The story of Inscription, the video game, can be confusing while playing through the game. We break it down into each of its elements and explain the entire story of Inscryption, what’s going on in the cabin and beyond.
To get started, let’s just note that massive spoilers are ahead! Be sure you’re ready for spoilers as we dive deep into the game and explain almost everything, including some of the subplots. We do not go deep into the ARG elements though. Daniel Mullin Games (sort of a multiverse) have an ongoing ARG involving GameFuna since Pony Island and beyond. We only will focus on the in-game content here, although you can find the ending of the ARG below as well.
Who is Doing What
You’re playing as someone who is reviewing the camera footage recorded by Luke Carder. Who this is, is not known and isn’t relevant to the story of the game – only the ARG (which is a seperate matter). This footage is recorded with a video camera by Luke Carder himself, as he plays through Inscryption.
This is slightly confusing, even though hinted at during the start, because it seems like you’re playing as someone stuck in a cabin with Leshy. This is incorrect, as there is no real life cabin and there is no real life events, they’re all virtual and part of a card game.
It’s also important to note that Luke Carder the Lucky Carder is the one playing the video game, not you. You are simply observing. He, himself, is not trapped in the game neither are as far as we aware any souls – Leshy is a sentient program, nothing more.
Understanding the Layers
There’s multiple layers at work here in the game story. The first is the story of the three different acts. The first act is a roguelite card game with someone with, frankly, just loves playing cards. The second act is the original Inscryption, the original game. The third act is when P03 takes control. These are all in-game events, as witnessed by Luke Carder.
There’s the Luke Carder thread. His story and him finding the cards, playing the game and his final ending.
We also have the GameFuna backstory along with Kaycee who was the original disk owner and who hid the disk and left the coordinates in the card pack and KamWerks, whoever runs the tablet looking at the footage. There’s also what is OLD_DATA.
What Exactly is OLD_DATA
Whatever OLD_DATA is, it is the power that made the four Scrybes from the original Inscryption (more on that below) sentient. It also allows them to craft their own virtual worlds in 3D. It contains information which has been redacted from the footage shown in the game, which is the focus an ARG we will not be covering. Needless to say, OLD_DATA contains secrets that don’t need to be revealed AND it is the power that is making all the NPCs within the game that Luke Carder interacts with sentient.
As to what it is, that’s not important to the story other than “stuff someone shouldn’t know.” To find out more about what is OLD_DATA, players must continue through the ARG that’s outside of the game and will likely continue through future Daniel Mullins games.
Kaycee, the original owner of the disk, played through the original Inscryption (effectively Act 2) and allowed Leshy to take photos of all of the Scrybes and gaining control of the full game, locking them away in cards (P03 as the Stoat, Grimora as the stinkbug and Magnificus as the caged wolf).
Leshy was effectively the guardian of the OLD_DATA, as he just wanted to play cards and didn’t really want to do anything else. Kaycee, who passed away in real life, then buries the game and leaves the coordinates inside a pack of Inscryption cards. These are then sold later on to Luke Carder at her mom’s yard sale.
Luke Carder’s Playthrough of Leshy’s Run
Luke Carder gets the game and boots it up. The New Game button is missing and he records the entire playthrough. In this game, some mysterious figure plays a roguelite hybrid board / card game. You can roam around inside of the cabin, but if you die in the game then Leshy sacrifices the player by taking a photo of them and starts the game again. Since it’s just a game, Leshy will immediately begin talking to the player as if the sacrifice portion didn’t happen and resets the game board back to step one. A death card is made, which helps during the next run.
As he plays some of the cards begin talking to him, which were the cards Leshy has previously captured with his camera. They instruct Luke on what to do within the game in order to remove Leshy’s control. This involves a few short puzzles: opening a cabinet to get the stinkbug, opening the wardrobe to get the Scrybes who tell Luke Carder where the film is stored: the cuckoo cuckoo clock.
During one of the resets, you get a chance to steal the camera but Leshy makes fun of you by saying you don’t have the film. It’s not the camera, but the film that’s the magic here. Well once the film is obtained, the player grabs the camera and then captures Leshy which allows the player to get up and obtain the New Game button.
The Original Inscryption – Act 2 Explained
Reverting back to the start screen, Luke presses New Game and the original Inscryption loads. Except, due to everyone being sentient, the various Scrybes completely remember Leshy entrapping them. Leshy and P03 are looking for something in the water, while the other two Scrybes move through the motions of the game.
A few oddities though, Kaycee shows up as dead in the game. There’s the Bone Lord, who will give you a key to visit him in act 3 and the mushroom guys who, if you do four of their requests, give you a key to a secret boss in act 3.
Otherwise the game runs as normal – you pick a Scrybe you want to replace, which gives you the starter deck and then you play through the four Scrybes and their zones, each with unique mechanics. Leshy retains his mechanics (sacrifice), Grimora uses bones, Magnificus uses Mox and P03 uses Energy. The Scrybes each have a tool which lets them make cards. Leshy has his camera, Grimora her quill, Magnificus his brush and P03 his particle scanner.
Luke plays through the entire game and beats all four Scrybes. At the end, P03 interrupts the game’s ending and glitches the game out, taking control. Something to remember here: P03 doesn’t lock away or even capture the other Scrybes, he just locks them out of his factory.
P03’s Factory Imagined – Act 3 Explained
Luke finds that they’re now playing in the 3D environment like from before, but now they’re in a recreation of P03’s factory. P03 has recreated the game sort of top down adventure game with cards and a few soulslike mechanics. He’s replaced the four Scrybes with four new personas he’s designed. Each one with a goal: to spread Inscryption online. Playing through this section, Luke learns that each of the Scrybes have their own goals:
- Leshy: Play cards.
