My First Attempt At Don’t Starve Adventure Mode

Adventure mode is where the story of Don’t Starve happens and how to complete the game. You can unlock the characters Wes and Maxwell during this mode as well. You have to get through five missions in total, each one with its own set of challenges. The order of these missions is random, although the fifth one is always Darkness. During a mission you have to use the divining rod to help you to locate four different items that can then be assembled on a wooded platform, creating a teleportato that can take you to the next mission. Four items can be taken with you; The current state of your character along with researched prototypes also continue through. If you die you have to start over again from mission one.

Mission 1: A Cold Reception
This mission started off pleasantly. There were plenty of resources around so I instantly took to gathering and scouting the area. I was happy to see two tallbirds nearby, as I enjoy hunting them for meat and eggs, yum! Although the downside, there didn’t seem to be any berry bushes. I started to put together a basic camp and began to research prototypes. Then the rain started. Frogs everywhere! It wasn’t looking great and I was struggling to camp at night as I kept being chased around the fire. Soon after a short winter period followed for which I crafted a thermal stone – the only other option to me at that time could have been rabbit earmuffs, but the stone was substantial enough.

During A Cold Reception the world cycles between rain/frogs and winter. It caught me out at first, but once you get into the rhythm it’s not so bad. I remembered that frogs could be captured using traps and found that by setting up three or four around my camp I could easily reduce their numbers. This also supplied me with an almost reliable food source. The frogs attacked the tallbirds too, which frequently resulted in a pile of frogs legs and meat. The rain can be challenging because of how it drains your sanity. At first I found this really difficult to manage, but I hunted a few spiders to get a top hat. I also pick the odd green mushroom here and there which improves sanity for a small sacrifice of HP (when cooked.) Later on I built a bee box to harvest honey for taffy and I also had enough food to use a tent – lots of farms and meat. Another difficulty was the lightning that set fire to large areas of forest and destroyed spider dens that were in the way.

It didn’t take long to fully explore the first area, which contained lots of rocks and gold. To get to a new area I had to cross a bridge filled with pig guardians. I set fire to the walls around them to create more space, put some armour on and ran for it. There was a pig village on the other side. Sometimes they attacked the guardians, leaving behind meat for me to run in and collect. The next area was where the beefalo were located and also where I set up a secondary camp with farms, drying racks, crock pots and bee boxes. The second bridge had killer bee hives on it. Some of them got destroyed because a part of the beefalo herd wandered in and attacked. This also resulted in a lot of meat collection for me, along with honey, horns and stingers. So long as I have armour I don’t find it to be a problem getting past the bees.

I took the time to research as much as I could. It was a fun challenge to overcome, but eventually I became too comfortable and was ready to move onto the next mission.

Mission 2: The Game Is Afoot
I did something really daft leading into this mission. In my eagerness to travel through the first teleportato I’d ever built I accidentally skipped the part of adding your four items to the machine. So I was starting with nothing again. It wasn’t a pleasant time either. The first 10 days took place in winter. I accidentally walked the wrong way and missed the chest containing the complimentary winter hat. I froze a little bit, had a few spiders bite me, and my HP ended dropped to below 10. A part of me felt like throwing in the towel and I’d given up hope, and yet somehow I hung on. I spent that time picking flowers for sanity, collecting wood/grass for fires and eating berries and carrots. Towards the end a deerclops also appeared and chased me. I dashed for a bridge where at least six tallbirds had made their home alongside some spider dens. On the other side was a safe area of the savannah biome where I set up camp. It turned out to be a blessing actually, as the deerclops took out all of the spider dens (clearing up the bridge to become a valid hunting spot later on) and the tallbirds, leaving behind a supply of meat and eggs for myself.

After winter passed the game settled into a permanent summer with only a small amount of rain. I didn’t want to spend as long on this mission as the first one and so after recovering most of my HP I instantly set out with the divining rod – my camp just happened to be directly opposite the wooden platform and so I didn’t need to look for that. I got lucky and picked the friendlier area on my first exploration attempt. It also contained two of the items. I got some reeds from a swamp too, allowing me to build a bird cage back at camp. I feel edgy if I don’t have at least some form of reliable food production – just in case. I like the birds because monster meat is fairly common – you get a lot while farming for other resources – and they can turn it into eggs. My next attempts to find the items weren’t so cushy. I had to get past a lot of spider dens and a swamp for one of them. I planted a tree and set fire to it to rid the area of spiders, although they continued to sleep on the floor in mass, and if woken they would chase me in mass too – and I’d felt sorry for them not having a home, pfff! Luckily the item wasn’t too far in. The final item required me to get past a clockwork biome and I had to dodge a number of clockwork monsters to get it.

