A Plague Tale: Requiem Plot Synopsis
The story takes place after the events of the first, with Amicia and her brother Hugo whisked back into the heart of plague-ridden 14th Century France. The pair travel far south in a bid to try and live a normal life, but of course Hugo’s curse prevents them from doing so.
Determined to try and put an end to the Macula once and for all, Amicia and Hugo are joined by their friend Lucas and mother Beatrice as they set out to find answers. But will they find it in Marseille? Or is the strange island, La Cuna, where they’ll find salvation?
The core part of this game that binds everything together is the bond between Hugo and Amicia. The internal conflict that Amicia is going through can be seen across the game. Big themes around death, vengeance and righteousness can be felt throughout the game. Amicia is suffering tremendously through the 17 hour story, torn between helping and loving her brother, and desperately stopping the destruction and chaos he’s causing.
It’s the perfect example of how to create a complex, emotionally-torn protagonist in a game – so let’s explore that in more detail!
The history of Basilius and the Child of Embers
Amicia and Hugo’s bond serves as the glue that holds the whole story together, so when Hugo and Amicia are inevitably separated toward the end of the story, all hell breaks loose. Before we reach that point though, Amicia, Hugo and Sophia arriving on the island of La Cuna brings up some startling revelations. Led by Count Victor and Countess Emilie, the group learn that the townsfolk worship a deity called the Child of Embers.
When Arnaud spots an opportunity to take out the Count, whom he has unfinished business with, he tries to convince Hugo to use his rat powers to kill him. Amicia foils his plans and Arnaud ends up arrested.
The Count and Countess welcome the pair to stay inside the castle, where they learn that the couple previously worshipped another Macula carrier, whom they named the Child of Embers. Their story is one that eerily echoes Hugo’s current plight.
Further evidence – through examining and interacting with numerous elements inside the castle – reveal that the previous carrier was a boy called Basilius. He was joined by his protector, Aelia and happens to be the first carrier of the Prima Macula from around the year 541 AD.
Inside a chapel, with numerous human sacrifices outside, Hugo and Amicia learn that Aelia was imprisoned after rebelling against the Order. As for Basilius, he was imprisoned deep in the dungeons, in an underground prison by the Order in an attempt to contain the Macula. Basilius gave in to the Macula though, given how sad and fearful he was, and caused the Justinian plague. This is (for those interested to know!) the first recorded instance of a major plague pandemic.
Why does the Count want to kill Amicia?
Back in the castle, after escaping vicious Slavers, Count Victor attacks Amicia, kicking her down the stairs and dislocating her shoulder. He’s dead-set on taking Hugo away. Countess Emilie is convinced he is the Child of Embers and as such, he’s following her orders.
Victor gleefully reveals that he actually fabricated the entire story to try and hold onto Emilie’s sanity. She suffered abuse from her parents and clung to the Child of Embers story, using that to project out to the people of La Cuna.
Amicia is eventually captured and taunted by Victor, encouraging her to fight him in one on one combat. Amicia is slashed several times for her troubles and knocked out. Emilie, up on the stage, kills Beatrice (Amicia and Hugo’s mother) in a sacrifice to the Child of Embers
What happens to La Cuna?
When Hugo awakens and heads to the amphitheater area, he sees what’s happened and loses control. He summons up rats that devour Emilie and many of Victor’s soldiers. Hugo is eventually consumed by the Macula, exerting all his energy and using the power of these rats to completely obliterate the soldiers. However, the Count manages to get away.
Alongside Lucas, the trio tumble underground and have to work their way back out again. Whilst there, Amicia takes a detour and breaks down crying in a hidden room (where there’s also a Souvenir collectible!) Eventually the trio are reunited with Sophia and they manage to get away.
Does the Count catch up? Does Arnaud survive?
The Count unfortunately follows Sophia’s ship and the group end up boarded and shipwrecked as a result. Victor knocks out Hugo and takes him to Marseille, despite realizing that his powers are no good in the water as he can’t summon rats. Quite why he didn’t just choose to make a watery prison for Hugo and keep him at sea is anyone’s guess!
