- "Wrapped up in one of Hadrian's 'deals'... ugh. He's not one to let other people get the upper hand, ya know. Sorta hope I had left all his 'negotiations' behind me."
- —Harper about Hadrian's shady deals. src
After Jesse puts the Redstone Heart in a recess in the Portal Network, one of the Portals opens up to reveal the entrance to a very long staircase, where Harper claims that the Old Builders' Portal Atlas, which is Jesse's Gang's only way to get back home, is. Jesse retrieves the Redstone Heart from the recess, which apparently does not close the staircase's entrance. The gang starts to climb the stairs and finds themselves in a large, void-like world. When climbing the stairs, Jesse's Gang notices that Harper seems to be hiding something. She warns everyone that the other Old Builders might not be as pleasant and that they may not be willing to give the Portal Atlas. Lukas starts suspecting her, and Jesse can say that he/she trusts her, that Harper is needed for them to get home, or that Harper seems to be hiding something.
As the group reaches the top of the stairs, they find a regular and undramatic door. Jesse opens it but is blinded by some sort of light. Harper warns them, "Don't die!" and suddenly pushes them through the door, leading to a long fall.
The group survives the fall and lands in the middle of an apparent game of Spleef. Lukas recognizes the game: in Spleef, competitors would try to dig up the floor and cause others to fall. Jesse "eliminates" a Green Team player, who falls and dies. It is reveal that when competitors fall, or become eliminated from the game, a piston trap closes up and crushes them. Gladiators, who stand on obsidian platforms, throw TNT down to eliminate competitors, making the game even more difficult.
During this game, Petra is trapped by members of the Green Team, and Ivor is surrounded by members of the Red Team. Jesse must choose to save either one of them, and Lukas will attempt to save the other. Whoever who Jesse didn't choose to save, along with Lukas, is eliminated by Nell, a Green Team member, and killed. Enraged, Jesse knocks down Nell and throws back a block of TNT at a gladiator, Slab the Immovable, whose fall halts the Game.
Jesse's gang crashes the game, and Jesse blames Nell for killing Lukas and Ivor/Petra (whoever the player didn't choose to save), which Nell responds by saying that the Old Builders are the ones in charge of the death games.
Jesse's gang is introduced to the Old Builders: Hadrian, Mevia, and Otto, who seem to be very frustrated by the arrival of Jesse's gang interfering the game. However, Otto reveals that Lukas and Ivor/Petra (who the player didn't choose to save) are not actually dead. They explain that eliminated competitors "respawn," and they are sent to work in the Quartz mines as a consequence. These events, known as the Games, are where participants must stay until they win. Jesse demands the Portal Atlas, but Hadrian refuses. Harper shows up and tells the other Old Builders that Jesse's gang is with her. Hadrian holds on to the Atlas, but Jesse surprises them with the Redstone Heart, which the Old Builders apparently want.
Hadrian reasons that Jesse needs the Atlas, and he needs competitors, for Jesse's intrusion in the Spleef game has caused a large number of eliminations. He tells Jesse's gang to play in his games. They strike a deal: if Jesse wins the games, the Gang can leave with the Atlas; however, if they lose, the whole group, along with Harper, have to go work in the quartz mines. Hadrian eventually tells Harper to lead Jesse's gang to where they will be staying. Harper apologizes for misleading them, and the group leaves the arena with her.
- "Hadrian and Mevia let power go to their heads. They started pitting people against each other just for sport."
- —Harper about how the Games are ruined. src
Harper then leads Jesse and Ivor or Petra (whomever he/she saved) to the Competitors' Village, where competitors must live until they win the games. These competitors have made deals with Hadrian and are trapped in this world. If they lose, they will have to work in the mines, which is excessively tough work, and will have to mine there until they get a chance of competing in the games again. If they win, they can get home. Harper leaves to talk with Otto, who is usually the most reasonable Old Builder.