During the summer period wolves also attacked me (there hadn’t been any during the previous mission.) I didn’t find this to be a problem as I could run past the tallbird bridge and the beefalos of the savannah, just as I had with the deerclops.

After finding all of the items I continued to spend a bit of time preparing for the next mission. My biggest fear was getting the King Of Winter mission and so I took with me a beefalo hat, a stack of jerky, a football helmet and gold (for tools.) This time I didn’t skip the step of adding my items to the machine – I shall not be making that mistake again. While there were some tricky moments to begin with, overall I didn’t find this mission too challenging and located that comfortable spot, just like I had in the previous mission.

Mission 3: Archipelago
It was relief not to see any snow this time on appearing, but that feeling was short lived. This mission is broken across islands connected by wormholes. I find it difficult when all of the resources are in different areas (I’m rubbish at the shipwrecked DLC for this reason) and they can play havoc with your sanity levels. As well as this, most of this mission felt limited on resources – food especially. Each of the four pieces for the teleportato can be found on a different island.

The first island wasn’t too bad as there were a few berry bushes, carrots, twigs, grass and trees to get stocked up on. The rest was swamp, but I used this to my advantage; The tentacles were killing off the spiders and leaving behind a lot of silk. I made a top hat to help me with the sanity drain. The next island I came to was nothing but swamp, so I didn’t have much choice but to quickly locate the item and then jump through to the 3rd island. This one was barren rock. The next wormhole was conveniently placed near to the last one I used, so I got the item I needed and left.

The fourth island felt like the most dangerous and was also the location of the wooden platform. There were hound mounds and lots of clockwork monsters around. This is also where I stumbled across Wes. I inspected him and was informed that the Maxwell statues were blocking him from leaving – there were two on either side. Without thinking I tried to rush to his aid by destroying the statues, but a bunch of clockwork monsters spawned around me. In a panic I ran. I was in a bit of a dilemma at this point as I wanted to unlock Wes to be a usable character, but it looked dangerous. I wasn’t much enjoying Archipelago at this point and was thinking that if I could unlock him then at least if I failed now I’d have still gotten something out of this attempt at adventure mode. Instead I summoned up the courage to continue searching for the final two pieces of the teleportato. Before leaving I set up a stone firepit and bird cage close to the spider dens just to satisfy that feeling of edginess I was getting; I knew I’d be coming back later.

The fifth island was nothing but savannah. It was simple enough to find what I needed here. The problem that followed was that I didn’t know where the final wormhole was located. This is something that I’m not so keen on with Archipelago as I found myself having to walk backwards and forwards a lot to locate them (I’m not sure if there is a trick to this.) It seemed like most of the islands had a maximum of two wormholes on them, so I stayed on the fifth island until eventually I found it in the last bit of fog. On the sixth one I appeared right in the middle of a bunch of killer bee hives. I had armour on and kept moving to avoid them. By the time I’d located the final item it was getting late and I needed to set up a fire (I didn’t fancy travelling through the hives in the dark.) This turned out to be an unpleasant night of running around the fire, avoiding spiders and bees. On a good note, this island contained a lot of flowers for picking to help with my sanity. I didn’t much fancy spending too long here though so on day break I made a dash back.

Back to the fourth island I was feeling a lot more optimistic about my chances of completing this mission. I had everything and so I didn’t need to travel by wormhole again, I just had to clear out those clockwork monsters, get Wes and assemble the teleportato… simple right? So long as you’re wearing armour and can draw them out the clockwork monsters aren’t actually too bad to deal with. It took a couple of days as there were a lot gathered around Wes and even more spawned around him as I was clearing them.

Unlike the first two missions I had rushed this one and was ready to leave in just over 10 days (the jerky I’d prepared beforehand was a real help here.) As I hadn’t set a proper camp up I didn’t have any way to make preparations for the next mission. I still had that beefalo hat and a stack of gold. As seen as I was leaving I decided to destroy a few of the spider dens (most were at tier 2) to quickly amass a stack of silk to take with me. I also dropped in a log suit. My biggest fear was getting King of Winter right before the Darkness mission.

