The following article contains full spoilers for the main narrative for Ghost of Tsushima, The Last of Us Part II, and spoilers for the end of Red Dead Redemption II. If you have not finished these games, or otherwise wish to avoid spoilers, please click away now.
Sucker Punch Productions launched the highly anticipated open world action-adventure game Ghost of Tsushima on July 17, 2020. The game was mostly well received by critics, and highly praised by gamers online. The game centers around Jin Sakai, a samurai who is on a quest to rid the Japanese island of Tsushima of invading forces from Mongol Empire. The story is inspired of the real life Mongol invasion of Tsushima in 1274, which ended up being successful.
The main narrative spans three acts, but given the open world, is paced to the player’s desire. This article will focus solely on the main tales in the game. I may look into some of the optional character tales in separate pieces, but for now, I want to look at Jin’s journey. What worked for me, what didn’t, and why they either worked or failed. So, without further ado, let’s look into the journey of Jin Sakai.
Jin’s journey starts on Komoda Beach. Any able samurai that are able to fight gather on a hill overlooking the invading Mongol warships. The battle ensues, and the Mongols easily win. Lord Shimura, head of Clan Shimura and Jin’s uncle, is captured by Khotun Khan. Jin is injured in the battle, but survives. He is found by a local thief named Yuna, who is able to help him reclaim his katana and drive off Mongol forces in a nearby village. Eventually, Yuna reveals she needs Jin’s help: her brother, Taka, was captured by a Mongol slaver. At first, Jin is reluctant, only wanting to save his uncle. However, he agrees to help so long as Yuna helps rescue Lord Shimura, and she agrees.
Jin first attempts to infiltrate Castle Kaneda with only Yuna, but is beaten in a confrontation with Khotun Khan. Now, here is where I want to touch on my first problem with Jin’s story. It is way too predictable. I knew exactly how the storyline with the Khan was going to end as soon as this first confrontation with the Khan began. A story being predictable isn’t always a bad thing, but having one of your biggest story beats be this obvious can be deterimental.
This confrontation with the Khan also produced a positive for me as well, although it’s a bit more gameplay oriented. I love the way one on one duels are handled in this game. The cinematic feel with the music building the tension reels the player in and makes the player feel as if each of these duels has actual importance. Especially a duel I’ll get to when I talk about Act II.
Anyway, after this first confrontation with the Khan, Jin and the player are released into the open world. On New Game +, the game will direct you to the new merchant, Baku The Voiceless, but I’ll talk more about that at the end of this piece. Jin now sets out to recruit his own army to liberate Castle Kaneda and rescue Lord Shimura. Jin recruits Sensei Ishikawa, an archer who formerly served Clan Nagao who enlists Jin’s help in tracking down a rogue student; Lady Masako Adachi, a skilled archer in her own right who enlists Jin’s help in tracking down those responsible for killing the women and children of Clan Adachi on the night of the Battle at Komoda Beach; Ryuzo, Jin’s longtime friend, and his Straw Hat ronin; Taka, Yuna’s blacksmith brother; and Kenji, a sake merchant who aides in Taka’s rescue.
Yuna reveals to Jin prior to Taka’s rescue that she plans on taking Taka to the Japanese mainland once Lord Shimura is rescued. This shows the differences in our two main character from the beginning of the game. Jin is very loyal to his samurai code, and has a dogmatic love for the island of Tsushima, as he considers it “our” home. However, Yuna delivers one of the best lines in Act I. “Home is wherever Taka and I go.”
At this moment, she is Jin’s foil. She has no qualms about “striking from the shadows,” as Lord Shimura puts it. And she doesn’t feel this unyielding love for Tsushima because she hasn’t had the type of life Jin has. She’s not a samurai. She’s not related to the jito. She’s had to fight for what she and Taka need, and the constant moving around has caused Yuna to lose loyalty to the island, and put her loyalties entirely in herself and Taka.
It is after the liberation of Komatsu Forage that the legend of The Ghost is first told by Yuna. Jin initially is rejects it. He believes the people should believe in the samurai. “When Lord Shimura is free, they won’t need to believe in folktales.” This also helps show the cracks in his already fragile relationship with Ryuzo.
When Ryuzo is first introduced, he and Jin discuss a duel they had at Lord Nagao’s tournament two summers prior. Ryuzo was counting on his victory to land him in the service of a lord and become a samurai. However, Jin treated the duel as if Ryuzo was his “mortal enemy,” and Ryuzo was left with no options other than working with the Straw Hats. Ryuzo has a feeling that Jin is only out for himself, and the tales of “The Ghost” only further Ryuzo’s impression.
