*Written* Guide on how to Escape the Darkwalker


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Here is *written* advice on how to beat the Escape the Darkwalker Challenge released with the Hesitant Prospect (2020) update. (Get all 10 diary pages, banish the Darkwalker). I was able to beat the challenge in 3hrs, 32 minutes (suffered some minor setbacks :) )

There is already some published guides out there, but most that I have found are long videos, and who has time for that? Also, many of them refer to the Escape the Darkwalker Halloween 2020 event, which has different different conditions than the Challenge released with Hesitant Prospect. 

For detailed information about the conditions of the Challenge and the behavior of the Darkwalker (DW), read the Strategy and Tips portion of the wiki for the Challenge: ( Escape the Darkwalker | The Long Dark Wiki | Fandom ). The following advice is based on my experience and experimentation, more specific advice than what is on the wiki. I also referred to the Detailed Region Maps provided by Whiteberry ( Steam Community :: Guide :: Detailed Region Maps - The Long Dark )

Here's how I did it:

My route, and when I grabbed the diary page as required by the challenge: Hushed River Valley (grab page) -> Mountain Town (grab page) -> Forlorn muskeg -> broken railroad (grab page) -> Forlorn muskeg (grab page) -> Mystery Lake (grab page) -> Ravine -> Bleak Inlet (grab page) -> Ravine -> Coastal Highway (grab page, or wait until you need to backtrack to grab it) -> crumbling highway -> Desolation point (grab page) -> crumbling highway -> Coastal highway (grab page if you didn't before) -> Pleasant Valley (grab page) -> Timberwolf Mountain (grab page) -> Ash Canyon (Banish the DW!)

Hushed River Valley is a tough region to start in, but it works out well because you can take two climbing ropes to use later, one in the Ravine on route to the Bleak Inlet, and the other in the Bleak Inlet to climb down the cliff (a more direct route to the diary page than walking around the mountain in the northeast section of the map). To you get the diary page from HRV,  just shimmy down the waterfall cliff next to the green campfire. To get to the cave that takes you to Mountain Town, use the climbing ropes already laid (indicated by red rope icons in Whiteberry's map) to climb up the cliff faces. As you go, grab these two ropes on your way up.

This route also puts the last diary page in TWM, which is conveniently close to the entrance to Ash Canyon (where you banish the DW). 

The goal of this route is to minimize backtracking. Backtracking is dangerous if the DW is following behind you, especially near region transitions where routes are often narrow and winding. 

Other tips

FOCUS ON GETTING TO AND FROM THE GREEN CAMPFIRES. Unless you need to strafe around the DW or are in desperate need of warmth or supplies, don't waste your time searching buildings or hunting animals. There's a 30 min timer on how long you can be in a region due to toxic fog, and you want to save your spray paint for Lures, Wards, and the Banishing. Also, you should constantly be trying to put distance between you and the DW. Don't waste time mending clothes, you won't be using them for long anyway.

ONLY CARRY WHAT YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED. Critically important to keep your carry weight down to maintain a good movement speed. Only carry the revolver and/or the emergency flare gun as weapons. Only carry just enough food, water, etc., because once you reach the next green campfire, there will likely be enough food there to keep you going (lots of MREs, Maple Syrups, etc. spawn there). You can boil water while you sleep if you sleep for 1hr at a time (using a can as the water vessel). Only stop to pick up supplies that are along your path, don't go searching. Don't carry extra clothes or mending supplies. EVEN IF YOU ARE COMPLETELY EXHAUSTED AND YOU HAVE COLLECTED 10 DIARY PAGES (the DW moves faster the more pages you have) YOU WILL STILL WALK FASTER THAN THE DW MOVES IF YOU ARE CARRYING LESS THAN 30KG. That is an amazing advantage. 

If the DW starts to corner you or cut off your path, just KEEP MOVING. Unless you walk straight into it, moving in any direction will put distance between you and the DW. Once you've gotten enough space from it, you can go back to your pre-planned route. This kind of thing happens more often near region transitions or in mines/caves. 

DROP LURES CONSTANTLY. They help you track your distance from the DW, and they keep the DW from beelining toward you, which is especially helpful if you are faced with obstacles and winding paths that the DW can just cut straight through. I only used Wards when I was climbing and needed to catch my breath/warm up, and the DW was nearby. I never needed to use the de-fog ward.

Use your Lures, but MAKE SURE YOU SAVE A SPRAY PAINT CHARGE FOR BANISHING. This mistake I actually made on my successful run, and it was a pain in the ass because I had to run around with the DW and wolves chasing me to find a new can of spray paint. 

