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The crazy ending in Bugsnax explained

One of the PlayStation 5's biggest surprise launch titles was Bugsnax, and not just because it is free for PlayStation Plus members through Jan. 4, 2021. Everything about this cutesy game starring bipedal walrus muppets screams kid-friendly, especially since most of it consists of catching the titular bugsnax, using them as a reliable food source, and building friendships in the local colony. You can't get more PG than a game with a message where friendship (and sentient strawberries) solve all your problems. And then the ending happens.

Bugsnax' climax is a complete 180 from the rest of the game that somersaults off a cliff and into a crawling pool of skin-meltingly hot existential fondue. After spending up to 12 hours catching and cultivating the cutest and friendliest creatures this side of Pokemon, they suddenly attack and start forcing themselves down NPC throats.

However, you might be a little confused why Bugsnax culminates in the world's biggest and most literal snack attack. What changed? What started the food fight? Here's what you need to know.

You are what you eat

Bugsnax starts with a quest: to interview Lizbert Megafig, the courageous explorer who discovered the island of bugsnax. While she's nowhere to be found initially, you encounter her near the end of the game, but only after she's become a grotesque food chimera. Then she reveals the hideous truth of bugsnax: they are parasites that turn you into the literal building blocks of the island.

If that isn't bad enough, Lizbert reveals that bugsnax don't just turn your bones into curly fries — they also turn your brain into pudding. They make you want to eat them. At the beginning of the game, Lizbert's girlfriend Eggabell declares that bugsnax are "the most delicious thing in the world," so that means you want to eat them because of the way they taste, right? Wrong. Just before you meet Lizbert, you and the island's mayor, Filbo, fall into a hall of food that Filbo claims is disgusting ... and yet he wants to gorge himself on it.

That is the true horror of the bugsnax. They make you want to eat them whether you want to or not. And, if you can actually resist the temptation, they will force themselves into your mouth and worm and crawl and scuttle their way down your throat — just as they did with Lizbert.

Hive-minded horror

If the bugsnax are such insidious monsters, why did they wait until the end of the game to attack? Why didn't they bum rush you and the rest of the NPCs sooner? The answer lies again with Lizbert.

When the bugsnax force fed themselves to Lizbert, they tried to "make [her] into them." The implication is that the parasites share an insidious hive mind. But through sheer force of will, Lizbert fought back and assumed control of their network. It wasn't enough to completely dominate them, but it at least guaranteed they wouldn't shovel themselves down everyone's esophagus at once.

So, why did they suddenly attack? Because Lizbert only experienced a temporary victory. It was still her single mind against the countless connected bugsnax brains. As she put it, she was fighting a tsunami with a bucket, and eventually, the tsunami won. The bugsnax eventually broke free and decided to make up for lost time. Sure, they destroyed their island and accidentally caused a volcanic eruption to do so, but the bugsnax are a hive-minded colony creature: the sacrifice of a few million individuals is worth the promise of their continued parasitic existence.

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