Two Against the Cold: MULTIPLAYER Interloper

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I know multiplayer in TLD may be a bit controversial but that's all right, to each their own :). This is something I've been wanting to do for a loooong time. So without further ado...

Day 1 / It Takes Two to Tango

After about an hour’s work of downgrading TLD to v2.02 and installing the mod on both PCs, I am ready to rumble! I convince my brother, who goes by P, to try Interloper with me. “Don’t worry,” I tell him, “this will be fun.” I select Pleasant Valley as our spawn point and set resources to be shared… because Interloper with the already-scarce loot stretched between two people seems a bit unfair.

I spawn in by a waterfall in light fog and mild temperatures; the thermometer reads -6C. If this is the same waterfall I usually spawn at, I have a good idea of where to go. But first things first, I need to grab some cattails.

By a stroke of luck, P spawned in nearby and quickly made his way over to me. “HEY, I SEE YOU!” he fairly screams. He has a very loud voice, as you’ll notice when I upload videos of this run. Anyway, I we make short work of the three cattails and make our way to what looks to be Skeeter’s Ridge, but I’m not 100% sure. We choose to go right because… well, when in doubt, always go right!

It turns out to be the right decision because sooner than you can say “The Long Dark isn’t supposed to be multiplayer” we can see the Farmstead. Well, I can, anyway. Despite having both of the sprinting-related feats, P is lagging way behind, in some cases literally. I don’t think this mod was intended to work on Windows 7… but I digress.

We are coming from the opposite direction that I usually come to the Farmhouse by. My hunch of Skeeter’s Ridge was correct, it seems. I don’t see any wolves, so the going is clear. “Search the basement,” I order P, “And I’ll take the upstairs.” That only lasts as long as it takes P to find matches; about 10 seconds. Then I’m rushing down there to grab my fair share and we both continue to search more or less in tandem. Matches aside, there is some food (peaches, syrup, and a ‘noller bar), a cooking pot, a cotton toque, and a hacksaw.

After we loot the place from top to bottom, I tell P to take off his clothes. In TLD of course 😁. "uM... wHaT." He is visibly confused (he's physically sitting right next to me). I explain: "I'm going to throw this rock at you and I don't want to damage your clothes."

"Oh." And with that, he disrobes. I throw a rock at him... and it goes right through. Disappointing. After this, we decide to try and catch a deer. I light a fire and pull some torches while ordering P to go fetch a wolf from the nearby fields. Then I try to drive the deer towards him with rocks… it doesn’t work. Rrrrgh. If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.

I tell P to tend the fire while I go fetch the wolf.  It almost works; I get the deer between myself and the wolf, but for some reason the wolf woke up on the wrong side of the cave today and is painfully slow. He doesn’t get it. Pity. “Well, that didn’t work,” I say. “Let’s go to the Barnhouse, there’s sometimes a rabbit hat there.”

“A rabbit hat?!” P exclaims.

“No,” Murphy says. The Barnhouse is Empty with a capital “E”.

After warming up a bit by the fire barrel, we agree to head over to the Big Barn. We both pull torches and set out into the darkening evening. FLT is a cool -4C… for me, anyway. For P, it’s somehow -8C, even though we’re both exposed to the wind and wearing the same clothing. Plus he has Cold Fusion and I don’t. From this I deduce that weather isn’t always synced between both of us. My hunch is proven right when rapidly rising winds (for P) extinguish his torch, while I dip a bit to -5C.

We make it to the Big Barn without further event and loot it. It’s also mostly empty, save for a ‘noller bar, some cloth, and a can of spray paint. I light up the fire barrel and tell P to smash some crates for fuel while I boil water and make a cup of Reishi tea. In hindsight, maybe I should have smashed them to set our “clocks” closer together.

The day at an end, we snooze in the pickup truck. And I'm off to put together the video of this so it's not just a wall of text ;).

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Because of unforseen technical issues, videos are out of the picture, at least for a while...

