The Final Dark - Endless Night Interloper


Recommended Posts

Hello fellow survivors,

inspired by this thread

encouraged by the limitless bravery of @Gracia_WolfSlayer and finally driven by my desire to once again do a TLD Survivor Story Thread .... here it is: The Final Dark.

Meet Ciaran, lost in a cold and strange land, devoid of hope, mercy and most notably: light. The rules are simple: Interloper, Endless Night, random start, no feats, no maps (obviously ...). No additional rules. No hope, most likely. Whatever works, works. Most won't. Maybe nothing.

So .... without further ado ...

Ciaran 1 / Days 1 and .... oh wait. It's a bit silly to speak of days, right? So let's try this again....

Ciaran 1 / Night 1 (?) - A Hard Day's Night

It's dark.

20210613093546_1.thumb.jpg.cdf6e5038a14759e0e1a070c50c185ee.jpg
Nobody is surprised.

Starting on a slope I have no distinct idea where I am, but it "feels" like this would be Pleasant Valley, the starting location somewhere in the north-west. Probably dead wrong, but I work off of this assumption for now. I keep going and it's just endless downhill. It's cold, and I contemplate that even if my initial assumption is right, I have hardly any way to find my way to the farm. It's a foggy night, which isn't the worst, but close to it. Moments later I realize that my situation might actually be much worse.


20210613094403_1.thumb.jpg.f348d5086f7e38f9dc48224d65c75e16.jpg
Welcome to the land of no matches whatsoever.

Mystery Lake of all places. Amazing. Well at least I have a relatively good lay of the land from here on out, but any light source will be a tough bargain. My first idea is Spence's in the Muskeg - but getting there would be a tough proposition. The overlook in Coastal Highway might be worth a shot - but that's also really far away. Still. It might be my best bet.

Stumbling in the dark a bear I never see growls insults at me. I bolt in any direction and find the first definitive clue to where the freeze I am.


20210613095207_1.thumb.jpg.06dda7587e88431a2897df4071091e0a.jpg
Someone put this here to let me know "Ya screw'd boi"

I infer the direction where I think the trailers should be and bolt. Frostbite is knocking, and I continue to lose health at an alarming rate - but I find the trailers. I enter, pat through the greenish dark, find a bed - but nothing else - and warm up. Despite the sub optimal lighting I try my luck in the other two trailers. To no avail. After passing an hour in bed I leave for the dam, but not before checking the small burned down cabin and loot a mighty book about cooking future food.

I reach the tracks without incident, and as fast as my stamina permits. Frostbite announces itself again after I managed to stave it off in the trailer, and I try calculating my chances of getting past the wolf in front of the dam. I'm lucky - there is no wolf. But sadly also no matches in the car. I dodge into the trailer closer to the ravine and warm up yet again. At this point thirst is starting to become a problem, but luckily there is pristine toilet water waiting for me in the dam. Let's hope it's not to dark for that. The trailer itself yields nothing but bad news - literally. Well, at least I already have some tinder, eh?

Yeah, nope. The dam is distinctly too dark to see anything. I'd show you guys a picture - gut it would be pitch black. I leave knowing that in all likeliness I'd freeze to death in there not finding my way back out. My options are devastatingly bad. I warm up for another hour at the trailer, and thirst terribly when I wake up. Outside it's as bright as it'll ever get.

20210613110609_1.thumb.jpg.ea7ea004e2d7ff758c6d83eac8bb9ddf.jpg
Better wear my sunglasses at night, eh?

The other trailer yields a book about gunsmithing - hah - and some beef jerky. Exactly not what I need. I look at my chances. Both options look hopeless, but since I have better chances of warming up in between I decide on Spence's. I might arrive with multiple instances of frostbite, but at least I'll have the camp office to warm up on the way, and I'll probably find at least a torch at Poachers. Well, here goes nuthin.

The open train cart on the way is a bust. At this point I consider trying the overlook. I might find some food with minimal water contents up there, but it would be a pretty severe detour for potentially nothing. On the other hand it could save me a finger or two. I keep that option in mind and push on. Maybe I won't come to worry about that - wolves at the derailment. I crouch. No stones. No time. Just cold.


20210613111955_1.thumb.jpg.6cd0c72a324059ee3d657a540c920891.jpg
Would love to get to know me better: two wolves.

It's a close call - but I get past them. Nothing in the cart. Would the outlook even be warm enough? I seriously doubt it. No, straight for the office, and there take the thirst damage. It's better than freezing. The camp office's windows are bright enough to get my bearings. Knowing where the bed is I find it and warm up an hour. In the dark I find a bedroll, and some cloth I tear apart. After another hour of warming up a blizzard is raging outside. I'm pretty much screwed at this point.

Nothing else to do I try to find something downstairs. Some tomato soup maybe. Instead: Spray paint. A hook. A pot. Charcoal. 50% health. Freeze. Second pass - nothing. I'm starving now as well, but I keep my beef jerky so I maybe have a slight chance at some restorative sleep if I ever make it to poachers. I sleep another hour - and pray. My prayers are answered and the blizzard subsides. No time to lose.

Picking up sticks as I find them I try to make haste towards the 'Keg. No wolf. Driving gloves in a container at the tunnel. And some chocolate. Well, still no hope, but at least I'll keep my fingers. In greenish, snowy night I get to Poachers - actually with all my body parts still attached, but down to like 30%. I find the flare, and immediately start a fire with the Small Arms Handbook I found earlier. I won't need it. I gulp what food I have and drink the first 0.05 liters I get.

20210613115056_1.thumb.jpg.f145ac0d6e79c9d50035257b2abc7299.jpg
Too little, too late? Let's see.

While I try to get some water going the weather turns for the worst. I try to make the best of it and sleep an hour, then two more, and yet another, making water all the while, until I'm fully rested. Again the blizzard subsides just in time, and leaves me with relatively wind-free, but snowy weathers. I contemplate my options. Now that I have light, I could traverse the cave from Trapper's to Milton. But I'd have to sneak through Milton without fire - and if my torch died before I got to the cave I'd be irredeemable toast. On the other hand Spence's is far off, and I'd have to really work just to stay a day there. But it still probably is the less risky approach. Huh. Jeopardy music plays. Alright, Spence's. I head south, looking for the High Blind.

