The Great bear - whole map connected together & theories on what comes next

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Posted this under General. It ties deeply into both Wintermute story mode, and Survival sandbox. Would not be fair to put it into either of the sections. Keep in mind some major spoilers for both Sandbox and Story mode are ahead, I will be diving deep into the lore of the game to try and tie together some of the mysteries, and from them, devise what comes next.

I have planned to make an overal map based on the "Choose your region" map you get when starting a new survival game to pick a spawnpoint... be advised, some overal spoilers to the game and to story mode, mostly Episode 3, are below. So keep that in mind if reading further - I cant spoiler it all out. I will also bring some of my theories to the mix.

Map of the Great bear island


White are marked out main zones. 
Purple are marked connector-zones.
Dark blue are the connector-caves.
Green are the asphalt-kind roads.

That is the known part of the game. Now, to the theory-part of the map:
Red is the missing "zone".
Pink is the missing connector-zone/cave/tunnel? (Note that it is very likely that red and pink are both one part of a same "connector zone, as I explain further)
Yellowish green are the "zones" I expect going further.

White areas mark out the locations of the major regions you can visit in the game in Survival sandbox. Purple are the smaller, connector-kind zones to depict the continuity. The overal "Choose your region" map is tilted in a very annoying kind of way, so for the regions you really need to use some imagination to see where they connect. I used both the in-game charcoal maps and the Whiteberry toarda style kind of maps to try to match the roads and zones as closely as possible to rivers and mountains on the maps, and transfer it onto the "Choose your region" map as closely as possible. I did this by hand, so expect some major human mistake in terms of exactness. Also, the tilt makes it impossible to be really precise.

Time to theorize!

From the lore of Episode 1, we know that Astrid escaped the events of Milton prior to Will´s arrival to that town by a "tunnel" that connects the road from Milton towards Perserverance mills. The tunnel was collapsed, but somehow she crawled through the rubble via the crashed bus. That is where you find the message "Perseverance mills" in the Episode 1. So, my theory that is based on the lore of the game is that Astrid used the "red zone" to crawl into another part of the playable game, the Pleasant Valley. By the time she did this, Will would have climbed out of the ravine and reached Milton. Considering Astrid was hurt from a presumed fight with the inmates, Molly finds here in the cutscene in the RED ZONE! Think about it - the cutscene shows a couple of cars on a road in what essentialy is a road in a very tight valley between rocks. I have tried to find this location in the game - you cant! This happens sometimes by the middle of Episode 1! So, time-wise, Episode 2 and Episode 3 are happening at the same time! This makes sense, because at the end of both Episode 2 and 3, events are happening at the same time, given Will´s attempt to contact Astrid through a radio at Jeremiah´s and Astrid, hearing the broadcast during the same aurorae, but not being able to respond. 

Red and pink zone is probably one same connector-kind of zone that is not accessible in the game, for the reasons of lore, once again. It "was" accessible from the Pleasant Valley side, as the bus is not accessible, but "due to the blizzard storm season that is mentioned in Episode 3, the roads on both ends were blown out by the snow and are no longer passable. As such, Will has to take the road via climb to Mystery lake (and runs into Jeremiah, thus triggering the Episode 2) and Molly was able to access the Red & pink zone where she found the body of her abusive husband and that of Astrid. Astrid spends several days recovering from almost dying in the snow, which is when part of the Episode 1 happens. Sometime during the end of Episode 1 the roads in Pleasant valley are blocked by the snow of the frequent blizzards. 

So, what is "red & pink zone? I assume it is a connector which is partly the tunnel that Grey mother mentions and where Will finds the crashed prison bus, so for all we know, it is just a long stretch of a road tightly pressed between to rock walls that has been cut into a natural canyon so inhabitants of Milton could reach Perseverance Mills and Thompson´s crossing. It would be formed by a river that ran through and carved the canyon into the rocks, which would be passing along with the road.It is also very likely we will not see it in the game as it adds more "mystery" to the game and the Story alike. Honestly, it would mostly be just a road with a bunch of cars to loot, some sticks from the trees and a loads of wolves to struggle with, and that river with maybe a few cattails and possibly a small cave or two. Not really all that interesting zone. Although I admit I would love to see it anyway in the future :D, though that is not likely.

