Bugsnax seems like a cute and harmless game on the surface, but towards the end of the adventure, the story gets much darker. Things get even darker depending on which of the Bugsnax endings you unlock, and doubly so in the cryptic post-credit scene. Here's what it all means.
Obviously, spoilers for Bugsnax follow.
How we got here — The world of Bugsnax is inhabited by muppet-like creatures called Grumpuses, but explorer Lizbert Megafig discovers an island of weird creatures called Bugsnax that are edible and change parts of a Grumpus' body when eaten. Players assume the role of a journalist who pitches an investigation of this to their editor.
Players pursue the story of Snaktooth Island even without their editor's approval but have to rebuild Snaxberg after they arrive and find the Grumpuses living there in shambles after Lizbert disappeared. Over the course of Bugsnax, players convince all of the Grumpuses on the island to return to Snaxberg and find Eggabert up in the mountains.
After a party is interrupted by an earthquake, players finally open a mysterious door with Eggabell, but fall into a pit of Bugsnax. From here, players find Lizbert Megafig and discover the truly nature of the Bugsnax.
What are Bugsnax? When players find Lizbert, she is no longer a Grumpus, having been transformed into a Grumpus-Bugsnax like creature. She tells players that Bugsnax are actually parasites that take over people's bodies and kill them if they eat too many.
Snaktooth Island itself is even made of Bugsnax. She then urges players to leave as the island is getting destroyed. Eggabell decides to stay behind with Lizbert, but the player and Filbo escape, now knowing the truth about Bugsnax.
Escaping Snaktooth Island — The player and Filbo return to Snaxberg and attempt to flee with all of the other Grumpuses. But the Bugsnax are getting violent and attacking the Grumpuses, so many of the players' traps are converted into weapons, and they must fight off waves of Bugsnax as the Grumpuses make their escape.
If a Grumpus eats too many Bugsnax, though, they'll turn into one and die. Depending on if the Grumpuses live or die, your ending will be slightly different.
Good and Bad Endings — Bugsnax's ending differs slightly depending on whether or not some of the Grumpuses players are defending die or not. If players manage to save every Grumpus on the island, they'll get a "good" ending. Lizbert and Eggabell are able to hold off the Bugsnax as those who survived escape.
When they reach the mainland, everyone stands around on a beach and players can talk with them about what they learned over the course of the adventure. In both endings, players then present their story to their editor. While she believes them, the player ends up getting fired for walking out of the meeting at the start of the game and Filbo decides to run for mayor
In the good ending, everyone is relatively positive and learns something from the experience when you talk to them on the beach. Images in the credits show everyone living happily ever after, confirming that Filbo actually becomes a mayor and that Lizbert and Eggabell survived. You'll also get a post-credits scene that recontexutalizes the game.
If any Grumpuses die though, you'll get the bad version of the ending. While many of the scenes are the same, the Grumpuses on the beach will be more negative and you won't get as many images in the credits. Additionally, you won't get the post-credits scene.
Post Credits Scenes — The players' editor Clumby is heard discussing Bugsnax with a mysterious voice. In Latin, they say to each other "tu quid edas" and "omne vivum ex Bugnsax," which roughly translate to "you are what you eat," a line from the "It's Bugsnax" song, and "all life from Bugsnax." That song also contained the lyric "Come to Snaktooth Island and discover, it's Bugsnax!" which taken literally reveals one of the game's major twists.
Because you literally discover that the island itself is Bugsnax.
This post-credits scene also shows that your editor was actually aware of what Bugsnax were and is trying to keep them secret. She could be part of the Grumpinati, a play on the Illuminati that are referenced throughout the game. At the very end of the game, a Strabby then gets off of the ship players used to escape, hinting that Bugsnax will spread outside of Bugsnax Island.
The story certainly takes a darker turn towards the end, and the best ending possibly sets up DLC or a sequel. Bugsnax is definitely a game that's worth seeing through to the end if you like its writing and story.
Bugsnax is available now for PC, PS4, and PS5.