Freezing in no time I risk what little I have left, skip the High Blind, and blaze across the weak ice - just fast enough not to break through. At the stone arch I make fire with the wood I find and the accelerant beside it. Below 20%. I munch some cattails, and sleep for two hours, hoping relatively blindly that the weather doesn't kill me. When I wake up it's relatively windy but the fire is still alive.

20210613121950_1.thumb.jpg.38e45059562f85e83c53ff4993805bad.jpg
Hanging on by a thread.

Not wanting to push my luck further I pull torches and try to make the final push. In the small broken down hut I find the coal I was looking for, a storm lantern and some mittens. I make it to Spence's freezing but technically alive. Still, I hear the heartbeat signaling that I'm below 10%, and that death is knocking at my door. Although, miraculously, I didn't fall prey to frostbite so far.

I find some high quality stuff that will help me if I somehow get out of this alive. The matches of course, a Ski Jacket, a base cap solving frostbite once and for all, a pry bar, A Sewing Primer, and two cans of decent enough dog food in the crates they usually are to be found. Keeping the fire burning at home I venture out trying to find some cattails - but all I find is a wolf, but I get away just fine. Man, if I only had a hammer - I at least could make a knife. I have everything else I need for it. I gulp down a can of dog food - 11% lost - and sleep what will be somewhat less than 6 hours.

I wonder if time advances at all. When I wake up the log still says "Day 1".  Hm. I don't think so.

Edited by jeffpeng
  • Upvote 4
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ciaran 1 / Nights 2 and 3 - The Dark Bottom of the Barrel

I take a few minutes to look at my options. Things indeed are looking rather grim, but there is hope. I could probably somehow muster enough firewood to keep the fire going for a "day" or so if I really wanted to. But I need food to make this make any sense. My reserves are like 1000 calories, which is enough for a decent night of sleep, but not enough to keep me from starving. The other option would be to set out towards .... yeah... towards what exactly? .... with 20%ish condition. Despite improving my gear significantly I doubt I would reach either Trapper's nor Paradise Meadows alive. Although ... at least there is the stim at Marsh Ridge.

I decide to really keep the fire going for as long as possible and to try to get in a good nights sleep. Serving this purpose I grab a torch and set out towards the little shed east of Spence's. Some firewood, a few rose hips. I circle back, and make another foray into the other direction. A good few Reishis. Not much to go on, but what can I say. I take the time to crack the safe which I didn't until now. Maple Sirup and Beans! Yes. Now the biggest concern is firewood. Considering my new found riches I gulp down my dog food - 21% lost, within expectations.

20210613235135_1.thumb.jpg.74c211900b24a0655f226bbb5565ad78.jpg
My nexus of life - an old abandoned forge.


More to test the waters I make a quick sprint towards the shed with the barrel. 50% warmth. That's devastating. I will need tea, and a lot of it. I eat my beans - 26% lost 😞 , cook some tea, prepare some more and recycle torches. The thought enters my mind that I need to leave a bit of a safety reserve for the case that I can't leave when I plan to due to weather, but then again: if push comes to shove I still have a few crates to break. Another excursion yields more sticks, but then the weather turns relatively hostile. I decide to break the crate that contains the accellerant, which I will probably need later, down my sirup in one "swift" go, and put up the appropriate amount of firewood to sleep the 9-ish hours I can.

When I wake up it's starry, but windy.

20210614001855_1.thumb.jpg.2f5e91f88157082eb05baaa3832845c9.jpg
What a bright sunny morning!

55%ish condition will have to do. But where am I actually going? I mean I could go to Bleak Inlet. You don't think so? Yeah, me neither. Broken Railroad would be enticing for one or two reasons, but it's also the probably most wolf infested spot on the island. And I'd back myself literally into a corner. I could double back to Mystery Lake, and try to make my way to Timberwolf Mountain. That's a viable goal, but also pretty far away in my current state. So I guess Milton it is, hoping for some better gear and the chance to repair the existing clothes I have. But how to get there? Via Trapper's? Yeah I could do that. Trapper's itself is not the worst location to visit - plus matches in the cave below Milton. Or I go via Marsh Ridge - pick up the stim, collect some cattails. But making the climb to Paradise Meadows will be one tough moose freezer of a climb. Choices, choices!

Actually spending 10 real life minutes on this problem I eventually decide to take the route via Marsh Ridge. If I make haste I should make it to the cave leading up there fast enough and pick up enough cat tails on the way to have another decent rest. Or so my reasoning. I look up my stats. 2 days survived it says. So I guess I'm on Night 3. I warm up my tea while I pull torches and go.

The weather calms shortly after I leave, but fog is rolling in as well. I'd have taken visibility over warmth. I consider making a stop at the shed, but seeing the bear far away, so far that it will not interfere with my travel, I gulp a cup of rose hip tea and press on north. I keep my bearings and reach the tracks without incident. Shortly I consider seeing if the Abandoned Camp near Broken Railroad is there, but quickly discard the idea. On to Hat Creek! Then, suddenly, I turn one time too many, and in deep, thick fog I'm stranded. I find a tree and camp.

20210614005816_1.thumb.jpg.a9924a98a3a541662555dcc49c9be232.jpg
Lost in the middle of somewhere. But where?

I get some tea going and brave two hours of sleep. After that the fog lifts enough so I can see something. I'm not as much off course as I had feared. I also decide to stay fed for the time being. I should have enough cattails ahead of me to afford this luxury. Maybe I'll even get to well fed, which would be rather helpful. Seeing a wolf in my path I skip the radio mast which I had thought about visiting. But I reach the cave itself without further disaster.

Since I left the cave right after I entered it, and then got back inside for a second time, I find the deer carcass in the big hall near the other end. Yeah, I know it's a bit of scumming, but I said: what ever works, works. Although ... I won't mince-meat my cooking skill. That's just outright exploiting in my opinion. The deer has 1.9 kilograms of meat. I'm almost excited. But without a hacksaw it takes it's time. I take the hide as well, which speaks to my confidence in making this work after all.

20210614012524_1.thumb.jpg.99ada94889c766b7063e77e2eb183522.jpg
The night is not so dark, and full of rabbits.