Now, what are the yellowish-green zones? I imagine those will be Zones that will be added going further. The first green-yellowish zone will probably be the zone where Episode 4 will take place. There is a chance that Episode 4 will take place in Desolation point, but I dont think so. It is likely that part of it will take place in Coastal highway and desolation point, but some of it is probably gonna take place in that Zone, too - Episode 2 was also across multiple zones. Most likely for Astrid, as Will is taken prisoner by a former convict. Judging from the road the prison bus was taking, I am guessing the Zone where Episode 4 is likely to happen will be where the prison is located. It might be Perseverance mills zone and prison zone together, but I think logic dictates that a prison would be located further from a populated area, and judging by the lore, Perseverance Mills is one of the major populated areas of the island. The Blackrock prison is probably more remote from it.  

It is also possible that Episode 4 will take place in Coastal highway and Desolation point, and that Desolation point connects to a location of Perseverance Mills, which would have the airstrip and would be on coast, while the Blackrock prison would be a zone that the Bus was heading to, which would be cut-off from Perseverance Mills and the bus would simply take a different route towards the prison, with the roads leading to both Blackrock and Perseverance Mills, simply at different exits. In that case, the map would not be correct - the Blackrock prison would be located to the left of Perseverance mills area which would be on coast. 

This all presumes that the bus was on a road TOWARDS prison. It is also possible they loaded the prison bus with the prisoners inside Blackrock prison, and were on the way to Perseverance Mills for the airstrip to load the prisoners onto a prison plane and fly them off the island, presumably as a part of prisoner transfer. 

Either of the suspicions is correct, it seems the Red zone is at the very least real, just not accessible in Sandbox or Story mode. One last piece of the evidence I have for my theory comes from the connector cave between Mystery lake and Mountain town. I believe this cave somehow leads BELOW this red zone. It is not depicted well on the map, but this makes sense for two reasons: First, Mystery lake zone has a steep rock wall where Trapper´s cabin is. I think behind this wall, that road leads. The cave then cuts below this (that is why the river is there once you leave the cave on the side of Mountain town region), and if you take a look to the right of leaving the cave and off the waterfall there, you are looking at vast snow plains - presumably, the Pleasant valley.

So, how does this map actually make sense? 

The map is tilted, and if I remember it correctly, it is widely presumed that Great bear as island is roughly of circular shape, with a giant mountain in the middle, most likely an island of volcanic origin. So, if you took a cone, and grabbed the "choose your region" map and taped it onto the cone, it would be pretty clear with the connection to various regions. It would also come out that Hushed river valley and Timberwolf mountain and even Ash canyon are actually all locations fairly close to each other, all being at the presumed "center" of the island, close to its highest peaks. This also makes sense with the road the prison bus took - through the moutain roads because it would have been faster then going all the way around the island on coastal roads. 

I hope this post helped you guys to understand the map a bit more, maybe realize a few things from the lore and finally showed you how incredibly detailed this game actually is, how everything fits together like a perfect piece of puzzle. This game is a masterpiece of a design.

Enough theories for one day. I hope this read was interesting to some of you, either way, as the map proves, the roads and the railroads in The Long dark actually connect almost perfectly. I must give ten bows to the Hinterland for how seamlessly they connected the zones together so that if someone with a good sense of direction takes a look at the map, they see how well it connects one location to the other.

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Props to the people in topic below: 

The posts there solidified my theory that the bus was actually leaving the prison, and most likely was transfering the prisoners from Blackrock penitentiary towards Perseverance mills, the key populated point of the island. It is most likely there will be a port, and an airstrip that Will was going to use for landing. Thus it makes sense  they could use it to transfer the prisoners off the island. It is also very logical that the prison area was going to be very remote to the populated side of the island. There was also a theory in that topic where the services of the island are - once again, it makes sense for them to be mostly on the populated side of the island. 


