The action of the computer game “Atomic Heart” takes place in 1955 in an alternative Soviet Union. In this world, the discovery of an element known as a polymer revolutionized technology, propelling the USSR to the pinnacle of technological progress.
After that, near-sentient robots, floating palaces, flying cars, and small devices known as neuropolymers abounded in the open spaces of cities, which allow users to instantly master new abilities.
The storyline itself begins in Chelomey – a secret laboratory hovering above the clouds. The main character is Major Sergei Nechaev, who has the code call “P-3”. Having received the orders of a war veteran, he stays behind to receive new orders from his boss, Dr. Sechenov.
This brilliant scientist, who was the first to discover exactly the same polymer, is now close to launching his latest technological achievement called Collective 2.0 – a network that brings people closer to a world where robotics will satisfy all their needs.
Returning to the P-3 mission, the player learns that the secret agent became the owner of an experimental polymer glove implanted in his left hand, which contains a unique artificial intelligence “Knowledge Keeper” or “KHRAZ” for short.
Later it turns out that the mind of Khariton Radionovich Zakharov, a former colleague of Sechenov, who disappeared during the tests, is hidden in it. He uses his knowledge base to provide information and advice to the P-3. Upon arrival, they meet a pair of robotic twin ballerinas who are the personal bodyguards of Sechenov, who gave them the names “Left” and “Right.
The professor himself instructs P-3 to go to object 3826 to investigate a disturbing data leak that threatens the launch of the Collective 2.0. This facility is a hub of scientific discovery, a kind of futuristic wonderland filled with groundbreaking technological experiments. It seems that the former employee made his way there, trying to interfere with the latest creation of Sechenov.
Arriving at the base, the Major realizes that the robots stranded at the facility have gone haywire, killing everyone in sight and leaving the base in chaos. P-3 learns that his target is a man named Viktor Petrov, who turned his back on Sechenov, using his programming skills to mess up all the robots. To regain control of them, P-3 will need to find and extract the deactivation code.
Atomic heart ending explanation
As you progress, it becomes clear that P-3 remembers almost nothing from his past. He knows that Sechenov saved him from a traumatic incident and as a result he swore allegiance to his master, but beyond that, his life is hazy.
While exploring the facility, P-3 meets a doctor known as Larisa Filatova. They chat for a bit before being interrupted. Shortly after their interaction, P-3 is confronted by Petrov, who manages to escape before he can apprehend him. After walking around the facility, the agent manages to catch up with Petrov, only to realize that he is already dead. His head was crushed by a loader.
At this point, HRAZ will start discussing other issues with P-3, questioning Sechenov’s methods and true intentions. Although the agent will brush it off at first, he will still begin to reconsider his relationship with the professor, especially after he reveals the story of Nechaev’s wife, whose brains were split and housed separately in the heads of each of the dancers.
Moving to another laboratory complex, P-3 activates the recorded hologram of Petrov. He claims that he never programmed robots to attack people; he simply turned on the combat mode that is present in all robots in the facility.
In truth, every robot was automatically programmed to kill when it was designed. This explains why they have built-in weapons and have such polished combat skills, despite being designed to work in factories, farms and in the role of a customer. The only problem is that this combat mode was not meant to be used while the robots were in the USSR.
This is the true nature of the Atomic Heart project. The Kremlin intended to send Soviet robots to America for use in manual labor. The government then set out to activate combat mode, using the robots as a Trojan horse to seize power in the US.
P-3 passes out and returns to Limbo. When he wakes up, he receives a call from Filatova, who tells him to meet her at a nearby lighthouse if he needs answers. After that, the player will have to choose one of two possible endings.
In a large chamber filled with test subjects, Filatova demonstrates that a neural network is not just a way to control robots; she can also control people. This robs them of their free will, allowing Alpha Connector (Sechenov) to force anyone connected to do his bidding. Considering that all the inhabitants of the country are in line for a thinking device, it will not be long before the country will be completely under its control.
Now that the truth has finally been revealed, P-3 will have a choice. In the longer of the two endings, the protagonist decides to fight Sechenov once and for all. But before the final confrontation begins, the professor scolds P-3, telling him that he was so easily manipulated by HRAZ, distorting his mind and his perceptions. However, finally annoyed Nechaev, after a short discussion, fights both ballerinas, defeating them and shooting at Sechenov.
However, it is when Sechenov pleads for his life that he reveals that he never sent the P-3 into limbo. Actually it was HRAZ. It is then that the agent realizes that all the information received during the game came from this intelligence. He slowly but surely turned P-3 against Sechenov.
Shortly after revealing, hits Nechaev, knocking him to the ground. He then frees himself from the gauntlet and dives into the data bank container, merging with it and using it to give himself a physical body.
Now, in physical form, HRAZ shows that he wants something much stranger than control of the Collective or even the Atomic Heart project. He seems to be aiming for humanity to evolve to a “new form”, which he points out has something to do with the polymer. Whether this turns the world into similar polymer monsters or absorbs them into their current form is unknown.
The final scene of this ending shows P-3 passing out and waking up in limbo. He looks up into the air and sees Right reaching out for him, leaving the agent to live forever in his fantasy with a robotic version of his deceased wife.
In the other ending, P-3 immediately begins to question everything he has heard up to this point. If Sechenov was really in control, why not send the P-3 into limbo right now. And why didn’t Grandma Zina die if Sechenov is so powerful?
He will add that HRAZ’s innocent act as an outsider is hard to believe when you realize that he invented the Voskhod device built into P-3’s brain. After that, he rips the device from his palm and destroys it. It is further described that agent Nechaev went on vacation to an unknown destination. And although Sechenov’s mind control plan may be inhumane, but, as you know, HRAZ had much more sinister plans.