In the small cavelet I find the stim and some peaches. I skip hunting for rabbits here since I am relatively well fed, and I want to use the good visibility to avoid running into any wolves in the basin. And I did good with that. Coming into the basin I hold right, and actually meet the two there, so I decide to pivot and approach the cave via the old Hermit's Cabin where I decide to make camp again. I'm pleased to find another pot there, and I end up catching three rabbits, and a lot of tea and cat tails. Eventually I decide to sleep here and maybe even skip the basin cave altogether.

I put up 9 hours of fire wood and go to sleep. Funny enough: I still haven't used a single match.

  • Upvote 4
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ciaran 1 / Night 4 - So that's what buildings look like on the inside

Loading back into the game I finally have some hard data.

995909455_Screenshot2021-06-14at03_17_47.thumb.png.04144e37a07ea555d1a43cddab49fc8d.png

So, we're officially on day 4. Not too shabby.

When I wake up it's windy, presumably too windy to keep a torch lit. I test the waters, and what I expected is confirmed. I decide to wait, which could very well turn against me. I cook a bit of tea, and then sleep another hour - and yet a few more minutes. Finally the weather budges - and I get moving. But considering my depleted firewood and limited calorie reserves I decide to visit the basin cave after all. That's when I see the most notorious of basin dwellers is actually present.


20210614033253_1.thumb.jpg.4fd16a5802e2e1dbc345dc8936af237d.jpg
Is decidedly not pleased with the unannounced removal of the sun: a moose.

At the basin cave I find some cedar and a bit of coal, but actually lose health starting a fire and failing 5 times in a row. Afreezingmazing. I consider hunting the rabbits nearby, but without a hacksaw or better tool hunting, harvesting, cooking and finally eating rabbits hardly nets significant calories. This is something I will need to remedy soon if I want to continue my expensive diet. I sleep an hour warming up - and I will most likely need all the rest I can get to make the ascend in one go.

The wind returns and kills my torch upon leaving the cave. I would have liked to have it at least until I reach the rope. The truck yields nothing. The weather is cold and windy, and despite two hot teas I'm almost freezing completing the first rope. I shortly consider making camp in the cave, but deem my matches more valuable than that. I press on, maybe despite better judgement.

The weather calms down upon reaching the top. Freezing and knowing that I will want to have a torch at the farm I make camp and catch two rabbits to spend the time somewhat useful and stock up on calories at least a little bit. My efforts grant me Cooking II. The farm seems abandoned - no wolves. I find the key in the tractor and another pry bar in the toolbox in the shed. Behind the farm some firewood and a, most likely useless, whetstone.

The Farm itself bears some humble riches: a ragged down best, a flare, a sweatshirt that is less defective than the one I have, another storm lantern, two boxes of crackers, tomato soup and some maple syrup.

20210614044837_1.thumb.jpg.8f76887d9d41c6863e126cd8cb7cc4d8.jpg
So that's what buildings look like on the inside!

Despite not having gotten out too much out of the match I decide that I need to rest. Keeping the fire alive indoors wouldn't be feasible. And I actually having 10 hours of quality sleep in an actual bed should restore me to nearly if not full health.

Not totally terrible considering I was almost done for not too long ago. Yeah, this really might turn out to be good.

  • Upvote 3
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Ciaran 1 / Nights 5 and 6 - The hoops I'm jumping through...

I wake up well fed. Literally.

The house is lit just well enough to navigate. After picking up the water I had left cooking on the stove I leave in darkness. The weather outside supports safe travels.

20210614074207_1.thumb.jpg.2c63bd718b6e7f52f2d927d051a3ca46.jpg
Don't forget to wear sunscreen.

My destination for now is the church as a way point, but the ultimate goal is the hacksaw in the trailer. If I want to remain fed I will need better means of harvesting game. Plus I will want to have a bow eventually, right? I reach the church without much freezing, but since I really made haste getting there I can already sleep 3 hours again.

When I wake up I don't have to look outside to know the weather won't permit travel right now. So I pull out my lantern and search the church. Some dog food and a few books, of which I pick up two as my fire starting skills are still abysmal. Sadly reading in the dark is not a thing, so I don't have much other useful to do other than prepare some tea and recycle torches. After that and another hour of sleep the world is calm again. I set out. Freezing, but without much else worth reporting I arrive and find my new best friend in good condition.

20210614075954_1.thumb.jpg.9880d549e3706482681a603db533f0f9.jpg
Food cut with this saw is 100% safe. Promise.

Alongside it I find some mostly useless spray paint and a can of soda. Two hours of sleep to warm back up. I double back to the church where I again rest, mostly to warm up. The devastating state of my clothing needs remedy - and soon. Even my underwear - at 11% - is made primarily out of holes and excuses.

Since I don't want to chance running around in Milton without a torch I light a fire and get some tea bubbling. Too many bad memories of brave people dying in the urban warfare zone that is Downtown Milton. Also not instantly freezing my butt off for a change will be great. I leave warm and as ready as I'll get.

Outside a wolf spots me, but I dodge into a car and shake him lose that way. After collecting a rich assortment of cat tails below the bridge I make it to Grey Mothers unseen. Inside new matches greet me. I also find 3 more pots - not that I really plan on carrying them around with me - a book about cooking, a can of every type of canned food there is in the universe, some chocolate, ragged jeans and a new shirt - but most importantly: a sewing kit. And this funny contraption I cannot dream up a purpose for:

20210614084707_1.thumb.jpg.febc31646f3d5ac0881d3c12056bc2b0.jpg
Whatever could it be? Handcuffs for people with only one arm? A can holder? A giant hand grenade pin? So many mysteries...

I stash some of my stuff in the fridge and get out while I still have enough torches to search a few buildings. First is the bank which yields on the more notable side another pry bar, and gun powder and a 42% mackinaw in the safe - yay. Ah, and a single cup of coffee, which, as we all know, can make the difference between life and death.

I search the entire town as fast an efficient as I can with a short break to restock on torches. Without wanting to comment every single thing I find in houses and cars, there are a few notable things: A pack of random matches, a lot of cloth lying around, yet another pry bar (this is getting out of hand), and a definite surplus of food. However: no can opener. No additional sewing kits. No real improvements to my clothing.

