The Stanley Parable is an interactive fiction tale, regaled like no other. You star as Stanley, a brainwashed office worker, tasked with overseeing data on a monitor and mindlessly inputting information into a computer. The fictional account is detailed – in the most minutia of detail – by the narrator. Kevin Brighting does an absolutely exceptional job of voicing the narrator; this, combined with some truly off-the-wall writing and genius game design, is essentially what makes The Stanley Parable so utterly engrossing.
WARNING: Please be aware this article contains major spoilers for The Stanley Parable. Read on at your own risk.
Trundling along through the empty hallways of a deserted office block, you have only the narrator to keep you company, who will incessantly describe Stanley’s movements before, during and after completing them.
When the narrator explains the action that Stanley is destined to make, and you elect not to obey his instructions, he responds accordingly. Initially, it can be something as simple
as the narrator telling the audience that Stanley “chose the left door.” When you do not comply with his story, he makes changes on the fly to compensate. If the player continues to defy the narrator’s chronicles, he becomes increasingly irked, as evidenced by the following line:
“Stanley was so bad at following directions; it’s incredible he wasn’t fired long ago.”
Once the player reaches a particular ending, they are eventually transported back to the sterile, dull office walls, where Stanley began his journey. You are then free to try and explore the corridor-filled, mind-bending world of The Stanley Parable, in search of the other canon endings.
Although the narrator’s intentions are clear – to funnel the player along a linear, pre-defined path – The game’s designers actively encourage freedom, presenting the player with a myriad of different choices. Depending upon the direction the player decides to head towards, the narrator adjusts accordingly, until he actually stops predicting Stanley’s actions altogether and appeals directly to the character (i.e. you, the player).
This provides for a game that boasts a huge number of different endings, each with their own entertaining spin. In light of this, we thought we would scour the net for all of the available endings to The Stanley Parable to provide a comprehensive ending guide.
The Freedom Ending
To achieve the “freedom ending,” the player must travel along a linear path towards the “set of two open doors.” Selecting the left door, the player will then eventually reach the empty meeting room. Continue on through the next set of corridors, climb the stairwell and enter the office of Stanley’s boss.
After mashing in the 2-8-4-5 pin number into the keypad on the wall, shuffle on through into the secret passage and take the elevator down to the “mind control facility.” Follow the gangways to the elevator, which takes you towards the hub of mind control operations, and then enter the “power facility” room. After shutting down the facility, the freedom ending will present itself.
In this ending, follow the afore-mentioned directions to reach the mind control facility. This time, instead of powering down the facility, turn it on. This triggers a countdown timer for detonation of a nuclear bomb. Preliminary reports seem to suggest that there is no way of turning off the detonators, and your fate is sealed for good.
The following YouTube video was uploaded by James Heaney from GameFront, demonstrating what happens in the event the player attempts to put the machine into action (skip ahead to 5:38 to see an abridged version of the ending):
Again, following most of the same directions, travel towards the mind control facility. However, prior to actually entering the facility, make a left. Painted in red on the wall should be a message that proclaims “escape.” At the end of a long, uninterrupted corridor is an aperture in the floor. Fall through this duct and you will be moved along a conveyer belt towards a mechanical crusher.
The crusher device will stop, just before pulverizing Stanley into a human slushy, opening up a gangway beneath him. The male narrator will be replaced by the dulcet tones of an anonymous female storyteller, who directs the player to a gallery of items that pertain to Stanley’s life as an unwitting office employee.
After perusing through montages of pictures, computers and other miscellaneous objects that are scattered about the normal level layout, you are provided with a signposted “exit.” Travel through the exit and you will be greeted with a lever, which seemingly shuts down The Stanley Parable game.
For this one, travel through the left door of the “set of two open doors” and head through the meeting room. Once you reach the stairwell, do not follow the instructions of the narrator and, instead, bound down the stairs to the parking garage.
Now, it’s just a simple case of going round and round in circles, seeing the same rooms over and over again, akin to the illusion of a Penrose staircase. The player is forced to listen to the narrator toy with Stanley’s ever-befuddled mind.
Narrator Confusion Ending
Travel to the “set of two open doors” and, against the wishes of the narrator, veer off through the right door. After proceeding through the employee lounge, enter the connecting hallway and take the next available left into the maintenance section. In this room, the player will be presented with an elevator, which will transport them down to a gangway, teetering over the monitors of the mind control room.
The game is reset, and the narrator’s confusion escalates. Once Stanley makes his way back to the area where the “set of two open doors” should be, it becomes fairly evident that the game has become scrambled beyond all recognition.
In a moment of rarity, both Stanley and the narrator must work in tandem to fix the broken story.
Take a right at the “set of two open doors,” travel through the employee lounge and ignore the next available left (unlike the narrator confusion ending), and go straight ahead. Hitch a ride on the lift, all the way to the other side. Follow the linear path of open doors, until you reach the backroom with the ringing telephone.
After obediently answering the telephone, Stanley is transported to what appears to be an apartment complex. Wait outside room 427, until invited in by the narrator. You will then listen to droll musings of the narrator, up until the point he elects to restart the game from scratch.
Real Person (Good and Bad Endings)
Good Ending: follow the exact same series of directions, as detailed within the apartment ending. Once you reach the ringing telephone, unplug it from the wall. After watching an amusing video on “choice” and its appropriate usage, the narrator explains how the cohesive narrative of the tale is falling apart, resulting in Stanley’s world changing drastically. At the behest of the narrator, retrace your steps back towards the “set of two open doors.”