Mission 4: Two Worlds
Phew! What a relief it was when the title ‘two Worlds’ appeared. I’d heard a little about this mission beforehand and was really looking forward to giving it a go. On this one there are two islands. You start on a really nice one, with tonnes of resources, lots to eat and very long daylight hours, while the other one (and where all of the pieces happen to be located) is filled with all the bad stuff. After the unpleasantness of Archipelago is was nice getting the chance to chill out for a change. By this point you also know for certain what the next mission is going to be, Darkness, and so you can make an informed decision about what to take with you. I spent a lot of time on the first island, putting together twenty drying racks for jerky. I got the friendly pigs to attack these guardian pigs for the meat. I also collected fireflies (good job I took silk with me for the net.)

As odd as it sounds, you can have too much of a good thing. It almost becomes its own version of hell in a way. I started to run out of things to do, and with the long daylight hours I had to wait around for my meat to dry and the night to come to collect fireflies. Soon I became restless to get back into the action and so I got myself armoured up and took a wormhole over to the bad island. I was expecting it to be an absolute nightmare, and thought I was going to appear in the middle of a swamp, with spider nests stacked on top of killer bees and probably a handful of hounds and tallbirds to make up the numbers. Instead I was in a grassy plain filled with flowers; Was this a trick? Overall the bad island turned out to be mostly swamps, interspersed with forests. It was no worse than what I’d already done before, and so I quickly located all of the pieces and built the teleportato.

Mission 5: Darkness
I was dreading this mission as it takes place entirely at night. As such you have to take up a hand or head slot with a torch or miners helmet at all times. It can also be problematic for… you guessed it… sanity. I knew I was going to try and rush this mission, but I think I went in too quickly because of how apprehensive I felt about starting it. I’d taken with me a stack of gold, fireflies, silk and jerky. I’d read some advice beforehand that suggested taking stacks of resources rather than one of something. For example, you can make more top hats with a stack of silk as opposed to just taking one hat. At the start you’re surrounded by bonfires and grass. There’s also a backpack containing some logs and blueprints. I quickly gathered the grass while the light lasted so that I could craft a straw hat, which in turn is required for a miners hat.

Then I set off with the divining rod. Big mistake, I was too eager to keep my backpack rather than crafting some armour. The area around me was mostly swamp. In the day I can keep moving to easily avoid all of the dangerous bits. At night, even with the miners hat, it’s far more difficult because of limited visibility. Admittedly, during most games, I’ll wait for the night to pass before I cross any swamp and even then I’d have some form of armour on. I stumbled into a dead end, ran afoul of some tentacles and died. At a moment like this I never know how to process what I’m feeling. In other games dying may be accompanied by a little stress and a quick restart. In this all of my plans and hopes for this character were suddenly dashed, leaving behind nothing but emptiness.

As odd as it sounds I was also slightly relieved. I had been considering that my interest in this game could possibly die down as soon as I achieved my goal of completing adventure mode. I’ve done really well for my first attempt at this, but by not succeeding right away I’ve left myself the opportunity to continue enjoying the experience of working towards this goal. As well as this, I also have some travelling ahead of me and Don’t Starve will be a brilliant way for me to pass the time by. Besides, if it was easy it wouldn’t be as much of an accomplishment.

I feel like I’ve greatly improved at this game for making this first attempt at adventure mode and I’m confident that I can get back to mission five again. It’s a bit of a shame mind, as I think I got incredibly lucky with the order of missions and I still haven’t attempted King Of Winter. Next time I plan to take one miners hat, some silk, armour and jerky through to darkness instead. I thought it made sense to be able to craft more miners hats because refuelling only gives 38.5%. The thing is, it takes time to gather grass to be able to make the straw hats. There seemed to be plenty of fireflies around in the Darkness mission that I could use to refuel. I’m looking forward to trying this again. 🙂


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About wallcat

I have a strong passion for computing. In particular programming for which I am able to use a variety of languages including C++, Visual C#, Blitz Basic, Actionscript 2.0, Python and Lua. I also enjoy web-design and have some knowledge of HTML/CSS, PHP/SQL and Javascript. As well as programming I have a strong background in art and enjoy drawing in my spare time. When I’m not sat at my computer I like to keep fit by going to the gym or using my exercise ball.

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