No two shifts are the same when you start up The Mortuary Assistant. Stepping into Rebecca Owens’ shoes is a harrowing experience, one where you must confront your own demons and banish them to Hell, all whilst staying focussed on regular mortician duties.
The underlying story of The Mortuary Assistant can be tricky to piece together, especially given that the game’s RNG dictates the hauntings you will experience from shift to shift. If you want to understand the mystery of River Fields and Rebecca’s painful family history, you’ll need to pay attention and not let your guard down for a moment.
Welcome To River Fields Mortuary
Stepping out of your car on your first day on the night shift is no picnic, especially when your job involves no other friendly faces than the cold company of the dead.
River Field Mortuary itself seems shrouded in bad juju. Your grandma warns you as much in the game’s opening sequences when you tell her that you’ve been on placement there for some weeks now.
However, Grandma’s disapproving tuts fall on deaf ears as you head back in for one last afternoon session with your boss and head mortician, Raymond.
It ends abruptly, and you’re sent home wondering if you did something wrong.
As luck would have it, however, Raymond calls you later that evening and, to your surprise, he wants you to cover the night shift on a particularly busy evening.
Over the course of the evening, you learn more about the mortuary – and yourself – than you bargained for.
What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You
Raymond explains over the phone that a demon has attached itself to you. As you frantically go about your tasks, it slowly siphons your energy, weakening your defenses until you have no choice but to let the entity possess you.
What Raymond doesn’t tell you, however, is that this has happened before.
Each evening, various auditory and visual hallucinations suggest that there is someone, somewhere in this building, who has been locked away.
You will have the chance to discover the secrets of the mortuary, but it will be a race against the clock to do so.
Raymond’s Connection To River Fields Mortuary
During one of the hauntings, a pale and thin woman appears in the bathroom. Wordlessly, she lifts her arm to point at the mirror.
You see that there is a small, faded photograph tucked into the frame – one that wasn’t there before, and inspecting it reveals it to be a photo of the mortuary from 1970.
The writing on the back reveals it to be the “year of arrival of the house of death”, as well as “the birth of its creator”. This might suggest that Raymond’s ties to River Fields are more than simply professional.
Is Raymond the creator? Or does this refer to the Devil himself, as the creator of the demonic forces drawn to this locus of death and darkness? Either could be true, as we soon learn that Raymond is less than innocent.
Secrets In The Basement: Vallery
One of the liquids you use to embalm bodies, a mysterious reagent, has a rather grisly source.
If you gain access to the basement following a specific chain of events, you will meet one of your predecessors: Vallery. Except Vallery is no longer herself.
She has been possessed by a demon, and sliding the wooden panel out of the way will reveal her angry, hate-filled eyes staring back at you from inside her wooden coffin.
Bottles of the reagent litter the countertop next to Vallery – and that’s when you realise that the reagent isn’t a chemical at all, but bottled blood of a possessed human.
Raymond will maintain that it is vital for the embalming ritual, as it acts as a binding agent to trap the demon in its chosen vessel – but that doesn’t change the fact that Raymond has been slowly, deliberately bleeding out his ex-employee for years on end.
What Happened To Rebecca’s Parents?
One of the biggest mysteries in The Mortuary Assistant is Rebecca’s own story.
Rebecca comes from a family of addicts. The disease seems to run in their veins, much like the fatal dose of heroin that coursed through her mother’s and stopped her heart.
Rebecca and her grandmother seem to have been the ones to discover her mother’s accidental overdose, with Rebecca at the time being just a little girl.
If you pick up hers and her father’s sobriety chips from the box in Rebecca’s apartment, you’ll already know that she herself grew up mimicking the behaviours of her parents. It is not known whether her father was addicted to heroin or alcohol, but his five-year sobriety chip suggests a slip-up when compared to Rebecca’s 10-year one.
Tragedy Befalls Tragedy
Now an adult, Rebecca lives in a squalid apartment, and is very much entrenched in her drug-use. One night, she is invited to a party by one of her friends and fellow addicts. She grabs her heroin kit and heads out the door.
She ends up on a bender, and her worried father later reports her missing to the police, informing them that he is especially worried since his daughter has a drug problem.
When her dad joins the search party, he eventually finds Rebecca collapsed at the bottom of a ravine. He starts fussing over her immediately, whispering soothing words and promising to fetch the police who are searching nearby. However, with his shoes still wet from the ravine floor, he accidentally slips and falls from the cliff as he climbs back up.
Rebecca watches as her father’s lifeless body lands next to her with a sickening thud before falling off the cliff.
A New Life
Following the traumatic death of her father, and wracked with guilt over the circumstances of it, Rebecca falls into a deep depression. She is institutionalised in the high-risk unit of a psych ward and put on medication to stabilise her mood, but that doesn’t stop her from making an attempt on her own life.
She tries hanging herself, slashing her own wrists – anything to bring an end to the pain.
Thankfully, she lives through it, promising instead to clean up her act and make healthy changes. She puts herself through mortuary school, gets clean, maintains a close relationship with her grandma, and secures a job for herself at River Fields Mortuary. Things are really starting to look up for Rebecca.
And then, the story begins…