When I return to Grey Mother's I am faced with a pretty severe problem: I need light to mend things, and light costs firewood or torches. Things I can mend in 45 minutes or less I can indeed mend with a torch as long as it is of sufficient quality. Everything else I would need to craft a torch for - or have a real fire burning. Huh. I head to the small shed next to Grey Mother's and make a campfire. At least some outdoor bonus to mitigate this economic catastrophe. I fix up the Mackinaw to boutique level, dump the two fire logs I found and a ton of books, and pull 35 torches. Yes, I did that.

Inside it's this: Pick torch above 35%, light it, mend something, repeat. When I'm done I got myself to relatively respectable 11/3 °C, and I also got myself pretty annoyed. But the 11 °C should be enough to read in a cave. At least here in Milton, and at least for a few days.

20210614104458_1.thumb.jpg.6407c5fec28636d2f1576df4bc0bf6d0.jpg
The hoops I'm jumping through... to make this work.

I finish the "day" with some sketchy sardines and past-due-chocolate. I even don't get food poisoning. Hooray.

Edited by jeffpeng
  • Upvote 4
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Following this. I'm not sure whether I would enjoy a run in endless night. When playing TLD the coming dawn, the sunlight often raise my spirits - not only in the game, but in general, if one can say so. I would probably rather crank up the difficulty in some other aspect, but keep the daylight. But it seems interesting for sure.

  • Upvote 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Hotzn said:

Following this. I'm not sure whether I would enjoy a run in endless night. When playing TLD the coming dawn, the sunlight often raise my spirits - not only in the game, but in general, if one can say so. I would probably rather crank up the difficulty in some other aspect, but keep the daylight. But it seems interesting for sure.

I absolutely get what you mean. Having no dawn saving you from being lost in the woods, having no dusk telling you it's time to turn in after an eventful day, having none of these rare days with all blue skies making even the most miserable situation that much better.... that's surprisingly depressing. Like, seriously. Plus, and that surprises me the most: you actually lose your sense of in-game-time completely. If I didn't have a counter to tell me how many days I had survived I wouldn't know.

I actually wasn't even sure this would be feasible beyond a few days - but it seems "doable" so far. I don't really do it because it is hard (while, yeah, it is) but more because it seemed like it would play completely different - and it does. It's a bit like limiting yourself to a region, or impose some other arbitrary rule on the game like only eating vegetarian food or not entering any buildings. But despite it just being simply dark all the time .... it's a much more fundamentally different game than I expected it to be.

Edit: I guess what's different from 4DON and Escape The Dogwalker .... you have no real objective. You have no sense of "this is over when I do x, y and z." No, this.... this is your life now.

Edit 2: And right. Starting in perpetual night with no matches is probably the most bat shoot brutal stuff you can do.

Edited by jeffpeng
Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, it’s very different from the base game, strategically and psychologically. It took me a few in-game weeks before I stopped looking at the sundial or thinking “Maybe I should come back and finish this in the morning when there’s more light”. Nope!

l’m very curious to see Jeff’s plan for transitioning to a self-sustaining existence. Very impressive so far!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a neat new challenge. It seems to rely heavily on finding a source of light and fire within the first day when you won't have the light to assist you in finding it. I'm tempted to try this myself. Although, I generally dislike playing in dark surroundings as it's bothersome with the low visibility.

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Dr. S. said:

l’m very curious to see Jeff’s plan for transitioning to a self-sustaining existence. Very impressive so far!

Well it's the same as always, in the end: make bow, shoot things, eat them, craft stuff. But it's harder this time. 🤣

6 hours ago, tulkawen said:

This is a neat new challenge. It seems to rely heavily on finding a source of light and fire within the first day when you won't have the light to assist you in finding it. I'm tempted to try this myself. Although, I generally dislike playing in dark surroundings as it's bothersome with the low visibility.

Well, my initial rationale was in fact, that it should be rather possible to do this on "most" maps.

CH: Guaranteed Matches in the Outlook. For most starts this is pretty far away, but doable.
DP: Would require some patting in the dark, but there are easy enough matches at Hybernia. Although after my pitch black experience in the dam - not so sure anymore.
PV: Easy, even without light. Farm basement, on the shelf left to the exit.
TWM: Piece of cake. In the hut.
HRV: Also easy. Cave in the middle part of the river.
BI: Simple as well - knocked over container on the bridge.
MT: Well, yeah, Grey Mother's. Might be a bit of a hassle, but doable.
BR: Honestly no idea. I "think" there are matches in the Maintenance Yard, but finding them in the darm would be very, very hard.
AC: The only matches I know of are locked behind a cave you could never traverse successfully. Best to just get to TWM.
FM: Spence's. From the possible FM spawn ezpz.
ML: Yeah, no matches, period. But hey - nobody spawns in ML on Interloper, right?

So I guessed in most cases you can get to some matches relatively quick and easy provided your can work with limited light and don't run into a blizzard or a bear head first. That I ended up in Mystery Lake and couldn't even loot the dam for water .... was pretty much worst case. But it worked, even if it was a close call. Now I think the right call would have been to beeline to FM right from the get go, with the stop at the office for the 50/50 Bedroll. In my particular game it would have even been best to get to Trapper's, get the storm lantern, and then get to Milton through the cave. But I didn't know I was on the loot table for that at that time, and I wasn't willing to bet my game on a 1 in 4 chance.
 

  • Upvote 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know whether you skipped them deliberately in your list above, but there are other means of obtaining light (and - see below - to search dark places) than mere matches.

Most notable, since they can also light fires (for torches and further matches): flares (also the new blue marine flares or whatever they are called). Then the storm lantern (which you indeed mentioned for ML).

More exotic: The flashlight. Not sure where to find those currently, as I have not been playing much for a long time. But I presume you will know.

Something I never checked: Can you light a fire with a flare gun? Like... firing onto the ground and then make a fire out of the burning flare? Or stick a torch to the burning flare to light it? Or can you fire a flare onto an item and then move that item about, bringing light into dark places? By 'almost placing' and then actually placing it, for example? I have the impression that the flare gun has not yet been explored to its full potential. If something is to be gotten there, then the flare gun in the ravine next to ML might provide means to explore the dam. Hm... if you can lay your hands on a rope, that is...

