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What’s Happening In Each Act (Full Story Explained)

At first glance, Inscryption appears to be a simple yet intriguing horror deckbuilder in which players are dragged into the campaign of a shadowy Game Master and must survive long enough to try and escape the cabin. As the game progresses, however, it quickly becomes apparent that there’s something much more horrifying than this strange tabletop game buried deep beneath the data of Inscryption itself. After several twists and turns, players are left with an even greater mystery than they started with as Inscryption ultimately leaves many of its questions unanswered.

Inscryption is comprised of three acts and spans several different genres, weaving a complex plot that unravels further and further with each section of gameplay. Each act is also interrupted by found footage videos that follow the story of Luke Carder, who discovered and played the mysterious game for his Youtube channel. As players begin to piece the plot together, the hidden secrets Inscryption holds only seem to become more elusive, and the true nature of the mysterious OLD_DATA remains unknown throughout.

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Shortly after the game’s release, players began unraveling the secrets in Inscryption’s ARG with the clues and codes hidden in the game that had no resolution within it, leading to an even more complicated meta narrative that still has yet to be completely solved. The ARG seems to revolve primarily around the Karnoffel Code and its origins and even involves several real-life floppy discs that players have decoded to reveal an end to its story. However, an explanation for what the OLD_DATA is and how it’s connected to Inscryption can’t be found in the ARG either, leaving players to theorize about how all of the pieces of this elaborate puzzle game fit together.


Inscryption Act 1 Story Explained – The Cabin In The Woods


Inscryption Review Boss

When players first boot up the well-reviewed Inscryption, the first thing they’ll hear is Luke Carder’s voice saying, “Okay. Time to figure out what’s on this thing” before the game itself starts. However, the New Game option on the menu is glitched out and inaccessible, so players have no choice but to open the Continue file to start the game. They’re greeted by the shadowy Game Master who, instead of introducing himself, immediately begins teaching the player how to play the card game. After a brief tutorial, the game board is unfurled, and the Game Master’s campaign begins.

The campaign of Inscryption’s first act takes players through four stages, and the Game Master dons many different masks to narrate the various encounters and bosses featured in each. Players are also able to get up from the table and explore the Game Master’s cabin in Inscryption, solving safe puzzles and collecting cards to add to their deck as they try to escape. As they discover a number of secrets hidden in the cabin, including several different talking cards that provide them with hints and try to help them defeat the Game Master. The Stoat, Stinkbug, and Stunted Wolf not only help players progress, but also change their appearances over the course of the campaign. Each time the player dies, the Game Master will take them into another room of the cabin to take a picture of them with his camera, turning them into a Death Card with custom stats and sigils.


After discovering the roll of film hidden in the cuckoo clock puzzle in Inscryption‘s first act and defeating the Game Master in the final boss fight, players are taken out of the gameplay and shown several found footage videos featuring Luke Carder, who is filming content for his Youtube channel. In this footage, Luke opens a pack of vintage Inscryption trading cards that he bought at a yardsale and finds one with a mysterious set of coordinates inside. After tracking down the coordinates and digging up a box buried at that location, Luke discovers a floppy disc with a copy of the Inscryption video game, which he begins to play when he returns home.


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Back in the game, the Game Master will try to take one last photograph of the player. However, using the film they found, players are able to steal his camera and turn the tables on him, turning him into a card instead. With Inscryption‘s horror-laden Game Master finally beaten, the New Game file can be recovered, allowing players to return to the main menu and start the game from the beginning.

Inscryption Act 2’s New Game File


Act II of Inscryption plays like an RPG, but players must still use Sigils to win.

Inscryption’s New Game file opens an entirely new game altogether with a completely different aesthetic style and set of mechanics, and players suddenly find themselves embarking on a 16-bit RPG adventure that introduces them to four Scrybes. The Scrybes are Grimora, Scrybe of the Dead, Magnificus, Scrybe of Magicks, P03, Scrybe of Technology, and Leshy, Scrybe of Beasts, who players will recognize as the Game Master of Act 1. The other Scrybes appeared as the talking cards, with Grimora as the Stinkbug, Magnificus as the Stunted Wolf, and P03 as the Stoat. Each Scrybe has their own method for creating cards, and players must choose a Scrybe to challenge and replace, taking their starting card deck in Inscryption from the pedestal at the beginning of Act 2.