Despite this, Ryuzo enlists Jin’s help after his best men get captured by the Mongols. After freeing these men, Ryuzo agrees to help Jin in rescuing his uncle. Jin and his small army attack Castle Kaneda. However, Ryuzo turns on Jin, and reveals that he and his men are going to hunt Jin for the bounty placed on him by the Khan. Ryuzo and Jin duel, which Jin wins. However, he spares Ryuzo, and one last time asks for his help. Ryuzo refuses, and alerts Mongol guards to Jin’s presence.
Jin eventually defeats the Mongols, and rescues Lord Shimura. Those two, along with Yuna, Sensei Ishikawa, and Lady Masako Adachi clear out the remaining Mongols to retake Castle Kaneda. Lord Shimura and Jin liberate Fort Ito. After the battle, Yuna asks for safe passage to the mainland, and Lord Shimura agrees so long as Yuna aids Jin in raising an army from Yarikawa. She agrees, and this ends Act I.
So far, Jin’s story is really enjoyable. Earlier, I said that if a story is too predictable, it can be a problem. However, it isn’t necessarily a problem. The best way to avoid predictability from being a problem is by making the journey engaging. If you can make the player want to go on the journey, even if they know how it ends, then you’ve done a fine job. And Sucker Punch did a fine job with Act I.
I do have a small issue though, and while I’ll bring it up now, I’ll go more in depth later. I feel as if the gameplay doesn’t really support the narrative at times. I bring this up because this does affect the narrative more than it does gameplay. For Act I, this issue arises when Jin’s companions comment on how brutal he fights, but he really doesn’t show much anger or brutality in Act I. If anything, the few times that he does have to get brutal or go against his code, he pushes back on it.
And the gameplay loop in Act I doesn’t feel as if it gets more brutal as time goes on. If you play on New Game +, you can argue that it does, given that Jin’s Ghost Stance is unlocked from the beginning, but you can’t play on New Game + without completing the game once. And for me, the brutality that Jin’s allies see isn’t really fleshed out in the gameplay.
With that out of the way, let’s move on to Act II…
Act II introduces us to a new ally: Norio, the warrior monk from Cedar Temple. I have to say as a side note, Norio is probably my favorite minor character of the entire game. I will definitely be doing an analysis of Norio’s tale in the future. Anyway, Jin is now tasked with contacting a pirate named Goro. Goro owes a debt to Lord Shimura, and to pay it, Goro must sail for the mainland with a message for the shogun.
Jin and Lord Shimura meet Goro at a camp near the Akashima coast. The two samurai, along with a few reinforcements, raid a nearby fort to draw the Mongol’s attention away from the sea. After capturing a hwacha, Jin frees up a path for Goro to set sail for the mainland. Lord Shimura then reveals that the message not only contained a petition for reinforcements from the shogun, but a a declaration that Jin is to be adopted as Lord Shimura’s son.
This is the beginning of a crossroads for Jin. He’s always felt as if Lord Shimura was his father, and now it can be official. However, it’s starting to become clear that he’s put a lot of faith in Yuna, something Lord Shimura is a bit concerned with. While his uncle isn’t clear as to how Yuna is influencing Jin, but he definitely doesn’t trust her. And it is clear that at some point, Jin will have a choice to make.
Jin is sent to Yarikawa to raise an army. Yuna and Taka inform him that Mongols have surrounded the Yarikawa stronghold. Furthermore, Jin and his family has a rough past with Yarikawa and it’s people. Sometime when Jin was younger, Clan Shimura led forces into battle to crush the Yarikawa Rebellion. And the people of Yarikawa still have no love for Lord Shimura or his family.
Before Jin is introduced to Ujimasa Yarikawa, the Mongol warlord Temuge offers the town a choice: surrender and “know great mercy. Refuse, and know terrible misery.” Ujimasa initially scoffs at Jin’s offer to help break the Mongol siege, and refuses to aid in the attack on Castle Kaneda. Taka then reveals that some of the town’s best archers left against Ujimasa’s orders, and Jin decides to help them.
Jin, Yuna, and the archers successfully ambush a Mongol patrol to save some of the captured archers. The leader of the archers, Daikoku, gives Jin his word that Ujimasa will accept Jin’s help breaking the Mongol siege. After the battle, Yuna and Jin get into a bit of a disagreement surrounding Taka’s involvement in the battle. Jin believes he can be a fighter, whereas Yuna sees that violence just isn’t his thing. This at least shows that Jin hasn’t completely abandoned his samurai code, although he is starting to embrace The Ghost.
