Unlike recent games from developer Sucker Punch, specifically the InFamous series, Ghost of Tsushima does not feature a ‘karma system’ that tracks your behavior and choices during gameplay and labels them as ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ Instead, the two possible endings to Jin’s adventure boil down to the game’s final moments in one last pick. Although these two options are definitely not ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ they depend on the player’s interpretation to decide what is right or wrong.
The final decision will affect not only the last scene of the game but also some tiny things post-game. Before we get into spoilers where both endings will be explained and the differences, know that no end is tied to any trophy. You can get all trophies in single gameplay, and no option prevents you from getting trophies or specific content.
Warning, this post contains spoilers for the ending of Ghost of Tsushima.
The final battle of Ghost of Tsushima will be against Lord Shimura, Jin’s uncle. When you win, Jin’s uncle will make your final decision to determine Jin’s future. On the one hand, you can make Jin embrace his samurai past and kill his uncle honorably. But, on the other hand, you can make Jin take on the role of Ghost once and for all, sparing Shimura’s life.
Suppose you kill Shimura and restore Jin’s honor as a samurai. In that case, Jin will promise that people will remember Shimura ‘as a great warrior, a wise leader, and a father.’ Moreover, the two will agree to meet in the next life before the final blow is dealt.
After the credits roll, you’ll regain control of Jin in his new home, ‘ Dawn Refuge,’ located west of Mamushi Farmstead.
You will also unlock a new white armor called ‘Right Punishment.’ Finally, you’ll have a brief conversation with Yuna about her new home and offer your condolences on her uncle’s death.
If you decide to walk away and let Shimura live, Jin admits that he no longer has any honor, but he still won’t kill a family member. Shimura warns Jin that the ‘Ghost will be haunted for the rest of his days.’ Jin accepts this, puts on his mask, and leaves.
The credits roll again, and Jin will be in a new home, only this time called ‘Tradition’s End’ located near Omi Monastery.
Instead of white armor, you will unlock red armor called ‘Vow of Vengeance’ this time. Yuna will also appear here for one last conversation, basically the same as before, except she asks if Jin’s uncle will come after them in the future.
No ending choice has a significant impact post-game other than unlocking one armor color or another. Still, it would be a massive factor if Ghost of Tsushima had a sequel. When making InFamous 2, developer Sucker Punch used player trophy data from the first game in the franchise to see which end was chosen by the majority. Thus defining what would be the game’s canon ending. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t be possible in this game, as no trophies are tied to which ending you choose. So we don’t know what ending a potential sequel will continue from.