Aaaand - in olden times you could explore dark places (also cross mines if need be) by pretending to place an object, for example your bedroll (because of its size) or a campfire (because of its free availability). Not sure whether that still works though, and currently I can't remember whether this kind of placing around the bedroll in the dark will make other items (located 'beneath' it) visible. TLD scientists forward, please. Just remember to push the correct button at the end of the process (or when interrupting to pick something up) in order to not teleport your bedroll back to the other end of the world.

So much for now. Keep it going.

Edited by Hotzn
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Hotzn said:

I don't know whether you skipped them deliberately in your list above, but there are other means of obtaining light (and - see below - to search dark places) than mere matches.

Well I don't claim to know all fixed spawns of ignition in the game on Interloper 😉 I certainly don't.

1 minute ago, Hotzn said:

More exotic: The flashlight.

Isn't a thing on Interloper.

2 minutes ago, Hotzn said:

Then the storm lantern (which you indeed mentioned for ML).

Storm lanterns are rare loot, so they do spawn on Interloper, but they are fixed to the loot table. Unless you know your loot table you don't know where the lanterns are. And without light it's hard to know your loot table since a lot of "loot table loot" is at indoor location.

4 minutes ago, Hotzn said:

Something I never checked: Can you light a fire with a flare gun?

No.

4 minutes ago, Hotzn said:

Aaaand - in olden times you could explore dark places (also cross mines if need be) by pretending to place an object, for example your bedroll (because of its size) or a campfire (because of its free availability). Not sure whether that still works though, and currently I can't remember whether this kind of placing around the bedroll in the dark will make other items (located 'beneath' it) visible. TLD scientists forward, please. Just remember to push the correct button at the end of the process in order to not teleport your bedroll back to the other end of the world.

This still works, at least to some extend, and it's a form of last resort I have used when in absolute dire straits in the past. But it is very tedious, and I still managed to get lost in a cave applying this technique more than once. Plus I consider it a bit beyond the red line that separates "advanced techniques" from "exploits", so my "gamer ethics" get a hiccup every time I even consider it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, jeffpeng said:

This still works, at least to some extend, and it's a form of last resort I have used when in absolute dire straits in the past. But it is very tedious, and I still managed to get lost in a cave applying this technique more than once. Plus I consider it a bit beyond the red line that separates "advanced techniques" from "exploits", so my "gamer ethics" get a hiccup every time I even consider it.

Haha - I like that. Maybe you can soothe your ethics by firing the flare gun onto the tip of a used (hand) flare! A bit tedious for sure and requires the (hand) flare in the first place, but maybe doable...

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ciaran 1 / Deliberations I.

Since my alter ego is resting comfy in Grey Mother's warm bed I have time to consider a few things. I used to do these "strategizing" write ups back when doing the Sasquatch series, and I think some people actually enjoyed that. Plus, as with everything I write in English, for me it's always great practice. Please feel free to skip if you are not really the cerebral type and prefer raw Micheal Bay Style action. Exploding moose and shoot, you know.

So, first: What can I really do to improve my attire?

20210615122105_1.thumb.jpg.4d4fb4b3601966e6e034bcb03b378488.jpg

Despite the most obvious flaw every interloping citizen of Great Bear has - which, of course, is the lack of additional underwear - a few things stand out which I could improve and know how and where to get them, and the places to get them are The Hushed River Valley and Timberwolf Mountain.

HRV would offer me ear wraps and combat pants, both of which are best in slot (unless you want to go double Dearskin Pants, which is not only costly but also heavy). I could also technically get a second Mackinaw there, but the improvement would probably not justify the effort, and it would only be feasible for the southern signal fire anyways.  Although: I still don't have a hammer, and I would get one there. So ... maybe. But let's say we can't get the Mackinaw, so we're looking at up to 2/1 °C improvement. That's decent. 2.5/1 with the Mackinaw.

TWM would also offer me some ear wraps, a wool toque, a thin wool sweater, wool mittens and Work Boots. If we combine all of that we end up with an improvement of 4/2 °C. So TWM wins, right? Well, technically, yes. But considering I am already in Milton making the trip to TWM first and then back to HRV would be pretty costly time-wise. And the gap of potential improvement isn't big enough to justify that. Basically it's I can get 2/1 °C in like 3 days - or 4/2 in... 10? And if we consider a round-trip from here to TWM and back to HRV that's probably more like 5/3 for 20ish days. Plus I can get a lot of cat tails in HRV now. The only real draw back is that I have no realistic chance at a can opener until I get to PV, which would be on the way to TWM.

Another option would be to get my forging done early, but without cured saplings that wouldn't yield any immediate advantage except having a knife - which is great, but not enough of an advantage to justify doubling back to Carter's (where I'd find a hammer) and then back to Spence's. That's a 4 day trip at least and that's not even solving the problem that I have used all the coal at Spence's, and don't have enough scrap metal on hand for a sufficient amount of arrow heads. So that's a no-no.

So I guess this settles it: HRV it is. In, get the matches in the river, get to the waterfalls cave, pick up the ear wraps and the combat pants. If the signal fire is south, exit the cave system near the northern signal fire, transition down the creek to the other cave system, and get the hammer and the second mackinaw, goat down and exit via the mountain pass. If not exit the the cave system in the north-west, cling to the western mountainside, and leave HRV via stair steps lake.

Easy as pie, eh?

  • Upvote 1
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, jeffpeng said:

CH: Guaranteed Matches in the Outlook. For most starts this is pretty far away, but doable.
DP: Would require some patting in the dark, but there are easy enough matches at Hybernia. Although after my pitch black experience in the dam - not so sure anymore.
PV: Easy, even without light. Farm basement, on the shelf left to the exit.
TWM: Piece of cake. In the hut.
HRV: Also easy. Cave in the middle part of the river.
BI: Simple as well - knocked over container on the bridge.
MT: Well, yeah, Grey Mother's. Might be a bit of a hassle, but doable.
BR: Honestly no idea. I "think" there are matches in the Maintenance Yard, but finding them in the darm would be very, very hard.
AC: The only matches I know of are locked behind a cave you could never traverse successfully. Best to just get to TWM.
FM: Spence's. From the possible FM spawn ezpz.
ML: Yeah, no matches, period. But hey - nobody spawns in ML on Interloper, right?