Before the Battle of Yarikawa, Yuna and Jin share a heart to heart moment. They share sake and tell stories of their past. Yuna reveals that her mother was abusive, which led her to take Taka and leave Yarikawa. This moment is vital to the rest of Jin’s story, although it may seem unimportant at the time, but I’ll explain more shortly. The battle begins, and Jin leads Yarikawa’s forces into a valiant defense of two main gates. The Mongols inexplicably fall back at one point, only for Jin to realize that the Mongols have siege weapons.
Jin destroys those siege weapons and returns to find that the Mongols have broken into the town. He clears a path to the main keep and finds the warlord Temuge. After an incredibly tense duel, Jin takes Temuge’s head. On your first playthrough, this unlocks the Ghost Stance, and the game prompts you to activate it. This terrifies the rest of the Mongols, and Yarikawa is saved. Jin, Yuna, and Taka rally the rest of Yarikawa, and they agree to aid in the attack of Castle Shimura.
The conversation with Yuna before the battle, and the execution of Temuge are two extremely important points in Jin’s story. During that conversation with Yuna, Jin says “sometimes, the only choice is to walk away from everything we know.” At this point, he’s starting to realize something, he just isn’t sure what yet. Then, the speech after the battle, I think Jin comes to an epiphany. He realizes that maybe, just maybe, The Ghost is his way forward. The Ghost may be what Tsushima needs. He doesn’t abandon the samurai code yet, but I believe that at this point, Jin Sakai has truly become The Ghost.
After the Battle of Yarikawa, Jin returns home to Omi Village to reclaim his father’s armor. The Sakai estate’s caretaker, Yuriko, leads Jin to his father’s armor. Jin then enlists Yuriko’s help in creating poison darts made from wolfsbane and a blowgun in order to aid in the fight against the Mongols. There’s an optional mission in Yuriko’s tale that will also grant you hallucination darts made from spider lilies. On one of those missions, Yuriko mentions that Jin’s father felt that Jin’s uncle was too strict and was too adherent to the samurai code. I feel that’s a nice insight now that we’re starting to see Jin stray further and further away from the samurai way of life.
After returning to Lord Shimura’s war camp, Jin receives word that Ryuzo and his men are poised to flank Tsushima’s forces. He tries to enlist Yuna’s help, but she tells him that her and Taka are set to sail for the mainland at dawn. He asks for her help one last time, but Yuna is deadset on leaving. Jin relents, and rejects Taka’s offer for help. He rides off to Fort Koyasan alone to confront his old friend.
As Jin is surveying the fort, Taka arrives and once again asks to help. At first, The Ghost is hesitant, but he relents after Taka offers to be a distraction. He draws out a decent amount of Mongols, and Jin enters the fort. He finds Ryuzo, but it is a trap. A Straw Hat knocks Jin out. When he wakes, he finds himself tied to a wooden pillar, and Taka tied up across from him. The Khan confronts them, and demands that Jin join him. After all, the people are behind The Ghost, and they’d listen to him. His offer is turned down, so the Khan tries another tactic. He offers Taka an opportunity: kill The Ghost, and he can walk free. Taka decides to attack the Khan, which results in the Khan beheading him.
Jin kills a wave of Straw Hats and advances to the inner courtyard, where he finds Yuna. She asks about Taka, and runs past Jin to find his lifeless body. They’re interrupted by a wave of Straw Hats and Mongols, which are easily killed by Yuna and Jin. After burying Taka, Yuna agrees to stay and aid in the fight against the Mongols.
This is another pivotal moment in Jin’s journey. At this point in time, Jin has decided that the honorable and traditional way of doing things is not the way to defeat the Mongols. And here arises a main theme of Jin’s story: is honor worth it if it gets you a sword in the back? Is tradition worth holding on to if it results in widespread death and destruction? In this moment, Jin internally decides that the more dishonorable acts he has been engaging in are what is needed to prevent needless loss of life.
Returning to the war camp, Jin finds that the shogun’s reinforcements have arrived from the mainland, and Lord Shimura is awaiting him to begin the assault on Castle Shimura. Before the battle, Lord Shimura informs Jin that the shogun formally accepted Shimura’s request to adopt Jin as his son. He will be the heir to Clan Shimura, “not as a Ghost, but as a samurai.” Jin says he won’t let his uncle down, and their forces ride off into battle.
