How long to beat and finish

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After the initial credits for Signalis, the player is left with many questions. Although much of the story can be pieced together on an abstract and thematic level, there is a sense of narrative deficit as too many unresolved threads. It is only when players have the option to start over that the game slowly begins to show its hand.


Signalis is a survival horror game published by Humble Games and designed by indie studio Rose Engine. Players navigate Elster, a mechanical girl called a “replika” in search of her lover, Ariane, in a mining facility overrun with mysteriously zombified replicas. As the game progresses, more details about the storyline and Elster are revealed via abstract memories and dreams, occasional cutscenes, and atmospheric storytelling. While many indie games tend to run on short campaigns and small stories, Signalis presents a wider scope than expected while remaining an intimate experience.

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How long to beat Signalis

On average, a game lasts about five to six hours, or even four if all goes well. Speedrunning the game can only take about two hours. Signalis bills itself as a PlayStation-era survival horror game in the vein of resident Evil Where silent Hill, both in general aesthetics and design. Combat and movement are intentionally clunky and crippling, and the inventory system is restrictive. These designs are seamlessly integrated into the game world and themes, but they create potential time wasters. Players can easily get stuck on a puzzle, drive the wrong item, or find themselves unable to claim an essential item due to a full inventory. A first part will involve a lot of backtracking.

However, this initial part is far from over. Although the credits roll and the game is technically beaten, only the surface level of Signalis was typed. The player is taken to the title screen to restart the game, but it does not restart the story. The player attends a different start before being sent back at the end of the previous round. They are just expected to go on and try to find a true ending. While it takes about five hours to reach the first roll of credits, reaching an ending with a sense of finality takes closer to 10.

Signalis largely takes place in a mining facility with Elster plunging deeper into the increasingly eldritch pit. Continued exploration reveals a world built largely from Ariadne’s memory, on an eternal loop as Elster repeatedly finds her and breaks her promise. However, depending on the player’s actions and their approach to the game, this could change.

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How long to complete Signalis

Signalis can be a challenge for the finalists. Outside of the initial fake pax credits roll, there are three endings – LEAVE, MEMORY, and PROMISE – plus a secret ARTIFACT ending. LEAVE is granted to players who flee most conflicts and fight only when there is no alternative, while PROMISE is granted to ruthless players who fight almost anything in their path without remorse. The majority of players will see a MEMORY ending, blending combat and stealth in a harmonious measure.

All three of these endings take approximately the same amount of time to complete, but the modifiers that determine their outcome are tracked throughout the game. Any player who wants to see all three endings is likely looking at a 25+ hour affair. All of that, and there’s no truly happy ending.

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Despite their differences, each termination carries roughly the same background value. The emotional core of the story centers on whether Elster is strong enough to deliver on her promise to Ariane when it matters. Each ending gives a different answer, but that doesn’t change much. Ironically, any player trying to force every ending is playing right into the cursed repetition of Ariane’s deterioration and the game’s themes.

The only really different ending is ARTIFACT, which requires finding a few well-hidden keys and using them to unlock a mysterious safe near the end of the game. In terms of extra time, the ARTIFACT ending adds maybe 20 extra minutes to a normal game if the player knows exactly what to do. However, without outside guidance, determining the steps could require a significant time investment. This route is also quite unique in essence, creating another tragic loop but more at peace with the storyline at hand. Regardless of the players end, the experience will reflect what they put into it. While the whole of Signalis lasts about 10 hours, the feeling it leaves will last much longer.

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