- Grimora: Delete Inscryption
- Magnificus: He wants to just live
- P03: Wants to upload Inscryption online and spread the game everywhere.
By assisting P03 and playing P03’s game, Luke effectively helps P03 prepare the game to upload online. He gives him access to his hard drive, prepares the screenshots and even connects him to the Internet. Of course, the other Scrybes don’t like this and meet with Luke. They tell him to keep playing, which he does and at the very end P03 is killed by Leshy.
With control of the game back, the Scrybes sit and debate what to do. Grimora quickly uses her quill to initiate the game to be deleted.
The Ending Explained
As the game is deleted, you have your final games with the Scrybes as the assets get deleted and they say their farewells. Their effective existence and imprisonment has now ended and the game itself, which was “encrypting” or “sealing away” the OLD_DATA becomes nothing more. The OLD_DATA can’t be deleted, of course, so Luke is then exposed to the contents.
Now, during various segments, you get a chance to explore footage that Luke recorded for his channel. In this footage you can find Luke contacting GameFuna to ask them about the game, them demanding the game back and sending someone who breaks into his yard to come and demand the game back.
Well, once the game ends, we see the next recording of Luke reaching out to the news about the contents of the game and what is in OLD_DATA. While on the phone, the lady from GameFuna shows up again and kills Luke. The camera is then cutoff.
With that, that’s the… ending of the game! That’s it, the rest of everything else is in the ARG which, considering pieces of the ARG go back to Pony Island, it will likely last through all of the different games.
Once the game is finished, you can use the KamWerks software to revisit the three acts (including Leshy before and after finding the Stinkbug and replaying the ending sequence).
Why doesn’t the ending have a conclusion?
It does! Inscryption, the game on the disk ends bitter sweet with its deletion. The NPCs in the game no longer have to suffer through fighting one another, existing on this disk, giving sentience unfairly by OLD_DATA. To that end, that’s a great conclusion to the story that you observe 95% of the game.
In regards to Luke Carder, GameFuna and the other components, they’re just the dressing around the game exists and why the game has to be deleted. The extra bits at the end just give the game the open ended conclusion that allows for DLC and more stories in the Daniel Mullins universe.
The point of the game was never really the story, but the journey with the twists and turns and switching between three different formats. The in-game story of Inscryption, i.e. the game on that disk, concludes semi-sweetly with the game itself being deleted freeing the inhabitants from the pain of existing on the disk with sentience and having to fight each other endlessly.
GameFuna’s story is very long and has been going on since Pony Island. Who they are and what they’re up to likely won’t be explained anytime soon, since a lot of the fun of the games is the mystery of what is exactly going on.
What’s the connection to Inscryption with Pony Island?
That’s a great question. GameFuna made both. Pony Island claims the devil inhabits the system, while Inscryption claims OLD_DATA, a file that can’t be deleted, is the source of the power that is making the NPCs sentient. That’s it. There’s some ARG components that are shared (i.e. you have to find something in Pony Island to continue the Inscryption ARG). That’s it!
Kaycee’s Mod Dev Logs Explained
Kaycee Hobbes worked at GameFuna and was researching the disk before Luke Carder got his hands on it. So she’s playing the game and enjoying it, when she notices that the NPCs can sort of move around on their own even though they don’t have walk animations and they talk off script. This is very common in Daniel Mullin games, where the NPCs are sentient and still do NPC things, because they like doing them, but are able to freely think to.
Well the angler obtains a GOOD_FISH which is taken to Leshy. Without noticing, Leshy has turned the game world 3D and Kaycee, who is a card fanatic herself, begins working with Leshy to make his game more challenging and moding it to be more difficult. She removes a lot of the exploits from Act 1.
At this point, no more logs have been released since the mod is still in development, however we can assume the rest of the logs will fill in the story of Kaycee and Leshy up until the disk is buried. Something to think about here also is that the Scrybes were not “Inscrybed” as far as Kaycee knows so far. So its impossible they attack the cabin and become Inscrybed into cards then and locked away by Kaycee in the cabin room (via coding in the puzzles, etc.). It’s just not known yet. In the story above, we indicate that Leshy rolls in and captures the other 3 Scrybes with Kaycees help – maybe it’s done in the OG game or cabin is unknown I think with these dev logs.
Why Does Kaycee’s Mod Exist?
The mod exists due to backlash about the change from Act 1 to Act 2 & 3. Players wanted more of Act 1 or an endless Act 1 mode and Daniel Mullins began work on it, to give his card gamers what they want.
Who are the Mycologists and who is the Bone Lord?
The Mycologists are researching the Karnoffel code. The Bone Lord gives you details on OLD_DATA, but that’s just for the ARG. There isn’t any other important lore reason for the two. You can argue the Mycologists aren’t even known by the Scrybes, but Leshy roleplays as them so I’m not convinced they weren’t part of the original game.
What was the ending of the Inscryption ARG?
The ending of the ARG leads to this video which starts with the noise of Luke destroying the floppy. It then swivels and zooms in on the computer. There, you can see P03 upload Inscryption online. That means that in the end, P03 succeeded. Ultimately, does that mean that P03 uploaded the actual game? One of the things to note is that the game is being played from someone watching a recording of someone else playing the game, so what did P03 release? Likely more information will come in a sequel or DLC.
That’s everything Inscryption! While you’re here, if you like Inscryption then check out our recent write-up on some of the FNAF lore. Both are kinda of similar in being rather creepy games.