Apparently, the games are very difficult to win. No one was able to win the games except a legendary hero named Tim, a competitor who won the games and took his whole team home. He is commonly adored among the competitors in the village and seemingly gives them hope to continue playing. Rumors about the newcomer, Jesse, have already spread among competitors, who started comparing him/her to Tim.
Hadrian and Mevia have already sent Lukas and Petra/Ivor (who Jesse didn't save) to the mines to toil as punishments, which is against the rules because no one is supposed to go to the mines before their whole team is eliminated. In the Village, Jesse also meets Emily, a former gladiator and the Green Team captain, who is upset that Jesse eliminated her only decent teammate. She appears desperate at the games and promises Jesse that if she doesn't beat Jesse next round, one of the gladiators will. Slab the Immovable, one of the gladiators, has obtained Lukas's Journal after Lukas "died," and Jesse can make a deal with him that if Jesse never upsets him again, Slab will give him/her the journal back.
Jesse plans to bribe one of the gladiators, Facemeat, who missed his lunchtime, with food, and have him hand over Lukas and Petra/Ivor from the mines. However, the owner of the village's kitchen, Clutch, strictly allows no food until lunchtime. With the help of Nell, a fan of Jesse, who owns a secret stash of wheat, Jesse crafts bread and convinces Facemeat to free his/her friends.
Jesse and Petra/Ivor reunite with their eliminated friends, while Otto arrives with Harper. Otto is a "huge stickler for the rules" and allows Lukas and Petra/Ivor (whoever was eliminated) to stay in the village. Jesse and Petra/Ivor (whoever was saved) head to the dormitory and prepare for the next event of the games.
- "Listen up, Buck-o. These are supposed to be games. These are supposed to be FUN. So, play. Along."
- —Hadrian to Jesse in a "surprise locker room visit." src
The next day, the Games feature the Lava Race, a survival-run game where players must race through obstacles. The Green Team's leader, Emily, offers Jesse a chance to team up with them. She tells Jesse that in the middle of the lava race, there is a gladiator Junction where competitors must defeat the gladiators, and that is when they should cooperate. Jesse can accept or decline this offer.
Jesse's team successfully finishes the first part of the game, which involves dodging lava while running. They arrive at the gladiator Junction, and if Jesse teamed up with the Green Team, Emily betrays him/her. If Jesse declined the deal, the gladiators will let Emily pass the junction, which Jesse finds suspicious. Slab and Clutch quickly engage in a fight and eliminates Petra/Ivor (whoever was saved during Spleef). Jesse can attack either one of the gladiators, who breaks his/her diamond sword. He/she reaches the vine-climbing section.
After catching up with Emily and Nell on the vines, Emily pushes Nell off. Jesse can choose to save Nell or beat Emily. If Jesse saves Nell, Emily will win the race. If Jesse decides to beat Emily, he/she fights her with the Enchanted Flint and Steel and wins the race.
- "My strength comes from my friends; we're always there for each other."
- —Jesse to Emily after the speech. (Determinant) src
However, in both outcomes, it is revealed that Hadrian made a deal with Emily and told her to eliminate Jesse, which she failed. Hadrian eventually calls the deal off and leaves Jesse to face Emily, who becomes dejected and walks away.
Slab comes to tell Jesse that Hadrian was expecting Jesse's presence in the palace. Jesse has severely upset Hadrian. However, on their way to the palace, a miner shows up and offers Jesse a talk. Jesse can either ignore him or delay their trip to talk to him.
If Jesse chooses to talk to the miner, the latter introduces himself as Sebastian and tells Jesse not to upset the Old Builders because things are worse for the miners when the Old Builders are unhappy. He gives Jesse piece of Lapis Lazuli as a gift from the miners. Jesse and Slab will be late to Hadrian's palace, and Slab will be enraged. If Jesse chooses to follow Slab, they will arrive on time.
