Ghost of Tsushima ending explained: how does Jin’s journey conclude?

ghost of tsushima ending choice explained
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Want to know more about the Ghost of Tsushima ending? Ever since that first catastrophic battle on the beach against the invading Mongol army - one that almost entirely wiped out the island’s samurai - you and your motley crew of heroes have been preparing to rescue your uncle, Lord Shimura, and take on the evil Khotun Khan.

As you’d expect, after three action-packed acts, you draw on everything you’ve learned on your journey in your showdown against the Khan in a final battle. However, that’s merely the beginning of a tear-jerking conclusion. That means, naturally, that there will be major spoilers for the conclusion of Jin’s sword-slashing escapades from here, so make sure you’ve already finished the game before reading on. So, with that in mind, here’s everything you need to know about the Ghost of Tsushima ending. 

Ghost of Tsushima ending choice explained

Despite the fact you spend most of Ghost of Tsushima preparing to take on Khotun Khan, killing the domineering invader is not where Jin’s adventure ends. Instead, the game returns to its most important preoccupation: honor, the samurai code, and whether the means of corrupting both (Jin resorting to killing from the shadows and poisoning his foes) justify the ends (ridding Tsushima of the Mongols, who hardly play by the rules themselves).

Despite Lord Shimura exiling and hunting you after your successful, and relatively bloodless, liberation of your uncle’s castle, his forces join yours in the final assault on the Khan in Port Izumi. The trouble is, the disagreements between the two men remain unresolved, which is why you meet him in the same sparring arena in Omi in which he taught Jin how to fight as a child.

From here, you and your uncle visit the graves of the Sakei’s family - the same spot you visited to pick up your ancestral armor in Act 2. If you hadn’t guessed by this point, you’ll soon realize that the uncle and nephew’s quarrels won’t be solved with words, but with a duel. As Jin learns the Shogun of Japan wants his head, you sit and craft a reflective Haiku before you prepare to unsheathe your katana.

As you’d expect from a final boss battle, there’s isn’t much new to combat here; it’s a culmination of the techniques you’ve learned in your previous one-on-one scraps. Once you’ve watched for Shimura sheathing his weapon before he initiates an unblockable attack and tried to nip in with a few quick counters to whittle down his health, you shouldn’t have too much trouble in finishing him off.

When you defeat your uncle, you are faced with a choice: you can either kill him, or spare his life. Whether you choose to submit to your uncle’s dogma by killing him face-to-face with honor by the samurai code, or fully embrace the way of the Ghost by saving him, what follows is different. It’s not that different, though, so, if you haven’t already, we recommend that you make the choice that you feel is right.

Ghost of Tsushima bad ending: kill Lord Shimura

ghost of tsushima bad ending

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If you decide to follow the way of the samurai and give Lord Shimura the honorable death he craves, Jin ensures to his uncle that he'll be remembered, with Shimura redeeming Jin and inviting him to meet again with him in the next life. Jin then ends his life, and the credits roll. Since this conclusion involves murder, some may argue that this is the ‘bad’ ending in Ghost of Tsushima, but we’d argue that the choice is far more nuanced than that.

Either way, if you’re anything like us, you’ll have plenty of tasks outstanding in the vast open world of Tsushima, so thankfully you’re able to take control of Jin again to fully vanquish the remaining Mongols. This ending sees Sakei awake in his new abode, Dawn Refuge, located just west of Mamushi Farmstead. Here you’ll find mementos from your adventures adorning the walls, which Jin will comment on if you initiate it. It’s a nice touch and a chance to reflect on the many hours of Mongol-bashing, fox-following, and shrine-hopping you’ve done.

However, the first thing you’ll likely notice is that you’ll have a new Ghost Armor dye. Quite the contrast to your all-black threads from before, the bright white Righteous Punishment is a stark reminder of your final choice. Once you’re done poking around your new digs, Yuna will meet you to give you a rundown on your outstanding commitments to the supporting cast such as Lady Masako and Sensei Ishikawa, should you have them. You’ll discuss the death of your uncle by your own hand before you’re set loose again on your island home.

Ghost of Tsushima good ending: save Lord Shimura

ghost of tsushima good ending

(Image credit: Sucker Punch Productions)

Each ending isn’t so different from the other, but the ‘good’ ending starts with Jin admitting his lack of honor, but that he also refuses to murder one of his own. Shimura then threatens that the Ghost will be hunted for the rest of his days, and you stroll away impressively with your Ghost mask on once again.

The first difference is your new armor dye: now you’ll be wearing the blood-red variant of your Ghost Armor, Vow of Vengeance. You also wake up in a spot called Tradition’s End, east of Mount Omi. This place is again filled with your accumulated stuff and your chat with Yuna adapts to reflect your final choice.

Ghost of Tsushima 2: will there be a sequel?

It remains to be seen which ending will be canon, but given his assumed role lends its name to the game itself, our bet is on the good ending that sees Jin fully become the Ghost. Jin survives either way, and a Ghost of Tsushima 2 could see our hero in a much more complex mission now he’s on the run from the Shogun of Japan. And since the good ending, saves your uncle, Lord Shimura will likely be at his side. 

We also know from the collectible Mongol Record 'Conversations with the Khan' that Khotun was sent by the Mongol Empire to invade Tsushima as a bloody stepping stone before a full takeover of the Japanese mainland, so that could well be the narrative thrust for a second game.

Harry Shepherd

Harry Shepherd is a Guides Editor for PC Gamer at Future. He is a writer and editor with more than two years experience specialising in SEO and guides.