SAVE YOUR WEAPON AMMO TO KEEP WOLVES AWAY. Crossing paths with wolves is inevitable. Firing the revolver in the general direction of a wolf will scare it away, which is usually sufficient if you just keep moving. 

Lastly, MAKE SURE YOUR CHARACTER IS WELL RESTED. In terms of the distance between you and the DW, is a minimal penalty for sleeping, and being well-rested is critically important to keeping your movement speed up. Also, climbing is necessary for the route above, which means being well-rested is important to proceed. ONLY RUN IF YOUR LIFE IS IN IMMEDIATE DANGER. Don't waste your energy!

Best of luck all!


Edited by LoyalAchates
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  • 1 month later...

I did a very similar route, but to save on climbing ropes and carrying ropes, I went to Bleak Inlet from Forlorn Muskeg right after leaving Broken Railroad. The only ropes I had to climb up was in Hushed River Valley and then to get from Pleasant Valley up to Timberwolf Mountain.

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  • 2 years later...

Great guide, it help me a lot.  Like Beamo, I also exited Bleak Inlet back to Forlorn Muskeg, then retraced my steps through Mystery Lake and the Ravine to avoid climbing ropes.  Ravine came a little close on the fog timer (3 min remaining) but since it was just following railroad tracks with no wildlife it was not an issue. Overall run time of 3hrs, 58 min.

I did not carry ropes - I thought they were too heavy to carry for most of the route.  The only 2 ropes I needed to find were in Bleak Inlet (outside in the Fire Lookout around the corner from the door) and Ravine (3 spawn points - Railroad car or either of the two caves on either side of the tree bridge).  I had to check all three spots in Ravine and backtrack since it was in the far cave (worst spot for it to be).  That was why my Ravine timer was a little close.

I'll add a few other tips, some of which may be obvious:

1. GREEN FIRES DO NOT SCARE OFF WOLVES!  If a wolf is following you it will not stop like at a normal fire.  Not sure if this is a bug or not, just be sure to frighten them off before sitting down to rest/cook/organize.

2. WEIGHT IS EVERYTHING!  Try to keep below the limit for encumbrance, which is 15/20/25 KG (Base/Moose Satchel/Well Fed bonuses).  That being said, being a little over isn't a deal breaker, especially at the beginning when the DW is slow.  I hovered between 15-20 KG for my runs, and carried the Bearskin roll (heavy but the warmth was worth it in my opinion), a lantern, and a revolver.  No other tools besides a couple cans for cooking.

3. PRETTY MUCH IGNORE CONDITION AND TEMPERATURE.  Wildlife is infrequent and easy to scare off with the revolver since ammo spawns like crazy.  Loss of some condition to temperature can be ignored as resting for 1-2 hours at a fire will restore the temperature meter to full and mostly heal you.

4. RAID HOUSES/CARS YOU COME ACROSS QUICKLY AND EFFICIENTLY.  I guess I'll disagree with OP here, I raided a lot of cars and houses on my route for clothes/food/coffee/tea.  I recommend a quick in/out approach, and I never used a ward.  Only look for what you need -  Don't need meds/water?  Skip the bathroom.  Have enough clothes you aren't freezing between fires?  Skip the bedroom.  And don't go off your path unless you desperately need something, you will run across more than you can use during the run.

5. COFFEE AND TEA ARE YOUR FRIENDS! Raid most kitchens you come across for tins of coffee and tea to cook at fires and keep the caffeine flowing!  Drinking tea before resting at fires is also very useful.  Water can be obtained through boiling or from toilets as needed.  I never needed stims or Energy Drinks in any of my runs, and the DW never came close to catching me.

6. ALSO RELATED TO RAIDING HOUSES, GRAB WHAT CLOTHING YOU CAN BUT DONT MEND IT.  Mending clothing takes away precious rest time at the fire or letting the DW catch up.  And it adds to weight limit by carrying a sewing kit and cloth.  Put on any good (>50%) condition clothing you can that you find in houses, but beware articles that have a major movement penalty.

7. DROP A LURE AS SOON AS YOU ENTER A MAP, ALWAYS.  As OP alluded to, it's good to know where the DW is and how far ahead you are.  It can also build a lead if he has to go to the Lure at an angle from your path.  This is pretty much the only thing I did with glyphs (and dropping Lures when I had to make a corner in the map, so the DW couldn't gain on me from cutting the corner).  I think I had 3 spare cans of paint at the end.

8. BUG ENTERING TRAILERS IN BLEAK INLET.  I entered the Washed Out Trailer in one run and had the Darkwalker 15 minute timer restart, as well as the Fog reset to 0% on all maps.  I abandoned the run because I felt it was cheating to continue.

Great challenge!

Edited by VZR
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