At the two doors, opting to go left presents the player with the “good” ending. Travel to the office of Stanley’s boss and just listen to the incessant ramblings of the narrator. Simply doing nothing at this point seems to allow the player to thwart the storyteller, and the credits begin to roll.
Bad Ending: follow the same instructions that were described in the good ending. However, once you arrive at the “set of two open doors,” pick the right door. The player will find the path to be impeded with debris, and will be forced to double back to the two doors.
The bad ending will reach its conclusion in the employee lounge, where upon the narrator appears to have a psychotic episode, stemming from your insubordinate acts.
Take a right at the “set of two open doors,” race through the employee lounge and continue to the lift, as in the previous two endings. Prior to hopping aboard the lift, jump off the edge of the platform.
Peace (Red Door) Ending
Pick right at the “set of two doors,” go through the employee lounge and ignore the first left. Travel across the expansive room, aboard the lift (similar to the real person and apartment endings); only, this time, jump down from the transporter halfway across, where the metal catwalk lies. Following the linear path, the player will be presented with a choice of two doorways – red and blue.
Stepping through the red door, and after following the instructions of the whimsical narrator, the player is eventually provided with an aesthetic treat of dancing colors and beautiful auroras (if the player remains long enough).
Step away from the magnificent display and venture down the nearby staircase, and you will be taken to an unfinished part of the level. This area has a tall, incomplete staircase, from which the player can dive from. Alas, this is the only way to continue with the game (disillusioning the narrator, in the process).
Fail Baby Game/Minecraft/Portal (Blue Door) Ending
Repeat the same steps as in the peace ending, but traverse through the blue door, instead. Continue to pick the blue door, time and time again, until you reach the “unfinished” region of the game.
The narrator will, eventually, present you with a third doorway, which suddenly materializes in front of you where the “set of two doors” lie. Take this third doorway and you will be asked to rate your gaming experience on a scale of one to five.
After rating your experience, you will encounter a leaderboard, denigrating Stanley’s appearance and abilities. Proceed through the third doorway, once more, and you will be asked to rate your experience for a second time.
The player is then booted into the “baby game,” where the player must save the infant from peril. Fail at the game, and you will be presented with the Minecraft and Portal game ending.
Rescue Baby (Blue Door) Ending
This one required some serious dedication, from a gamer who’s now probably confined to a padded cell, as I type these words. To achieve this ending, The Stanley Parable developers have gone to great pains to… well, make the player go to great pains to find it.
The same steps must be taken to reach the baby game (as before). However, on this occasion, if the player actually continues to rescue the baby for four solid hours, along with an innocent puppy, they will be rewarded with an entirely different ending.
Checkout the following video to watch the lunacy unfold, in its condensed form, naturally:
This ending is relatively straight forward. At the beginning of the game, play the coward, close the door to your office and twiddle your thumbs.
A condescending narrator will taunt Stanley for mere moments before restarting the game.
In the cubicle-filled room, just outside Stanley’s office, find cubicle 434. Sprint towards the chair of this area to launch yourself up onto the desk. You can then crouch onto the computer monitor and move along the cubicle towards the intensely bright window, before throwing yourself out.
Some gamers initially thought this particular area to be a glitch, until the narrator gleefully chimes in.
Escape Pod Ending
This one relies upon a little bit of deception.
Once more, travel to the office of Stanley’s boss (as explained in the freedom ending). Stop, just before breaching the main set of double doors, leading from the plush, antiquated reception area to the main office.
At this point, very quickly walk through the double doors into the main office, and then move back into the reception. This will force the double doors to close, essentially trapping the narrator in the next phase of the game, without your presence.
Trek all the way back to Stanley’s office, where upon you must climb an almost unending series of stairwells to reach an escape pod. Not the most intriguing of endings, but an ending, nonetheless.
Serious Room and Serious Table (Cheat Attempt) Ending
This next ending requires a little bit of ingenuity on behalf of the player. Before even launching The Stanley Parable, right click the game in Steam and go to the properties section. Then select the launch options and type in the following commands (without quotations):
Accept these settings and then start the game. Once in the game, open up the developer console and type in the following (without quotations):
Your sly, subversive, cheating deeds are met with scorn from a “serious” narrator, requiring 100 billion trillion years of deep reflection:
Button Heaven Ending
The button heaven ending requires a fair bit of running around the many offices and rooms of The Stanley Parable, hunting down a series of computers that require human “input.”
Find the computer screens that read “awaiting input,” and then click each of them in turn. After each click, restart the game and hunt for the next computer. Most of the computers are either in the main office complex, at the beginning of the game, or just outside the boss’ office.
The following YouTube video highlights all the computer locations, as well as the fruits of your arduous labors:
Whiteboard and Cupboard Endings
The Whiteboard and Broom Cupboard Endings are not technically true endings, but are worthy of at least a brief mention. After playing the game for some time, sometimes you find yourself starting the game in an entirely different area, lined with blue walls.
Head into door 426 and you will be presented with a whiteboard with the words “welcome to the whiteboard ending!” scrawled across in red pen.
Meanwhile, if you enter the broom closet and remain stationed there for a number of minutes, some rather amusing dialogue will splurge forth from the narrator’s acerbic lips. Return to the closet on a second occasion triggers yet more dialogue. Any further attempts to gain access to the closet are obstructed, as the narrator takes it upon himself to nail the door shut.
We hope you have enjoyed our definitive guide to The Stanley Parable’s endings. Considering the sheer complexity of the story and level design, we anticipate the gaming community will discover even more endings, which we plan to update, in due course.
By: James Fenner