The Tsushima army clears a path for their battering ram to break through the doors. They charge the inner courtyard and defeat the Mongol forces there. After defeating more Mongols, Jin is sent to scout the path ahead. He kills three Mongols with his poison darts before slaughtering a Mongol general. Lord Shimura sees the slaughter, an attack from behind, and berates Jin for it. They’re interrupted by a Mongol hwacha. Jin and Yuna take control of it and help clear a path to the bridge. The Mongols retreat to the inner keep, and send out a carriage of explosives strapped to flaming horses. Yuna and Jin fire arrows, and the explosives detonate, destroying the bridge to the inner keep.
Jin and Shimura disagree about the next step, and get into a rather heated argument. Shimura wants to send out a group to repair the bridge, whereas Jin wants to find a way into the keep and poison the Mongols where they stand. Shimura says that Jin is without honor, to which he replies “honor died on the beach. The Khan deserves to suffer!” Jin says he’s sacrificed everything for his people while his uncle did nothing. Shimura strikes his nephew, which causes Jin to walk out on the conversation. He orders Yuna and a few others to gather as much wolfsbane as they can carry. He’s going to defy his uncle and poison the Mongols.
At this moment, Jin has abandoned the samurai code for good.
A cool optional moment before continuing to the next mission: Jin can speak to Norio, Sensei Ishikawa, Lady Masako, and Kenji about his plan. And it seems as if they all agree. It’s a nice little bit of context for why they show up in Act III on Jin’s side.
Jin infiltrates the keep, and slips his wolfsbane into the Mongol’s fermented milk. He watches as hundreds of Mongols choke on their own blood, and marches to the main keep in order to confront the Khan. Instead of the Khan, he finds Ryuzo. Ryuzo says the Khan has ridden north, and was commanded to stay behind to collect The Ghost’s head. Ryuzo begs for another chance, but Jin is not hearing it. He demands Ryuzo to surrender, but he doesn’t. The two duel, and Jin kills Ryuzo.
Yuna meets Jin on the outside of the main keep, and explains what had happened. Lord Shimura arrives, along with the shogun’s bannermen. Jin informs Shimura that the Khan marches north, and the two are at a point of no return. Shimura says the shogun will demand a head, and demands that Jin renounce The Ghost, which in turn would lead to Yuna’s arrest. Jin refuses, simply stating “I am not your son, I am The Ghost.” Jin gives Yuna his sword, and tells her to find the Khan. Jin is arrested, but escapes captivity with the help of Kenji. He rides north, but his horse is killed before he reaches Yuna.
I’m going to get more into my thoughts on this development later on, but I do think the story begins to fall apart a bit starting with this development. And it isn’t due to the writing. This story is well written. There’s just one decision that makes this fall apart a bit. But, it can be fixed.
Let’s get into Act III…
After buying his horse, Jin walks the rest of the way to Kin Sanctuary, where Kenji said Yuna would be. He finds the place ablaze, clearly captured by the Mongols. As he reaches the sacred tree, he realizes that Yuna isn’t there. What he does find, however, shakes him. Villagers killed with no sword or arrow wounds, the corpses smelling like wolfsbane. The Mongols have figured out what poison Jin used, and have turned it on the people of Tsushima. As he investigates the bodies, he is spotted by the Mongols and shot with a poison arrow. He loses them in a blizzard, and is found by Yuna.
He awakes sometime later in Yuna’s care. He informs her that the Mongols had created his poison. They decide that the only way to end this is to kill Khotun Khan, and begin to draw up battle plans to attack his forces at Port Izumi. They decide to liberate Jogaku Temple as a stronghold for their allies.
After liberating the temple, Yuna asks Jin to recruit a group of hunters to liberate Fort Kaminodake in order to clear the pass leading into Omi. The hunter’s leader, Takeshi, is reluctant to join up with The Ghost’s cause at first. However, he agrees once Jin allows his group to stay at the fort until the spring. It’s also evident that Takeshi has a thing for Yuna, which adds a bit of appreciated levity to the tense war being waged.
After liberating the fort, Jin and Yuna go back and forth about the group that’s being allowed to stay at the fort. Jin also drops a bit of a jealous line when he references how Takeshi has been wanting to see Yuna. Not important to the overall story, but I found it amusing nonetheless.
