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The Darkwalker is hunting you. Paint Glyphs to survive as long as you can.
In-game description

Escape the Darkwalker is a challenge in The Long Dark.

Escape the Darkwalker was initially launched as a Halloween-themed event for 2 weeks (October 29, 2020 to November 12, 2020), to replace 4 Days of Night of previous years. It was later added as a permanent gameplay mode and updated with an endgame goal.[1]

Overview[]

Search for the Green Fires. Learn all you can about the Darkwalker. Knowledge will help you find a way to defeat the entity.
In-game instructions

In Escape the Darkwalker the time is permanently set to midnight and the player is stalked by an invisible entity: "The Darkwalker" which will try to eat them. To win all 10 diary pages must be collected and the entity banished in Ash Canyon. The Darkwalker cannot be hurt or killed, merely slowed by painting glyphs to lure or ward it away.

Any region may be selected to start, but after ~30 real-time minutes the current region will fill with Toxic Fog, forcing the player to leave. Toxic Fog ruins food, water and damages Condition. Strategy will be required to plan how one travels through the world.

The Escape the Darkwalker patch includes two new event-related challenge badges, the feat "Darkwalker" and the "Endless Night" option for custom survival mode.

Gameplay & Strategy[]

Upon starting Escape The Darkwalker an extinguished campfire and supplies can be found close by, along with an introductory note. There are ten diary pages to be collected, one in each major region (excluding Ash Canyon) beside a green camp fire (revealed on the map). Once all notes are collected, the player must head to Ash Canyon to complete the challenge.

The Darkwalker[]

The Darkwalker is indestructible and intangible. It moves through terrain and buildings, and without respect to elevation. It constantly chases the player across all regions, indoors, vehicles, mines and caves. Audio cues and music will play based on it's current distance. The Darkwalker moves at 2 meters (~6.56 feet) per second, increasing for each collected diary note (up to to 4m/s).

  • The Darkwalker's speed is not tied to real-time movement. Care should be taken with time-accelerating tasks such as sleeping or harvesting, especially with many notes collected.
  • The first 15 minutes of a game are a 'grace period' before The Darkwalker will spawn and it is not tied to real-time, one hour of a time-accelerated task equals 30 seconds on the timer.
  • Within 200 meters (~656 feet) The Darkwalker's exact distance is shown, and the player is afflicted by "Anxiety" (preventing sleep and passing time) unless a Ward glyph is present. If a Ward expires and The Darkwalker is/enters within 200m, the player will immediately wake up.
  • Within 50M (~164 feet) the Anxiety affliction is replaced by Fear, which causes a constant Condition loss. The Darkwalker's footprints also become visible.
  • At 0M distance The Darkwalker becomes visible and eats the player, killing them instantly.

Toxic Fog[]

Toxic Fog fills an entire region after ~30 real-world minutes within in; larger/smaller regions have their toxic fog timers adjusted accordingly.

  • Toxic Fog spoils all food and drink (even normally non-spoiling items like cup of coffee) and causes constant condition loss.
  • Current Toxic Fog progress is shown for each region by viewing it on the map. A UI element will appear if less than half of the region's timer remains, turning red below 2 minutes remaining.
  • Toxic Fog in a region also affects all food indoors, outdoors, animal carcasses and instantly kills all wildlife.
  • The toxic fog timer considers mines/caves as part of their parent-region. (e.g. "Cinder Hills Coal Mine" is considered Coastal Highway). Toxic Fog will fill these regions when they or their parent region's timer is met.

Green Campfires[]

Each of the 10 major zones (excluding Ash Canyon) contain one 'green campfire', with unlimited fuel and a ward glyph lasting 5 hours (in-game). Once this glyph's time is spent, the fire will be extinguished. Each green campfire has one unique Diary page, a Can of Glyph Spray Paint, a Cup of Coffee, and high quality loot nearby.

Glyph Spray Paint[]

Spray Paint is replaced with green Glyph Spray Paint, which makes anti-Darkwalker glyphs instead of informational markings.

  • Lure - Draws the Darkwalker to a location (destroying the lure upon reaching it). Only one Lure can be placed per region at one time.
  • Ward - Fortifies a small area, preventing The Darkwalker from approaching for up to 5 hours (in-game). Only one Ward can be placed per region at one time.
  • Dispel Fog - (once per playthrough) The progress of one region's toxic fog is reduced by 50% of current progress (most effective just before Toxic Fog appears).
  • Banish - (unlocks once all 10 diary pages are collected) Must be used inside the banishing circle of Ash Canyon to complete the challenge.
  • Cans of Glyph Spray Paint are always found full (4 charges).

Misc.[]

Difficulty is set to Voyageur mode and feats cannot be selected. All wildlife spawn normally, including a 24 hour (in-game) grace period before predators can spawn.