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i really hope preservance mills hits next angld has a lot of buildings!  i enjoy the wilderness remote maps but i prefer the base building and looting in the more populated areas

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15 hours ago, Sir Loin1557 said:

Cant forget about blackrock! Def believe PM and Blackrock are the next two add ons, one of which next to Desolation Point.

I hope so! But I dont think it will be added in the next episode of the story anymore. It does not seem to make much sense direction-wise with where the bus was heading. Unless the "port" area of the island was somewhere back from where the bus came, and the prisoners were delivered to the island this way, and were heading for the penitentiary. I think its likely that after the Episode 4 is done, and Hinterland starts working on next survival sandbox update, this will be the region we will get, hopefully. 

There is also a small chance they wont add it just to make us wonder about the mystery, but I know a couple of people suggested in the past that they want to see the prison in a region, so its possible that is coming in eventually. I dont think it will be a part of the next episode of Story mode. 

It is likely that the episode 4 of the story mode will deal with either the zones we already have in the game, or with the new area next to the Desolation point. 

11 hours ago, odium said:

i really hope preservance mills hits next angld has a lot of buildings!  i enjoy the wilderness remote maps but i prefer the base building and looting in the more populated areas

If lore has anything to say about it, I would say this is very likely. Astrid suggests the area she needs to get to is very remote, but that could be said about the island as a whole. The things that Grey mother and Jeremiah, the locals, have to say about it, suggests that it is one of the more rural points of the area. Also, lets keep in mind the pictures from original trailer of the story mode... it is likely we will see a bridge of some sort, filled with a lot of run down cars. It makes sense for that to be Perseverance Mills. When things were going bad, many people would jump into a car and drive towards the most significant area of the island. Perhaps a place with a port, and an airstrip. Which indicates Perseverance Mills, at least for the airstrip part. 

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  • 6 months later...
On 9/11/2021 at 9:42 PM, manolitode said:

With Episode 4 coming up, I think this deserves a bump.

Nice bump! That was a good read and I can't wait to explore Blackrock and test Mroz4k theory

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Wow great topics thank you for sharing🙂Especially about bus and the prisoners and going to PM😀i want to see that AC and HRV are more closer than we think because their mountains and caves are so similar when i first saw AC ı think that 😁

And ı thought red zone is long curve and crushed prison bus zone that they connected beginning of episode 1 and it collapsed ehen Astrid in MT so she crawled under it🤨but maybe you are right and the red zone connects with ML-MT transition cave

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There doesn't appear to be any possibility of a crawl space beyond the crashed bus in Milton, by which Astrid or the inmates could've reached Pleasant Valley, so I propose this series of events:

-The first aurora triggers a small earthquake as the prison bus enters the pass leaving Milton, causing a minor rockslide which causes the bus to crash.

-There is a disagreement among the inmates, and some of them head into Pleasant Valley while others remain in Milton.

-Astrid arrives in town, gets in a fight with the remaining inmates, and then flees into Pleasant Valley through the pass.

-The Milton pass, destabilized by the earthquake, gives way in an avalanche which partially buries the crashed prison bus and completely blocks the pass.

-Will arrives in Milton




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I'm thinking that PM would be on the east side of the map as well. It makes the most sense. However, we might never actually see PM... you never know... 

If we really want to create theories, I would not be surprised if Hinterland stuck Blackrock Mountain somewhere in Ravine. It sounds crazy, but if it were north of Mystery Lake, that's a good distance away from the Carter Hydro Dam, and (SPOILER AHEAD, I don't know how to make spoilers) if the convict(s) take(s) Will to the prison, they would have a long walk though Mystery Lake to get there. If Blackrock is on the east side of the map, that's even farther away. 

That road that you can see from just outside of the Milton to ML transit down the cliff has always confused me... I'm really interested to see if we will be able to access that at some point. 

Edit: Looking at different maps, some show that Carter Hydro Dam is at the top of ML, but the world map shown above shows that the Carter Hydro Dam is on the south eastern end of ML. So they might be able to put Blackrock north of ML

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