In the palace, Jesse finds Tim's Armor on display, the set of armor that supposedly belonged to Tim. Hadrian suddenly shows up and starts talking to Jesse about changing their deal. He talks about how, after Tim has left, the legend of Tim has become a "fond memory," which is easy to control. Hadrian notices that Jesse has become a legend among competitors, but Jesse's legend is not under his control because he/she is still physically present. He suggests that Jesse makes a quiet exit so that Hadrian can tweak his/her legend into one similar to Tim's.
Eventually, Hadrian admits that Tim is actually not real. He is a legend fabricated by the Old Builders to give the competitors hope and keep them playing the Games. However, the Games are rigged, as the Old Builders, in fact, control everything, even their outcome, which is why no one has been able to win the Games since Tim.
During the talk, Hadrian brings up Jesse's Treehouse, much to Jesse's surprise. It turns out that the Atlas can reveal people's backgrounds, which is how Hadrian knew about Jesse being famous in his/her homeworld. Hadrian mines through an obsidian wall, revealing a secret chamber with obsidian prisons holding Axel and Olivia hostage. He also claims that he has imprisoned Jesse's best friend, Reuben (Pig), but he has mistaken and has instead imprisoned the EnderCon usher, Reuben (Human), who shares the same name with Jesse's friend.
Hadrian tells Jesse even if he/she won the games, Axel, Olivia, and Reuben (Human) will be imprisoned forever. He offers Jesse a new deal: if Jesse loses the games, then all his/her friends can go home, but Jesse will have to stay behind in their place. Jesse can accept or decline to this. Either way, Hadrian will keep Axel, Olivia, and Reuben in the prisons and order Slab the Immovable to drag Jesse out.
Jesse runs back to the Competitors' Village and is greeted upon by Petra, Lukas, Ivor, Emily, and Harper. He/she tells them about Hadrian's new deal and whether he/she accepted it or not. Emily reasons that Hadrian would not have kept the deal, since if Jesse did lose the games he promised, his/her whole team would be eliminated, and Hadrian would just send them all to the mines because it was the original deal that if they lose, they will end up in the mines. Jesse reasons that, as Otto is not as vicious as Hadrian and Mevia, he may be able to help them because Otto plays by the rules no matter what, and he would give Jesse the Atlas for sure if he/she won because it was the original deal. However, that is only if Jesse can win the games, and Emily questions Jesse's abilities to beat all other teams by him/herself.
A group of competitors surrounds them, and Jesse, determined to win, starts to give an inspirational speech, telling them to stand up against the Old Builders, who are controlling everything. He/she states that the Old Builders are continuously rigging the Games, but they can all win if they come together against them.
Emily becomes tired of the speech and cynically says that no one has ever beaten Hadrian in his own games, but a Yellow Team competitor quickly brings up Tim, who supposedly won. Jesse can choose to either tell the crowd that "Tim" has never existed or let them believe in their legend. Either way, Nell questions that the gladiators, who are under Hadrian's control, are still a problem. Jesse can encourage them to work together and outnumber the gladiators, tell them to trust themselves, or tell them that he/she can be a leader and help them make a plan.
Jesse finishes the speech, but the result slightly disappoints him/her. Jesse's gang decides to find out in the next event of the Games. Emily also agrees to be a part of this (Determinant).
- "I think it's time for us to finish this... together!"
- —Jesse to the competitors. src
The following day, Jesse is alone while participating in another minigame, The Walls, a game where competitors start in different sections divided by walls and gather resources in a limited period. When the walls come down, they will have to fight and survive the gladiators with the tools they have crafted. Jesse's section, however, is rigged and has nothing but dirt and gravel in it.
The walls come down, and Jesse can gather nothing except dirt and gravel. Emily appears as if she is about to attack Jesse, but ultimately, she helps him/her by offering him/her a stone sword. Hadrian and Mevia, who are watching, are enraged by this. Emily gathers all other competitors and gladiators. Jesse convinces all the teams to join him/her and win together, but the gladiators walk off. If Jesse was nice to Slab, however, Slab the Immovable also joins him/her. All the competitors step onto the Winner's Platform at the center of the arena, which, according to the rules, means that they have all won.
