Continuing from last week, our Goddamn Monday starts with a descent in the the dark underbelly of Don’t Starve: the caaaaaves. A loading screen divides the surface and the cavernous depths, and then we’re ready to roll.
My investigation of the caves confirms my initial thesis: yep. It sure is dark in here. The hole I came through provides a circle of light, and in the shadows, there are hints of movement and depth. I go into my pack, and craft a torch to extend my sight and safety. The flames illuminate the movement I saw earlier, and I freeze up as I stare at a massive stone golem. Idly, I consider how little a flint spear would do to a construct of solid rock. Fortunately, it doesn’t come up- the golem doesn’t seem to care about me at all. Nothing could make me happier- I have no desire to piss that thing off. I turn the other way, and head into the depths.
As I walk, my stick of fire barely warding off the black, I try to ignore the distant hissing sounds that hit my ears. In the real world, I have been in a few caves, and my experience with them matches up with these digital caves- the sounds are screwy beyond belief. Similar to the real world, though, the unseen monsters that my mind conjures up do not present themselves, and I wander unharrassed through the depths of the earth. I reach a massive collection of stalagmites, and create a small campfire so that I can put away my torch and still have light. I bust out my pickaxe and go to town.
My daring is rewarded with what I’d been seeking for several in game days- gold nuggets. Finally, the materials to get some science done. I bust my torch back out, and have an uneventful trip back to the surface.
Once on the surface, it becomes less eventful. Apparently a group of bats have spawned? And they look pissed. They also look slow, however. I beat feet, and the rodents aren’t fast enough to keep up. Night falls, and my campfire rises. I get ready to craft a science machine.. then I realize that I used up my stones making that fire underground. I’ll need to harvest more during daylight hours. For now, though, another day gone.
Morning sees me setting out north again, back to where I remember seeing some boulders to mine. On the way, I pass through the pig city- it seems the bats that I agitated wandered into town, and now the pigs are beating the shit out of them. Literally. Piles of guano fall to the ground as the winged pests die, and being the lunatic that I am, I grab them. Hey, I’ve got the inventory space. It’s probably good for something.
The rest of the day is spent mining rocks, at the end of which I go back to my fire pit and build a science machine. It begins to rain just before darkness falls, and I sit and munch my gathered food. There is a close call as a lightning bolt strikes the ground some twenty yards away, but other than that, quiet night. The rain stops just before dawn.
The next day is quiet and peaceful, a day of productivity. I build a backpack to carry more gear, I build a razor and shave with it, and I start cutting down a bunch of trees and start building a big wood wall around my fire pit and science machine. I’m feeling good, comfortable. This alien island is starting to feel like home.
Day seven starts the same as the last. I sing quietly to myself as I cut down more trees for the wall (be glad I didn’t record it, I’m tone-deaf as all get out). “So build that wallll and build it strooong cause we’ll be there before too lonnnng….” The deforestation is going well indeed, and then suddenly one of the trees nearby sprouts arms, legs, and a snarling face, and starts chasing me. Naturally, I go completely bonkers.
The tree monster is slow, but it is tenacious- no amount of time or distance seems to deter it. Desperate to be rid of it, I make a torch, and light a small tree on fire. Then I kite the treebeast into the burning tree, and the monster lights on fire as well. Success! Only it… doesn’t seem to care that it’s on fire? Oh shit. And now this whole giant forest is on fire. I run without any plan at all as my world erupts into a sea of flames, leaving the monster far behind… but he will catch up. I know he will. He’s like a Terminator… slow, but persistent. My only hope is to lead him to the pigs, and hope they take him down like they did the bats. I reach the pig town, but it’s already dark, and the pigs have gone to bed. I set up a fire so that I can survive the night, and pray it takes longer for the deciduous demon to arrive.
My meager prayer is granted, and shortly after daybreak the walking tree strides into town. Just as I’d hoped, my welcoming party lunges for him- a good seven pigs, charging this huge monster. He kills them. He kills them all. I watch in horror as the innocent swinemen are butchered by this monster, and then watch in hunger as their corpses drop shanks of ham. I shall partake of them and their strength shall be mine. Fear not, my friends. Your death was not in vain.
Well, it was kind of in vain. That tree monster gave zero fucks about your attempts to kill him. But he does seem to have finally lost aggro on me, so I wander away with my ham. The battle took most of the day, so I get back to my fire pit, and cook the ham over the open flames. Confirmed- cooked ham is awesome.
Day nine opens with an unsettling occurrence- there is a strange sound, like an echoing tearing kind of noise, and then my character says “Did you hear that?” I’ve seen descriptions of the sound of a jaguar’s roar, and in my head they sound pretty much the same. I equip my spear, and hide behind my half-made wall… and then they come. The Hounds.
Two of them come for me, and wounded as I am from events long since past, I have little hope of beating them. I flee, but they are faster, and it is all I can do to dodge their attacks and keep moving. The pigmen died the other day, so I can’t rely on their help, and like the tree monster these hunters are not giving up. I turn, and I fight. One falls, though he manages to score a number of bites. I can’t afford to take another hit. But their attack animation is slow, and afterwards they pause for a moment to bark, so I can do this. I just have to be strategic.
You gotta touch em real quick and go. I dance in while he’s barking, strike with my spear, and then dance away from the counter attack. Again. Again. Aga- oh. Oh, he got me. I’m dying.
As the light fades from my character’s eyes, I can only consider what might have been. “What if,” I think. “What if I’d been able to finish that wall, and been safe from their attacks?”
Oh, who am I kidding. This island woulda killed me some other way.
Next week, a new game! Or possibly more than one? I never plan too far ahead. We’ll see what happens.