Despite the fact that Jin has his allies and the warriors from Yarikawa gathered at Jogaku Temple, he and Yuna agree that they need more soldiers and a plan of attack. They travel to Port Izumi to get a hawk’s view of the place. While infiltrating the lighthouse, Jin and Yuna find barrels of wolfsbane that the Khan plans on unleashing once he conquers the mainland. They make a plan to obtain their own hwachas, and strike under the cover of a blizzard.
Needing more soldiers, Jin decides to take a huge gamble. He travels back to Castle Shimura in order to infiltrate the walls and leave a message for his uncle: join us at Port Izumi, and help us kill the Khan. Jin also makes it a point to avoid killing any of the samurai watching out for him, in an effort to prove that he is not the monster they think he is.
While it isn’t immediately clear if Lord Shimura will join the fight, Yuna tells Jin that some of the shogun’s reinforcements have defected from Lord Shimura’s army and joined their cause. They can’t wait for an answer, as the blizzard is about to hit the area. Jin goes around the temple and speaks with his allies one last time before they head into their final battle together.
As the battle begins, Lord Shimura is absent. This doesn’t deter Jin and his forces from ambushing a Mongol stronghold just outside the port while they fired hwachas on the Mongol ships in the sea. Jin, Masako, Yuna, and Ishikawa regroup with Norio and the Yarikawa soldiers, as Jin give one last speech before he sets off to find the Khan.
As Jin finds a vantage point to search for the Khan, Lord Shimura’s army arrives to aid in the attack. After fighting his way through waves of Mongols, Jin finally reaches the main keep and confronts the Khan. The two duel, but after a certain point, the Khan throws poison in Jin’s face and retreats to his ship. Jin fights off the poison and more Mongols to reach the ship, and after more fighting, Jin finally kills the Khan and takes his head. He jumps into the water to escape the burning ship, and is rescued by Yuna.
After the battle, Yuna and Jin ride back to Jogaku. She informs him that his uncle sent a messenger. Lord Shimura wishes to meet him “by the still waters under the red leafed tree.” Omi Lake, where they used to spar. Jin decides to face his uncle alone.
Lord Shimura and Jin meet at the lake, where it is revealed that the shogun has branded Jin a traitor and disbanded Clan Sakai. Jin is no longer a samurai. The two ride to what used to be the Sakai estate. The two make awkward small talk as they ride, and eventually make it to the Sakai cemetery. It is here where Jin realizes Lord Shimura’s true reason for wanting to meet. The shogun has demanded Jin Sakai’s head, and Lord Shimura has been tasked with bringing it to him.
Lord Shimura says that Jin has no honor, to which Jin accuses his uncle of being “a slave to it.” The two compose haiku, where they reflect on loss. Then, the two duel, and Jin wounds Lord Shimura. It is at this point the player is presented with a choice: kill Lord Shimura and give him the honorable death he wants, or spare him. No matter what you choose, Jin goes on to live as an outcast to fight off the rest of the Mongols, with him and Yuna saying a final goodbye. And that is how Jin’s story ends.
Here is one last spoiler warning: the section below will contain spoilers for The Last of Us Part II and Red Dead Redemption II. If you wish to avoid these spoilers, either stop reading or skip to the section titled Final Thoughts.
The ending is honestly where the story kind of falls apart for me. I am absolutely okay with a game developer giving the players a choice. Especially in an open world, non-linear game like Ghost of Tsushima. However, if you’re going to give the player a choice in how the game ends, you need to make sure that the narrative justifies the existence of that choice. And I do not believe the choice should exist for the ending of Ghost of Tsushima. Well, let me rephrase: a player choice’s can work in this story, just in a different spot. Allow me to explain.
Throughout the story, Jin’s journey to becoming The Ghost has been treated as a good thing. Jin is very much the hero of this story. Granted, everyone is the hero of their own story, but you get my point. However, not only is Jin’s journey shown in a positive light, it also seems as if it’s the correct choice. There’s a scene right before the attack on Castle Shimura between Ryuzo and Khotun Khan. In this scene, the Khan quite clearly states that the samurai are “predictable” and “easy to break.” While The Ghost “has no limits, which makes him dangerous.”
The game is basically telling you that Jin is 100% in the right. His uncle’s way will lead to failure because the Khan doesn’t see their honorable ways as a threat. Jin, however, is dangerous. He is a threat. And that’s why the Khan places a bounty on Jin’s head, not Lord Shimura’s.
