Solar Ash is the latest game from the creators of Hyper Light Drifter. Out this week for the PlayStation 4|5 and PC – Epic Games. Developers Heart Machine bring us back into their iconically beautiful stylised world where you play as a Voidrunner. Voidrunner Rei is on a mission to save her home planet from the Ultravoid, a kind of black hole vortex that rips apart universes. She’s going to do this by skating her way through and activating the Starseed which should hopefully close the Ultravoid.
That’s the story in a nutshell and it’s for the most part pretty linear. But in the end, you do have a choice that will affect the ending of the world. So consider this your official spoiler warning for Solar Ash as we dive further in.
– – – SPOILER WARNING – – –
There are 6 areas for you to clear in this action platformer. Each ending with an anomaly and a regular boss. But at the end of Solar Ash, just as you reach the Starseed, Echo appears at the top of the power source, blocking your path. It turns out that she’s you or rather Rei’s soul that has been ripped from your body. And that this cycle of planetary destruction has repeated over and over throughout time.
To put it simply Echo and Rei were once the same being. But when Rei uses the Starseed in an attempt to save her dying planet, they were split into two.
After learning this juicy potentially world-ending piece of information you have two choices in Solar Ash. Activate the Starseed and start this miserable cycle all over again OR destroy the Starseed and put an end to the worst Groundhog Day ever.
Activate The Starseed
By activating your Starseed you’ve chosen to replay the horrific nightmare cycle that is Rei’s life. This as you may have guessed it is the “bad ending” in Solar Ash.
When you activate the Starseed regardless of Echo’s warning: Echo fades away, and the Rei you’ve been playing as the whole game becomes yet another Remnant. You’re then reborn as a new Rei at the start of the game. Your armour is broken, and your memories are gone.
Head towards the Crater and the game ends abruptly, putting you back at Cyd with the fully charged Starseed.
Destroy The Starseed
By choosing to heed Echo’s words and destroy the Starseed, you’ll break the cycle and put Rei out of her misery. This is probably considered the “good ending” for Solar Ash.
Echo will be shocked as the cycle has broken, wondering what makes this cycle so different from the rest. But that isn’t the end of Solar Ash. Consumed by the power of the Starseed, Rei herself is twisted into one of the hideous, massive Remnants that you fought throughout the game.
It morphs Rei but frees Echo from her prison who now has a spiritual body. The gameplay doesn’t change at all, but the glowing white Echo will be your protagonist for the final boss battle against Wretched Rei. Restore her by plucking all the debris from her body. When you’re done and credits will roll, signifying that you’ve reached the true, good ending.
While not the most devastating of endings, Solar Ash does deliver on a beautiful bittersweet journey. Where in the end, after completion you’ll unlock a Hardcore Mode as well as that 100% completion reward. If you’re into that sort of thing.