  • Time of day is permanently night, making the world colder and darker. Auroras and blizzards are disabled.
  • The player begins with a bedroll, random clothes, food and other supplies.
  • All maps are fully explored with the location of each green campfires shown.
  • Rope Climbing is dangerous since The Darkwalker can move faster than a climbing player. Wards only protects the first few meters of a climb, so a head start (or Lure glyph) can be life-saving.
  • Both the Challenge Badge "Escape the Darkwalker - Deadly Dreamer Badge (2020)" and the feat "Darkwalker" have the same requirements: collect 6 diary pages in a single run and are earned simultaneously.

Tips[]

Starting Location[]

The route taken greatly affects the difficult of Escape the Darkwalker. It can be beneficial to start in a western region, leaving Timberwolf Mountain and Ash Canyon for last. Some starting location benefits are listed below:

  • Bleak Inlet: allows 24 hours to collect it's diary page and escape before Timberwolves may spawn.
  • Broken Railroad: abundant loot at Maintenance Yard and Hunting Lodge, and 24 hours before wolves may spawn in the narrow region.
  • Coastal Highway: abundant loot at Coastal Townsite and access to the narrow regions of Crumbling Highway and Desolation Point with a slow Darkwalker and potentially no wolves.
  • Desolation Point: abundant loot at Hibernia Processing, The Riken, and Lonely Lighthouse and safe passage through the mines and Crumbling Highway.
  • Forlorn Muskeg: poor loot but easy access to multiple zones: Broken Railroad, Bleak Inlet and Mountain Town.
  • Hushed River Valley: yields a revolver and completing two mandatory rope climbs to the fire before The Darkwalker can spawn. It also grants easier access to two rope climbs from Mountain Town to Forlorn Muskeg/Mystery Lake easier with a slower Darkwalker.
  • Mountain Town: abundant loot in Milton (especially clothing) and the two rope climbs in Hushed River Valley with a relatively slow Darkwalker.
  • Mystery Lake: good loot at Lake Cabins and Carter Hydro Dam, and flexibility between Mountain Town, Forlorn Muskeg and Coastal Highway.
  • Pleasant Valley: good loot at Signal Hill and Thomson's Crossing early on. Requires considerable backtracking late in the game.
  • Timberwolf Mountain: access to cargo containers before the Darkwalker arrives, if a hacksaw can be found.

Regions[]

  • Large open regions (Pleasant Valley, Mystery Lake) are safer from The Darkwalker, and smaller regions (Desolation Point, Broken Railroad) and transition caves/mines more dangerous.
  • Fog is a serious threat in large regions and crossroads, especially if traversed multiple times (Forlorn Muskeg, Mountain Town, Coastal Highway).
  • For the most part, the fog will only pose a serious threat in larger regions that have to be crossed multiple times (Forlorn Muskeg, Mountain Town, Coastal Highway). Plan for this when traveling, and avoid burning the timer unless you are close to the exit and not returning.
  • If moving through a transition region/cave/mine, check the map to see what region it's fog timer is affected.
  • When retrieving the page from Desolation Point or Broken Railroad, consider putting a lure deep in the region and waiting for the Darkwalker to pass you as it moves to the lure. This can make passing through the narrow entrances to these regions much safer.

The Darkwalker[]

  • The Darkwalker 's initial speed is slower than a walking player, but with all notes is faster than the player if an exhausted or encumbered, making sprinting mandatory and sleep difficult.
  • Entering a different region causes The Darkwalker to follow at the same relative distance and direction.
  • The Darkwalker moves in a straight line through terrain, with priority towards an Lure glyphs and then the player.
  • If trapped in a narrow locations with The Darkwalker blocking the exit (e.g. inside "Carter Hydro Dam and Environs"), place a Ward and sleep/pass time. The Darkwalker will often move out of the way (while keeping the same distance), allowing one to proceed.

Glyphs[]

  • Green Fires come with an innate Ward glyph.
  • Wards are useful to grant more time to loot, repair or cook if The Darkwalker is nearby. They are only active if the player is nearby (draining their duration).
  • Only one Ward may be present per region at a time. To make multiple Wards, the previous must be fully depleted.
  • Lure glyphs are useful in narrow spaces (Desolation Point and Broken Railroad) to bypass The Darkwalker.
  • When entering a new region, Lures can grant a lead on The Darkwalker.
  • If both a Lure and a Ward are active, The Darkwalker will ignore the Ward to chase the Lure.

Misc.[]

Rewards[]

Icon Name Requirements Benefit
Badge Umbra.png Escape the Darkwalker - Umbra Badge (2020) Survive for 60 minutes (real-time) in a single Escape the Darkwalker game. Unlocks challenge badge.
Badge Deadly Dreamer.png Escape the Darkwalker - Deadly Dreamer Badge (2020) Collect 6 'Escape the Darkwalker Diary Pages' in a single game. Unlocks challenge badge.
Badge feat nightWalker.png Darkwalker Collect 6 'Escape the Darkwalker Diary Pages' in a single game. Unlocks feat. Less fatigued at night, more fatigued during the day.

