Control is a confusing narrative in the beginning. As the player progresses through the story, major elements start coming into perspective. More of the lore is explained, mysterious events start getting decoded, and Jesse learns more about herself. So, turn on the Projector and get ready to thumb through some files, here are the major spoilers in Control explained.
10 Who Is Polaris?
At the beginning of the game, it’s easy to assume that the “you” Jesse is referring to is the player. However, it turns out that it was actually an extradimensional entity “resonating” with her: a being called Polaris.
Gameplay-wise Polaris helps Jesse figure out where to go next for missions. More importantly, Polaris is a friend to Jesse. Players later found out that Polaris originated from the Altered World Event incident in her hometown Ordinary.
9 The Altered World Event at Ordinary
The event that kicked off the story. When Jesse and Dylan were young, they found an old slide projector. This Slide Projector is actually an Object of Power and can create doorways to other dimensions. It was through the Projector that Jesse and Dylan met Polaris.
Jesse said that “bad things” started coming through these “doorways,” and all the adults in Ordinary disappeared along with the Faden parents. Before the Federal Bureau of Control (FBC) intervened and secured the Projector, Jesse burned all the slides. Trench was able to save a couple, one burned and one intact.
According to Jesse, her, Dylan and Polaris stopped the Altered World Event. Dylan was taken by the FBC, the event was covered up as an industrial accident, Polaris left Jesse’s conscience and Jesse was left alone.
8 Dylan Was A Prime Candidate
One of the reasons Jesse came to the Older House, the main headquarters of the FBC, is to search for her brother Dylan. When Dylan was taken by the FBC following the Ordinary Event, he became a Prime Candidate, someone who is groomed to become the next Director.
Darling and Trench noted that Dylan was incredibly gifted, especially since he had access to Polaris. Apparently, there were a couple instances where Dylan’s power got out of hand and accidentally killed people. Dylan was put into isolated prison, and at some point, the Hiss affected him.
7 Objects of Power Are Influenced by the Human Conscience
Apparently, humans have some ambiguous link to the creation of Objects of Power, which enable Altered World Events. Darling explains that humans assign “archetypes” to common items in our lives, whether they be from “popular culture” or “urban legends.” Somehow, extradimensional forces become attached to these objects through the collective unconscious. Even Darling doesn’t know entirely how humans influence this process: “Are we the starting point, or just a necessary evil in this? A byproduct, a reflection? A projection?”
6 Polaris Has A Physical Body
When Darling was experimenting with The Slide Projector, he and Trench led an expedition into a dimension: Slidescape-36. They found a gigantic polygonal object, and Darling called it Hedron. Hedron is also the material that prevents the Hiss from affecting humans in the Hedron Resonance Amplifiers (HRAs).
When Jesse arrived in Dimensional Research, particularly the Hedron Chamber, she recognized Hedron as Polaris. When Polaris was pulled from Slidescape-36, that's when it started speaking to Jesse again; that’s how she was instructed to come to the Older House in the first place.
5 Darling Is Still Missing
Throughout the game, you encounter video streams and television clips of Dr. Casper Darling explaining various phenomena he studies in the FBC. Almost everyone in the FBC wondered what became of Darling during the Hiss incident.
During the Polaris mission, Jesse discovered that Darling locked himself in the Hedron Chamber using a massive HRA. Jesse never finds him, but one of his videos imply that he used Hedron to leave “their reality.”
4 Jesse Gets Affected by The Hiss
After Jesse cleanses all the Siphons in the Hedron Chamber, the huge extradimensional structure collapses. Polaris becomes disabled, which allowed the Hiss to infiltrate Jesse’s mind. Jesse is then transported to a surreal situation where she is an office worker at the FBC, doing mundane tasks repeatedly and being harassed by her coworkers. She manages to escape the dream, learn what happened to Trench and how this whole situation began.
3 Trench Let the Hiss In
After the last expedition into Slidescape-36, Trench said the Hiss put something like “a worm” inside his head. Over time, the Director grew more paranoid of Hedron, Darling and the rest of the FBC. When Hedron instructed Darling to make more HRAs to prepare for an “impending invasion” of a “hostile resonance” Trench stole the Slide Projector.
The mad Director used one of the burned slides to bring the Hiss into the Older House. The Hiss was resonating with Trench ever since the last expedition, and he thought Hedron was the “hostile resonance.”
2 Dylan Becomes The “New” Trench
While this reveal itself is not surprising, it’s more ironic than anything. Dylan was being groomed from a young age to become the next Director after Trench. Trench was affected by the Hiss, its constant droning and instilled paranoia regarding Polaris/Hedron.
Dylan claimed that the Hiss relieved him of Polaris, and that Jesse should not trust the extradimensional presence. After Jesse escaped the influence of the Hiss, Dylan became the polar opposite to Jesse and the final boss: the carrier of Polaris versus the carrier of the Hiss.
1 The Hiss Incident Continues
Jesse manages to cleanse Dylan’s mind of the Hiss. Dylan fell into a coma but his mental state seems relatively sound. The Hiss still contaminates the Older House, and lockdown will not release until “every trace of it” is exterminated. Jesse remains the Director of the FBC, but more confident and assured in her role. After the credits, Jesse is in a more professional attire, sporting a black suit and her hair pinned up with a black triangle hairpiece. She is also determined to completely cleanse the Hiss.
While not every question in Control was answered, Remedy managed to deliver an interesting game with SCP elements and Lovecraftian inspiration. Will the Alan Wake developers create a direct sequel, or create a bunch of spin-off games? There is so much potential.