As players explore this new map and battle the four Scrybes, they’ll discover that each Scrybe is searching for the OLD_DATA as they all struggle against each other for power. Not only are the characters in this game sentient, but they’re well aware that they’re in a video game, even going so far as to mention knowing that the physical disc itself was lost. The Scrybes each have their own ambitions as well, and many of the game’s minor characters will warn the player not to get caught up in their affairs. Not only that, but they will also frequently warn players away from trying to learn about the OLD_DATA and seem to be fearful of it themselves, saying that it’s an evil, corruptive force if they reveal anything about it at all.

After players defeat Magnificus, he’ll attempt to warn players about something as well, but he’s unfortunately cut off as the battery of Luke’s camera dies, showing players another set of videos. In this act, Luke emails GameFuna, the developers of the creepy card-based Inscryption, asking about a digital copy of the game. Their reply denies any such game exists and demands that he return the floppy disc, threatening him with legal action if he fails to comply. A few days later, a woman from GameFuna shows up at Luke’s house to try to get the disc back, leaving him with her business card when he denies knowing anything about the game.


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Back in the game, players will come across an NPC known as the Dredger in P03’s electronics laboratory who is searching for something deep underwater. He manages to uncover a fragment of Inscryption‘s OLD_DATA, which glitches wildly as it travels along the conveyor belt. Later, after players defeat all four of the Scrybes and return to the starting area to challenge one of them, P03 will interrupt before the battle can commence and fight players instead. After P03 plays a mysterious glitched card made from the OLD_DATA the Dredger dug up, Inscryption breaks down, initiating Act 3 – the final act of the game.

Inscryption Act 3 – Welcome To Botopia


P03 is Inscryption's final boss in Act 3.

In Act 3 of Inscryption, P03 takes Leshy’s place as the Game Master and begins a new campaign that takes place in Botopia, forcing players to work towards what he calls The Great Transcendence. Unlike Leshy, P03 doesn’t care much for lore or theatrics, and he pushes players through his encounters with much more focus on strategy and mechanics. The general layout of the map is similar to that of Act 2, but each of the Scrybes are replaced with bosses known as Uberbots for Act 3’s battles. While P03 will initially not allow players to get up from the table, the battery of the game board will die shortly after the campaign begins, and he’ll let players go to retrieve a new battery from the next room. Like Leshy’s cabin in Inscryption, there are plenty of puzzles and secrets to be found in P03’s lab that players will have to solve to thwart P03’s plans and stop The Great Transcendence.


After battling with one of the Uberbots, the memory card of Luke’s camera will be full, taking players out of the game once again with another set of videos. This time, Luke calls the woman who he purchased the Inscryption cards from and finds out that her daughter, Kaycee Hobbes, was one of the developers of Inscryption who passed away several years ago. With a little more research, he discovers that she apparently died in a fire working late one night in the facility. However, late one night, he awakens to hear someone has broken into his house, and while a video filmed after the break-in indicates he survived, it shows him laughing deliriously while placing weights on a scale.

Like the previous acts of Inscryption, players can find several Holo Pelts throughout Botopia, but the Trader can’t be found in the campaign and is instead located in a secret room in the lab. Players can trade the Holo Pelts for information, and the Trader will reveal what she knows about the OLD_DATA and Inscryption’s creation. According to her tarot cards, Kaycee Hobbes used the power of some sort of triangle to create Inscryption, and a person known as “Big Ear” smuggled the game’s disc overseas concealed in a box full of empty discs. While she doesn’t reveal much about the OLD_DATA or the Karnoffel Code, she does mention that it is so evil it can’t be deleted, and that perceiving the OLD_DATA seems to inevitably lead to death.


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Once players defeat Golly, P03 will soon notice that the security camera in the dredging room is broken and makes the player get up to investigate. With the internet connection online thanks to Golly, the three other Scrybes are able to enter P03’s lab and plan to stop The Great Transcendence, compelling the player to continue playing to keep him distracted. Once players defeat all four Uberbots, P03 will have them return to the start of the game where he reveals that, by beating each boss, the player has set up The Great Transcendence for him, and he begins to upload Inscryption to the web. However, before the upload can complete, Leshy appears with the other Scrybes and kills P03. Magnificus will suggest players reset the game with another New Game file, but Grimora finds the game’s files from one of the Uberbot battles and uses them to delete the game, wiping Inscryption and all of its characters from the disc permanently.


However, as the Trader said, the OLD_DATA cannot be erased, and players are able to unzip it once everything else has been deleted. However, as mysterious images and redacted text flash up on the screen, Luke can be heard screaming, and the game cuts to another video of him destroying the floppy disc with a hammer. In Inscryption’s final video, Luke is on the phone with a journalist trying to expose the secrets he found on the disc, but the woman who came to his house before returns and shoots him, bringing an end to his search for the truth about Inscryption.

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