Anything that requires searching in the dark is an automatic no for me like Grey Mother's, could never do this without at least some greyish visibility.

Most BR spawns are at the Muskeg exit. I would turn around and Spencer it, actually might Spencer even from the other end of the BR map. I don't recall, but there MIGHT be matches in the blue truck by the wagon, but I'm highly unsure.

ML You spawn on Loper on the hill, if you go straight you'll run past the logging area to the blue trailers or to small hut that's near frozen pond if you go right.

Muskeg is probably the easiest. It also has a flare in the red wagon.

Bedroll sounds like tactic, but you don't spawn with a bedroll on loper and usually bedroll tends to be found after the matches. At least I never tried this tactic.

  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ciaran 1 / Nights 7, 8 and 9 - That's one hell of a corner to be backed into

I get up, and with my new found "plan", which, in all honestly, reads more like an elaborate excuse to kill myself, begin preparing and sorting out. I tear down a few curtains to restock on cloth, recycle my torches, and stash what I don't need for my travels. As the weather outside is audibly hostile I sleep a few more hours to be as rested as possible. Two hours later it's go time.

20210615131004_1.thumb.jpg.55bc2c520657d202e68629ebfbc7daad.jpg
Normal people stay at home when they see this.

I get to the church freezing, but just a little, and evade a wolf by dodging inside. It's the reality of this challenge that just making the trip from Grey Mother's to here means I need to warm up and rest. An hour later a blizzard is raging outside, and when I'm fully rested another hour later things have not improved. I spend time doing chores, and rest some more, but still the weather won't budge. I'm stuck, and with nothing useful to do my last resort is to waste time by passing it - which is something I seriously loathe. In the end I throw away three hours passing time and sleeping.

I make it to the trailer, and there, again, sleep an hour to warm up. It's a tedious life, that's for sure. After scoring two easy rabbits I get to the transition cave. Being in a warm place I "disassemble" both of them fully in the dark, leave guts and pelts at the entrance. It costs me a lot of time and, frankly, calories I hardly have, but I need to start working towards better gear at some point. I use my storm lantern to traverse the cave, catch up on coal, and rest at other end.

 

20210615150001_1.thumb.jpg.1163bb24a597fd40c40fccb5a9da56bb.jpg
I love the smell of bad idea in the morning.

I hold on to my rabbit meat just a while longer and venture towards Stair Steps Lake in darkness. Two more rabbits fall prey to my immaculate rock throwing skills (still 100% in this run) before I make camp at the three trees that sometimes hold an abandoned campsite.

20210615150710_1.thumb.jpg.eb4c435a6cc7510f7ec38af5bb12cfc3.jpg
Living the life.

I find my first maple sapling while I cook and harvest the rabbits. Stocking up on water a bit I skin one of them, but leave the rest behind with little hope of retrieving them later. I make it down to the lake, but the weather turns sours with negative visibility and harsh winds that prohibit travel. I make camp again at a place I hope to be somewhat safe. Before finishing the campfire the blizzard arrives. I'm good for the time being, but my position is compromised.

20210615152155_1.thumb.jpg.0c7a166863b986ad8fa432ebc0efe487.jpg
That's one hell of a corner to be backed into.

I have a relatively good idea about where I am, but I'm skeptical I would make it to the cave in a blizzard and absolute darkness. If push comes to shove I might have to, but I will try stand my ground and weather the storm here if at all possible. I cook tea and stockpile water, lacking anything else to do. I'm peached that I cannot keep a cup of tea warm near a fire anymore. In case I have to leave it would be great to have a warm cup ready. To go, so to speak.

The wind turns, smothers the fire, but quickly shifts so that I'm safe again. In such situations I keep the fire burning with only a few minutes at a time anyways, at least when firewood is a concern. I mean it isn't right now - 7 coal, 4 cedar and 63 sticks will last me quite a long while. But keeping me afloat in terms of fuel throughout my journey is something I have to keep an eye on, especially if the weather keeps being this.... forthcoming. In this case it takes about three hours, maybe four, until the world is sane again. Time is very relative when it doesn't really advance. In any case: I'm free. I warm up some tea and leave.

I find my first way point: The cave near Stair Steps Lake. A light shell, which will offer little utility, and some very welcome coal greet me. I make my camp and sleep 6 hours. When I wake up the Aurora is out and about.

20210615164044_1.thumb.jpg.69cf4d3ebd192ab6428ff5e5af233855.jpg
Now this is as bright as it's gonna be.

I'm unsure if continuing is a good idea, but the wind settles that question. Aurora and no torch? No way. So more waiting. I realize my food reserves will become a problem. I look for bunnies outside. No dice, but crows alert me to a nearby deer carcass. I chance it - and get 1.5 kilograms which I sprint back to my cave. When I'm done cooking the wind has subsided and I leave. That's when I see that the southern signal fire indeed is active.

20210615164944_1.thumb.jpg.9943d8aa64bf511fff5463c3da096ea6.jpg
Can't say no to this.

I find the first tree down to the river, skip it, find the second, and descent. Sadly no deer here. I find the cave with the matches, but upon entering something barks at me. I get inside, light a fire, but nobody shows up. Just growling and barking. Stuck wolf? Great. Then ... the aurora stops, the growling stops, and I'm like well okay - whatever. I find a nearly ruined cotton toque and a metric ton of coal as always. I sleep an hour and when I wake up it's blizzard time again. Sheesh. Well at least this time I'm in a cave. But I really regret having left the books at home. Silly me.

I make tea, cook water, fix my shirt mostly to practice the one skill that is hopeless to max out and sleep some more, make some more water, sleep another short while, and finally I can leave. I double back to the tree I got down here on, get back up, and travel to the other tree, effectively circumventing the river wolf - or so the plan.

Worse comes to worst, and the wolf spots me coming down, with my torch getting blown out at the same time. A dramatic pursuit ensues and I jump into the water cave fully clothed - but otherwise unscathed. Phew! That was far too close for comfort.