Another thing to consider is a point I made earlier: the gameplay does not support the narrative at times. In Act III, Jin is The Ghost. And it doesn’t matter if, in gameplay, you fight like an honorable samurai. You could go this entire game without once using a poison dart in gameplay, yet canonically Jin uses three darts before the end of Act II, then ends Act II by poisoning a decent amount of the Khan’s army. If you choose to go against The Ghost, that is not reflected in the narrative. And while the game was being marketed, the developers did say you had a choice as to whether or not you play as an honorable samurai or a dishonorable Ghost.
So while I do like that the game tries to show the consequences of Jin poisoning the Mongols at the end of Act II, ultimately, it feels shallow. Because not only does the narrative need Jin to poison the Mongols, not poisoning the Mongols means nothing. Jin, canonically, has no honor. He even criticizes Lord Shimura for being so caught up in the meaning of honor (“…and you are a slave to it.”)
All of this makes the choice at the end, at best, feel misplaced. Because only one of the two choices makes any sense narratively, and that is to spare Lord Shimura. Think about it for just a second. Why would Jin Sakai, a man of no honor, give someone an honorable death? His entire journey consists of him straying away from honor and tradition. It makes much more narrative sense for him to spare Lord Shimura because he doesn’t recognize death as an honorable thing. He doesn’t recognize life as an honorable thing. He doesn’t recognize honor at all.
If you want to argue that the choice here makes sense because Jin loves his uncle more than anything, I can see that, but I’d still disagree. We already know Jin has no desire to kill his uncle. There isn’t a struggle to be had, especially since Shimura ties honor to death, and Jin is has no honor. Why would Jin even consider killing his uncle here?
This is why I say the existence of a player’s choice needs to justify it’s existence. Because if one choice makes no sense narratively, then why bother? I understand wanting to give player’s a say, especially after they’ve dropped $65-$75 on this game, but both choices need to make sense within the narrative.
Red Dead Redemption II doesn’t have a choice like Ghost’s, but it handles player agency in a much better way in my opinion. The honor system present with in the game measures how honorable or dishonorable a player acts while experiencing Arthur Morgan’s story. Now, after Arthur is diagnosed with tuberculosis, he starts doing more good deeds narratively. However, if you still want to be an asshole, you can do that and those choices are reflected in the end of the game. You can even decline to do those good deeds in favor of more dishonorable ones. If you have low honor, you get one of the two possible low honor death scenes when Arthur dies. If you have high honor, you get one of the two peaceful death scenes.
Hell, there’s even a choice at the end of that game: help John Marston escape and be with his family, or go retrieve the gang’s money. And you could argue that this choice is justified. If you have low honor, going after the money makes sense narratively. If you have high honor, helping John makes sense. The way you play will have a fitting ending either way.
I’ve seen a number of people who thought that The Last of Us Part II should have ended with a choice of whether or not Ellie killed Abby. And I couldn’t disagree with this more. For one, that is a linear game, and they should always have a canonical ending. Secondly, that story isn’t the player’s story. It’s Ellie’s story, and sparing Abby is what’s best for Ellie as a person. So that’s what happens. And the reason I won’t criticize Naughty Dog for their lack of a player’s choice is because they never said we’d be able to dictate how the story goes, and choose what Ellie’s character is like. They told us their story, while Sucker Punch asked for our input.
However, I do think this choice can work. It just needs to happen earlier. Everything I just complained about can be fixed by doing branching narratives. Take the player’s choice out of the end, and put it at the end of Act II. Have Lord Shimura’s side be positively represented more, and at the end of Act II, have the player choose: will you follow Lord Shimura and attack the Khan’s forces once the bridge is repaired, or will you embrace The Ghost and poison the Mongols?
If you choose the latter, everything plays out the same, but at the end, Jin lets Lord Shimura go. If you choose the former, you can show Yuna and Jin falling out. Yuna steals your grapple hook and she poisons the Mongols. Yuna basically becomes The Ghost, and the end battle is between Jin and Yuna, where Jin kills Yuna to fulfill his duty to not only the shogun, but also his father, Lord Shimura. This way, your choice in being an honorable samurai or a dishonorable Ghost is reflected not only in gameplay, but also in the narrative.
Jin’s journey, while predictable and questionable at times, is overall a very engaging and well crafted tale. It’s gruesome at times, hopeful and inspiring in others, but the player is always engaged, looking forward to the next step or the next battle. Jin gets a compelling arc that could have been better, but definitely works as is. The story is also supported with a captivating New Game +, that introduces new charms and a new currency to make Jin’s journey all the more exciting. Despite my qualms with the ending, this story is absolutely amazing, and if you haven’t already, you should definitely experience this tale for yourself.
Featured Photo Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment