they pass. The Little Dark One will also light them up green to show they're not a threat.
The Demon and its baby (second screenshot) will be at the top of a collapsing ladder. If, for some ridiculous reason, you decide to shoot them both, you'll rack up two bad points. Plus a scolding from the Little Dark One. Unless you're trying to grab the second diary entry for the Published achievement/trophy there's really no reason to approach them. Just head down the stairwell to the left.
10. Leave the Watchmen Be in Red Square
In Chapter 27: Red Square, near the very beginning, you'll come to the Kremlin on the right. The Little Dark One will advise you to move along, that the resident Watchmen are just protecting their home. If you decide to be purposefully ignorant you'll get a bad point plus have to fight a pack of Watchmen. You CAN go into their nest but you have to wait for them to leave first.
After the storm begins you will go through some ravine areas. There will be at least two encounters with Watchmen down here that can be avoided. Especially if you just keep following the Little Dark One, there's nothing to really explore down here. He'll even point out that the creatures are just scared and/or lost in the storm. If you just keep your distance they won't attack; gaining you moral points (the positive ones) and saving some ammo.
11. Save Pavel
Also in Chapter 27: Red Square you will be ambushed by Pavel and some of his men near the end of the level. After the gun battle, and some back story, you'll have the choice to save Pavel or let the creepy ghost hands drag him into their legion.
As scary awesome as I made the latter sound, and as much of a dick move the betrayal in Chapter 9 was, you really should consider the former. To do so just walk forward and the game will do the rest. The Little Dark One will commend you for your clemency and you'll gain an important moral point.
Killing him, however, will make the Dark One comment on how you couldn't pardon his actions and end with "I will remember this." And this time, it will sound more uncomfortably ominous. It won't just get you a bad point—it will cost you the good ending.
12. Save the Mother Bear
After the giant bear boss fight, in Chapter 28: Gardens, a clearing will be made allowing you to continue on with the level. Except in her weakened state, the bear will be attacked by a trio of Watchmen.
One of three things happened here based on the current state of the generation. 1) You held down that sprint button the moment you had a chance and didn't notice the distressing scene. 2) You knew damn well what was going on, and heard the baby bears crying, but still went on with your "well that's what you get." Or 3) let your vengeful nature get the better of you and chose to ignore it thinking "why am I gonna help something I was just fighting? Like I'm "literally" "confused." I need to look up an "explained" video. You get a bad point without even realizing it.
Did I just guilt trip you over a video game? Yeah kind of, but my snarky truth-telling comes in the light of this nature of gamer going against the point of the article. What you're supposed to do is shoot the Watchmen to save the bear. The only "loot" you'll get from doing that is the reputed kind.
During my first couple playthroughs, I wasn't aware shooting the Watchmen was a possibility. Also, the Little Dark One doesn't comment on it, but he is in the shadows somewhere watching your actions. If you save the bear, you get a much better chance at unlocking the Redemption ending.
13. Be Charitable and Eavesdrop
Throughout the game, you'll visit a couple of (somewhat) peaceful stations that will have opportunities to buy weapons and ammo, listen in on various little events, and give you a chance to be charitable. Giving an M.G.R. (or two) to people that ask for it will earn you a moral point. Listening in on people's backstories will also get you a flash on the screen. Even taking the time to explore every nook and cranny will get you one by discovering the left overs of someone's scenario. Immersion is kind of what the Metro series is all about, exploring also helps if you like ammo . . .
Be Good and Get the Good Ending
All of these moral points add up, but they don't really stop you from playing as loudly and killing as much as you want. If you heed my advice in regards to the key moments listed above, I guarantee you will get the Redemption ending. Which is what you want, otherwise you may be puzzled by the events that follow in Metro Exodus.
© 2019 Eric Seidel