Inside I harvest the deer - and realize I left my maple sapling and rabbit pelt in the last cave. Darn! More attention, please! Anyways. I ... harvest the deer for measly 500 grams of meat, but also take the skin. The ear warps are at 56% - and the pants at 84%. Good. The whetstone might maybe at some point sharpen a knife, but I am happier about the crackers. I also find some sardines and an already cured rabbit pelt. Worryingly my lantern fuel is wearing thin, so I am mostly blinking myself through the dark. At the exit which would lead to the northern signal fire I leave, but only to collect cat tails - for now. But the wolf spots me shortly after - no wonder, I still have half a deer in my backpack. And being still halfway soaked it's way too cold anyways.

Having a ludicrous amount of coal - 22 - I fire up a torch and make a campfire in the cave. With the fire burning inside I take a quick peek for the wolf carcass - and it's there, indeed. I steal the 0,9 kg of meat, and dodge back inside. I cook it, sleep an hour while doing so, say a short prayer regarding the 1% chance for parasites, eat it, and rest up - 5 hours by the fire.

"Tomorrow" will be an eventful "day", but I'm relatively happy with how things have turned out so far.

  • Upvote 5
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, tulkawen said:

Most BR spawns are at the Muskeg exit. I would turn around and Spencer it, actually might Spencer even from the other end of the BR map. I don't recall, but there MIGHT be matches in the blue truck by the wagon, but I'm highly unsure.

You're right. Actually I think the ONLY Interloper spawn in BR is at the exit. So yes. BR - Spence. And there are no guaranteed matches in the truck. But sometimes a fire striker. But getting alive up there at night without a torch - impossibru.

2 hours ago, tulkawen said:

ML You spawn on Loper on the hill, if you go straight you'll run past the logging area to the blue trailers or to small hut that's near frozen pond if you go right.

Right, but neither location will yield matches. In fact there really are no matches in ML.

2 hours ago, tulkawen said:

Bedroll sounds like tactic, but you don't spawn with a bedroll on loper and usually bedroll tends to be found after the matches. At least I never tried this tactic.

I was indeed lucky to have found a bedroll. Finding it at the camp office is a 50/50. If I hadn't ... I would have had a relatively hard time continuing after Spence's. Going via Marsh Ridge wouldn't have been an option, so I would have had to double back to Trapper's, and get to Milton that way. There I would have then had a remaining 50/50 to get the bedroll at the Park Office, and if that fell through... I would have had to get the one from HRV. But that would have been a mostly feasible "sleep chain".

Edited by jeffpeng
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, jeffpeng said:

Right, but neither location will yield matches. In fact there really are no matches in ML.

I once found the matches in one of the fishing huts where the camp office is. But, ML ironically seems like the biggest death hole start in tricky scenarios.

Nice to see the spiral of life in action. 😋

Newbie me:  spawn on voyager in ML -> get dead within 24h

Veteran me: spawn on Loper in ML -> get dead within 24h

😄

Edited by tulkawen
Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, tulkawen said:

I once found the matches in one of the fishing huts where the camp office is. But, ML ironically seems like the biggest death hole start in tricky scenarios.

In a drawer? Or outside?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Ciaran 1 / Nights 10 and 11 - The most oversized candy bar in human history

I wake up fully rested, pick up my clothes, and leave.

Picking up cat tails outside I consider making a detour to Monolith Lake and the surrounding areas in search of saplings. I will need some sooner rather than later, and HRV is a place as good as any to do that. It sounds braver than I have any right to be, but well, isn't that kinda the premise of this run? So let's do this. Onto Monolith Lake. But first: the wolf.

I almost manage to sneak by - but at the last moment it spots me. I keep walking, cross the tree bridge, and the wolf gives up its pursuit. At the lake I notice a dark figure standing on the ice. Caution is advised - the majordomo is home. I get inside the cave, and make camp. Some cured guts and a cured wolf pelt alongside another whetstone greet me. The poor fallen survivor's body yields a book about disassembling innocent animals and some Jeef Berky. With the fire burning I warm up and get to work on the wolf carcass.

20210616090741_1.thumb.jpg.c64500fca8f74b8eb27117056a039754.jpg
I sure don't wanna end up like this fella.

Taking the guts would probably be a hopeless endeavor, but getting the pelt might turn out helpful in the far future. 0.6kg of meat are worth cooking, but not eating until my previously acquired 1% of risks of intestines has passed. If it passes, that is. While cooking I make a quick search of the west side of the lake, giving the moose the wide birth it deserves, but come up with only three cattails. The weather is hostile, and I decide to rest an hour, and I'm lucky I did as I wake up to the sound of blizzard, but two hours later I'm good to go.

I leave to the east, waving the moose goodbye, and catch two rabbits on the way with my immaculate rock throwing skills that once have awarded me the name Bunnybane. Sadly it is so windy that my torch dies a heroes death. RIP match. No sapling at Peak Cave either, but I notice caves are warm enough for me to sleep in them without fire, so I warm up and rest for two hours.

With the wind having died down I light a match again, and set out for Pensive Vista. I could try goating down there, but considering how dark it is and that this one is one of the harder descends in the game I choose to do it how normal people do it: walking. I warm up on the way, and finally get Fire Starting II. Then ..... oh boy. It is real.


20210616094549_1.thumb.jpg.671e989ba01a3cc957e12c999fdb68c6.jpg
The most oversized candy bar in human history: a moose carcass.

That's the last thing I expected to find on Interloper.

20210616094739_1.thumb.jpg.58084ea77e35ff4d99a4790980bef405.jpg
That's a FULL moose with all the good such a thing comes with.

Now can I even make use of this? At least the hide I cannot and will not afford to leave behind. I make a camp fire next to it. First things first: no need to be hungry standing next to an all you can eat buffet. While I cook my first fill I stash the pelts and some other stuff in the nearby cave. Sadly wind becomes part of the equation faster than I had wished it to, so my fire dies while I take the hide. Well, I had almost expected that. RIP another match. I pick up my stuff, and get a fire started in the cave.