Exasperated, Hadrian leads Mevia and Otto to come down to the arena, and Hadrian blames Jesse for either breaking their deal (if he/she accepted the deal) or blames the competitors for not eliminating each other (if Jesse didn't take the deal). Mevia tries to explain that the Old Builders control the Games' outcome, not the competitors.
Eventually, Otto comes forward and tries to give Jesse the Atlas, but before he could do so, Hadrian and Mevia quickly build a cage of obsidian and traps him inside. They then trap all competitors except Jesse and Emily with the same way. Emily runs off. Hadrian and Mevia start to fight with Jesse, and if Slab was convinced to join, he sacrifices himself to save him/her.
In a final standoff against Hadrian and Mevia, Jesse is able to overpower Hadrian. However, Hadrian distracts him/her by begging him/her to forgive him. While they talk, Mevia sneaks up behind Jesse and kills him/her with two diamond axes.
Jesse dies and respawns in the respawn zone. If Slab was convinced to join, he delivers a speech about how he sent many competitors to the respawn zone but never knew how much it hurt. Jesse believes that he/she has lost, but Emily shows up with Jesse's friends. It is revealed Emily and Harper have freed all of Jesse's friends and stolen Tim's armor as well as some of Hadrian's weapons and tools from Hadrian. Jesse suits up and takes a diamond sword, a diamond axe, two diamond pickaxes, and a shield. He/she then battles the Old Builders again and eliminates Mevia. When he/she faces off Hadrian on an obsidian bridge the latter built during the duel, his/her friends show up and cheer for him/her. Emily tells Jesse to remember Spleef, which Jesse responds by digging up the obsidian block beneath Hadrian with his/her pickaxe and eliminating Hadrian.
Hadrian and Mevia both respawn; however, the gladiators, Facemeat, Clutch, and Capital T, block their way out and beat them together. Otto explains to Jesse that he/she has earned the Atlas and that he/she should decide what happens to Hadrian and Mevia. Jesse responds by suggesting that they try "which would you rather fight," a game Olivia and Jesse used to play in their treehouse.
Finally, the group reaches the Portal Network, where if Jesse was nice to Slab, he returns Lukas' journal to its owner. All the competitors who are willing to go home return to their home worlds in the Network, and Otto reveals that many competitors have actually decided to stay and continue playing the Games. He promises to restore the Games to their former glory and never make them corrupt again. Emily is a little reluctant to leave Jesse; Jesse can either tell her to go home, help Otto fix the games, or bring her to his/her world.
Ivor observes Harper, and Jesse can tell him to say goodbye to her or leave her alone. If Jesse defended Harper in Episode 7, Harper will return to Crown Mesa, her home world, and help the citizens rebuild the mess PAMA has left. Likewise, if Jesse did not defend Harper in Episode 7, Harper will either try to settle in a new world or help Otto fix the games. Either way, it is revealed that Ivor has prepared a rose for her, which he never sent.
With the powers of the Atlas, Jesse's Gang, along with Emily (Determinant) find the Portal to their home world and arrive in the Order Hall. Back home, Jesse shows Axel, Olivia, and Emily (Determinant) the treasures he/she collected during his/her adventures, including the Enchanted Flint and Steel, the Eversource Crown, the White Pumpkin, the Redstone Heart, and the Portal Atlas. He/she displays them on pedestals in the Hall, and if Slab gave Lukas back his journal, Jesse can add a finishing line to the journal and decide whether it can be put on display as a treasure. Axel and Olivia invite the group to see the improvements they made to Beacontown. However, it is revealed that Ivor has stolen the Atlas and the Flint and Steel and ran back to the Portal Network to look for Harper. Jesse can choose to either run after him or stay, and the game ends.
- "Come on, guys. Let's go home."
- —Jesse's end quote (Determinant). src
In a post-credit scene, Hadrian and Mevia are seen being trapped in a world full of either chicken-sized zombies or zombie-sized chickens (as per the choice made at the beginning of the series), and Mevia makes a joke about either the zombies or the chickens.
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