Just prior to being knocked out, Hugo notices Amicia take an arrow through the stomach whilst attempting to fight back with Arnaud. She passes out but he believes her to be dead.
Lucas and Sophia both survive the encounter on the boat, having earlier fallen overboard. As for Arnaud, the fight on the deck eventually spills over to the sandy shipwrecked shores outside Marseille, several days later.
Victor has taken Hugo to the city, while he himself is out for blood and determined to settle unfinished business. He eventual bests Arnaud, killing him outright. However, before he passes Arnaud takes off Victor’s helmet and encourages Amicia to shoot. She does just that, hitting him in the face with her sling and killing him.
What happens in Marseille?
When Hugo awakens, the Macula takes complete control, destroying everything in sight. Lucas and Amicia are joined by Sophia and together, the trio head into the big city to find Hugo. The rats have been allowed to spread unchecked, obliterating everything. Sophia is injured and only able to go so far, leaving Lucas and Amicia to team up once more to find the core of the city’s plague – where Hugo is situated.
Realizing there’s only way way to stop Hugo, given he’s now fully merged with the Macula, Amicia is faced with an impossible choice. Here, the story diverges slightly but only with a couple of lines of dialogue and a slightly deviating final scene. Hugo reaches out to Amicia and tells her the only way to stop this is to kill Hugo. It’s a horrific choice to place on a sibling – especially ones as close as Hugo and Amicia.
If you choose to kill Hugo yourself, the final epilogue triggers immediately. If, however, you choose not to fire then Lucas will instead. In doing so this triggers a bad ending with your companion, as Amicia and Lucas part on bad terms.
Goodbye, King Hugo
The epilogue to Plague Tale: Requiem sees the narrative skip forward one year later. Amicia has shaved her hair completely (potentially as a personal reminder for the Count cutting her locks off) and she’s joined by Sophia.
They talk briefly about Lucas (which differs depending on the previous choice made in Marseille) before walking off together through the woods. Sophia is now trading, having gone into business and decided to ditch her piratey ways. As for Amicia, she intends to set off and explore the world, determined to find the next Carrier and Protector, wherever they might appear.
Before that though, Amicia makes one final trip to Hugo’s burial site atop the mountain, bidding a fond farewell. It’s a pretty symbolic scene given his grave has flowers all round. Furthermore, the mountains in the distance, the idyllic setting and the birds perched atop the large stone croppings all feed back into Hugo’s dream he mentioned before.
Now, one could argue that the real dream Hugo was having wasn’t about La Cuna at all, but more accurately foreshadowing the events of his death and what occurs after.
Is Amicia to blame for the Macula consuming Hugo?
Interestingly, an argument could be made that Amicia is as much to blame for Hugo’s descent to the dark side as he is. Throughout the game, Amicia is torn between her affection for Hugo and righteous desire to stop whoever stands in their way to find a cure for Hugo.
During the first enemy-wave encounter inside a wooden warehouse, Hugo pleads with Amicia to stop but she doesn’t, constantly hitting enemies with her sling and almost laughing gleefully at the sweet taste of revenge.
Later on, Amicia encourages Hugo to use his rat powers to take out enemies, until Hugo eventually grows in power and confidence, deciding to take matters into his own hands. All of this culminates in an explosive argument between the two late on, with Amicia telling Hugo he needs to listen to her and not take lives so easily. Of course, Hugo bites back and points out she does this and has done throughout the game, which could well be a hint that Hugo has learned this behaviour from her.
It’s just a theory of course, but it would add a tragic undercurrent of irony to a story rich in thematic material.
Is there a post-credit scene?
There is indeed! Stick around after the credits because a scene depicts a newborn wrapped in a navy blue cloth. As the camera pans up, the signs of the Macula – complete with blackened veins – can be seen. It seems the cycle has already restarted and there’s a new Carrier (and potentially another Protector) for Amicia to find.
Read More: A Plague Tale: Requiem Game Review