I decide to combine a few things: I take 2 kilograms of moose in 1kg pieces. Usually I take 500 grams. Those 2 kilograms I put on the fire. As they take about 80 minutes I read a page in the book I found to warm up, and then go get the next 2 kilograms. While I do that I am informed that I do not have intestinal parasites. Yay. I repeat this multiple times, which also awards me Carcass Harvesting II and Cooking III. In the end I take 25 kilograms of meat and get 7 pages done in my book. A bit much? Maybe. But I already have an idea how to put this to use. The guts, sadly, I see no way of being able to salvage without getting stuck for the better part of a week.

Only when I move top the back to the cave to put in a good, cold nights sleep I notice the latern fuel. This will indeed keep the lamp burning.

Now, who said there are no surprises anymore?

Edited by jeffpeng
  • Upvote 5
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

While you're practicing your English skills - I would say "deerskin" pants, although one might argue that a deer will hold onto its skin for dear life, and that the skin wrestled from a deer might therefore also be called "dearskin". ^_^

Edited by Hotzn
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Ciaran 1 / Night 12 - And it isn't even warm

I get up and first, of course, eat my fill. Right now the only thing that could force me to do anything but sit on my butt would be a blizzard. But well, that's not really the point of this, is it? Although, having no realistic calorie limitation for once allows me to finish two more pages of my book in relative darkness, slightly shivering in the -1°C of the cave. The last page fails because thick fog rolls in, in which, indeed, one cannot read.

Now, sure. Moving anywhere with more than 60 kilograms is absolutely ludicrous. But a few of those are the two rabbits which I still have, and of which I right now only need the pelts. It's a bit sad that these bunnies gave their life for so little, but so is... well.... death I guess. I get the book done after liberating the two of their skin, eat and drink some more, and have another nap.

Leaving behind firewood, water and torches I get myself slightly below 50kg. That's still much too high, but will do for my current purposes. I leave in the cover of darkness towards west, going for the shortcut that leads to the waterfall. I smell like a suburban butchery, but I hope I will be able to slip through. Even if at my current pace "slippery" isn't the particular word that comes to mind. Ah right: it might be worth mentioning that I didn't find any of the saplings I had hoped for. So from that point of view the entire endeavor was a complete bust.

20210616145411_1.thumb.jpg.62a33f93e3e5e03f3e63a081261db743.jpg
Next stop: signal fire.

Surprisingly I actually do slip through without the wolf demanding its fair share of moose. Only my wrist gives in taking one bump too many on the way down to the river. I get down to the cave without climbing, bypassing the scrub bushes (which only works coming down the ramp, fyi). Two wolfs growl at me, but they have no teeth.

20210616150438_1.thumb.jpg.7a5a9c17f3dd4a2e82bca01ebe338dfc.jpg
Don't know how to cross a bridge: two wolves.

I know this is a borderline exploit, but .... in the words of a certain political figure: "Come on, man, give me a break." And the real test is just ahead, anyways.

Inside lighting a fire is mandatory as Sketchy won't be long considering the way I smell. Although, maybe, just maybe I'm lucky and they aren't home. I can't deny that no matter how often I does this, for me this still is one of the most tense moments in each game. So many good people (meaning survivors) went south doing this. Highly alert I cross the ice hall. Still no sign. No howls, no growls. Should I be this hilariously lucky again?

20210616151626_1.thumb.jpg.16c28c36ed09c589890b00d956414719.jpg
Is it a coincidence that this entrance looks like it has fangs?

Sketchy..... indeed never shows up. I really am one lucky moose freezing son of a birch. I make camp as it will take two trips to haul all this stuff up there. Fascinatingly my plan really seems to pan out. Although: don't try these shenanigans at home. Really don't.

I lighten the load, bandage my hand, and up I go, where I leave all the moose meat, and do a second tour with the rest. Upstairs I find the expected bedroll, the hacksaw which isn't a surprise as well, the matches, a ski jacket, some peaches, a granola bar and a book about arson. In slow motion I crawl towards the well lit exit of the cave, which will serve as a temporary base camp for a short while. Needing new water and new torches anyways I make a campfire and then shed enough of my burden to be light and agile - and able to climb a rope, which I will need to.

Having warmed up and filled my calorie reserves I leave with a torch in hand. Onto the last act of this stunt. Winds are moderate, but visibility is low.

20210616153733_1.thumb.jpg.dffbca779de9914533e7e846eec6a774.jpg
Nothing to see here, move along.

I can't tell if the wolf is there, so I act as if it is. Up the ramp, across the bridge, sliding down the other side. But not before I check for a sapling. Again: no luck. I bypass the scrub bushes, dodge into the cave and make camp. Leaving the fire burning I finally approach the signal fire.

20210616154842_1.thumb.jpg.2ae6a74739d9a28750fce9ef1ce5cec2.jpg
And it isn't even warm.

The Mackinaw is good 93% condition. The Hammer is there as expected. Dog food and the iconic moose steak you can always find here supplement my reserves. And I inherit a sewing kit from the poor soul lying in the snow. Nobody should be surprised that both rabbits die of blunt force trauma. Again I can't salvage the guts, but the pelts I take. After that it's time to rest up next to the fire.

When I wake up it's the perfect weather. For what? To jump off a cliff, of course. Because, you see, you can get here without a hatchet, but as with the Hotel California: you can never leave. Well, except you climb down. The problem is: I need the rope next to the ice cave entrance where it is to climb back up there. So there is only one way down: goating. Anticipating all sorts of injuries I craft 4 bandages.

I end up busting an ankle, punch a serious hole into my shoes, and also sustain some damage to my pants, but aside from a bruised ego I come out mostly unscathed. Now for the last challenge. The climb back to the cave usually is guarded by a wolf. So I will need to get past it. When I do this .... I'm home free and will officially have won the Hushed River Rally. But no, not even this wolf shows up, just the bear patrolling far away. I did it. Being well rested the climb is easy. Seriously frozen but happy as a cake I arrive at the top and get into the warm cave.

Realizing I had more luck than I had any right to have I rest before I will finally leave HRV behind tomorrow.

Edited by jeffpeng
  • Upvote 4
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, jeffpeng said:

In a drawer? Or outside?

I believe they were on top of the drawer, not inside. I checked those huts many times after, but never found them again.

Hold on, you found a Moose with full 38kg meat just lying around on the ground? O_O

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now