List of Diary Page Contents and Loot Next to Each Green Campfire[]

Diary Notes & Loot
Location Diary page contents Loot
Starting Region Campfire "Glyphs of Power and their Uses:


Lure -- Attract the Darkwalker

Ward -- A shield, if only for a little while.

Dispel -- Push back the choking fog. But only once.


Darkwalkers spread fear and feed on oblivion - knowledge

will help you defeat the entity for good."

Wool Toque, Emergency Flare, Energy Bar, A Bottle of Water, Sewing Kit.
Bleak Inlet Event Camp "...do I give in to its will? That may be the only way back. But not yet, not yet. As long as I paint, I live..." Moose-Hide Satchel, Wool Longjohns, Can Opener, Go! Energy Drink, 2 Condensed Milk.
Broken Railroad Event Camp "...the signs hold it at bay, or lead it away from me...but who is the Glyph-maker?" Revolver, 2 Rifle Ammunition, 4 Flare Shells, Food, Go! Energy Drink.
Coastal Highway Event Camp "The gnashing, the grinding, a thing from the stars. But no beauty sets down from that endless void..." Mukluks, Rabbitskin Mitts, Lantern Fuel, 2 Marine Flare, Energy Bar, Tin of Coffee.
Desolation Point Event Camp "I climbed the tall mountain, but it wormed in the earth below me. There was no escape, not even high above...my delirium has become its feeding ground." Knife, Balaclava, Fleece Cowl, Lantern Fuel, Emergency Flare, Go! Energy Drink.
Forlorn Muskeg Event Camp "The poison in my blood draws it closer...and now that poison fills the air...the formless hunting a form." Bearskin Bedroll, Climbing Socks, Cooking Pot, Accelerant, Emergency Flare, Salty Crackers.
Hushed River Valley Event Camp "I crept upon the nameless city, stars in my eyes. But those eyes no longer see the world...just a choking mist. Over the horizon, that is where I escape." Revolver, 10 Revolver Ammunition, Wool Ear Wrap, Emergency Stim, Water, Maple Syrup
Mountain Town Event Camp "...dead and dreaming, my only friend, the faceless moon who won't look away. There is no sunrise on Ganymede..." Fisherman's Sweater, Lantern, Firestriker, Accelerant, Maple Syrup.
Mystery Lake Event Camp "...can't see it, can't fight it...only running. My heart, a black echo in the forest, always hunting for a green fire..." Hunting Rifle, 10 Rifle Ammunition, Combat Pants, Marine Flare, MRE.
Pleasant Valley Event Camp "...a pale river, turned in on itself, a rush of blood to my head. Only the crooked path leads me away..." Revolver, 10 Revolver Ammunition, Flare Shell, 2 Rifle Ammunition, Mackinaw Jacket, Rabbitskin Hat, Accelerant, Maple Syrup.
Timberwolf Mountain Event Camp "I discarded the farsighted mask, and only bone remains. The gate is closed. Will it come for me now?" Flare Gun, 7 Flare Shells, Emergency Stim, Antiseptic, Antibiotics, Sewing Kit, MRE, Painkillers.

Gallery[]

Trivia[]

  • Raphael Van Lierop (lead designer of The Long Dark) gave insight to the design of Escape the Darkwalker and it's predecessor 4 Days of Night; stating that fans were unhappy with 4DoN: those who missed the timed event missed content and badges, and those who played felt the mode was too simplistic. Thus EtD was made as a more polished, feature-rich and permanent game mode.
  • All wildlife flee The Darkwalker (>50m).
  • The Darkwalker is invisible during most gameplay, but can be seen when killing the player as well as in official "ESCAPE THE DARKWALKER" media. It is a vaguely humanoid entity of black smoke, green light and three wolf skulls.
  • EtD bears many similarities to the works of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft particularly esoteric journal writings, invisible and malevolent monsters, and creation of magical glyphs to ward monsters away. "The Nameless City" in one such journal note is a direct reference to his work of the same name.
  • Users on the official Hinterlands Forums and reveal streams regularly joked that The Darkwalker was the ghost of "Fluffy", a fan-favorite unique wolf 'killed' in previous versions of The Long Dark.
  • With Auroras disabled the Flashlight is useless, and the Last Resort Cannery and middle level of the Cinder Hills Coal Mine are inaccessible. This also makes Gunsmithing impossible.
  • With Endless Night enabled the Magnifying Lens is useless. Ignoring the The Darkwalker and toxic fog, this makes "Endless Night" mode (including for Custom Sandboxes) lethal from dehydration, since matches/firestrikers are a finite resources and potable water would be non-renewable.
  • If The Darkwalker reaches (kills) the player while climbing a rope but before the player dies from Fear, the death cutscene will play as a hybrid of being eaten by The Darkwalker while falling from the rope.

References[]

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