Day 2 / A Healthy Snack... For A Bear

We wake up a bit early for my liking and pretty hungry to boot. We have just enough leftover food from yesterday to fill up our growling stomachs. Over breakfast, P and I agree that while the prospect of coffee and matches at Signal Hill is tempting, it’s just not worth the trip there and back in terms of calories. So Thompson’s Crossing it is.

The weather is actually decent, -7C FLT without a torch equipped. However, I have a minor lapse in cognitive function (a.k.a. brain fart) and forget exactly which way the town is. Sigh… it’s not all bad though, in our aimless wanderings we come across a rabbit grove, where I demonstrate to P the fine art of bunny bopping. There’s just one, unfortunately.

Presently we come across Thompson’s Crossing. Relieved, we loot the entire place. We find matches, some clothes (I found a simple parka, P found wool socks and another sweater), and some food… but not nearly enough. After meeting back in the Community Hall, we take turns cooking, repairing, and sleeping in preparation for the journey ahead… Coastal Highway.

When we’re finally ready, it’s evening. There is a nice green fog but it’s not too thick, and temperatures are warmish, but I don’t exactly recall. A wolf gets playful on the bridge but I wave him off as P cowers in fear behind me. Just past the bridge, we strike gold: a deer carcass with TEN KILOS of meat! The wolf must have killed it just before noticing us.

Between the two of us, P and I quickly strip the carcass down to its bones and eat about half the meat on the spot. Then… disaster. I hear the unmistakable growling huff of a bear getting ready to charge. I turn around, and sure enough, he is Right. There.

“RUN!” I yell. “GO GO GO!! GET OUT OF HERE!!!” With that, we both take off full tilt down the road. I don’t have the sprinting feats, so I fall behind… and get mauled. When ol’ Boris is through with me, I bandage myself and check my clothes. He ate my hat, my shoes, my gloves, and most of my pants. Lovely…

Apparently, P didn’t wait for me. He is far ahead, by the road up to the mine. I’m freezing to death, so I have him light a fire and I make myself some hot tea. That was a close call.

We continue up to the mine and go through. We each get 30-40 pieces of coal, a new torch, a candy bar, a stim, and a prybar! Which you can equip in this mod and swing at people and animals like Dr. Freeman! I apply my stim immediately because I’m not dying yet. On the other side I have P light a fire while I build a snow shelter and sleep for 6 hours*. P takes his turn and we continue on to the Forestry Lookout. An aurora comes out but fortunately no more predators are lurking about, so we get there safely and decide to call it a day.

* Accelerated time only kicks in when both players agree to sleep; otherwise the effects of time are local.

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Day 3 / The Price of Greed

We awake bright and early and climb down the rope to the workmen’s cabins. P gets lucky and finds combat boots, but otherwise nothing. He gives me his leather shoes and I tear down curtains and make myself improvised hand and head wraps to replace the clothing the bear ate.

We nap for an hour or two (local time) and head down to the logging trailer. P checks inside for a soda while I check the deer carcass out on the quay(?). It’s got TEN KILOS yet again! Since the weather is fine (-7C windchill), I call light a fire, call to P to get his hacksaw, and set to work. Between us, the deer is soon in bite-sized pieces over an open flame… and then the wind rises to extinguish the fire. I have the bright idea to continue our cooking in the nearby fishing hut, but first I want to drop off the guts and hide in the trailer.

When I come out, P is being mauled by a wolf. I equip my prybar and race to him, but arrive too late. I loot his pack for matches, the boots, and his hacksaw before bonking the wolf with the prybar and killing it. P respawns somewhere else in the region.

It would not be wise to travel with all this smelly meat so I drop it all and continue to the town, which is just a skip and a hop away. “We’ll meet up later”, I tell P. “Just get to shelter and wait for me to find you.”

The town is surprisingly empty of wolves. I loot Quonset for a quick snack but otherwise I leave the rest be for now. After a quick local time nap, I head back to the logging trailer to rendezvous with P. I give him some torches and matches and we pick up where we left off, cooking our deer meat (and two smallmouth bass I found on the shore) in a nearby fishing hut before spending the night at Jackrabbit Island.

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