A Tale of Survival in The Long Dark

thelongdark9

My name is Will Mackenzie.

I’m a bush pilot. At least, that was my profession before my plane was destroyed. No clue as to what happened. I was taking a flight, passing over Canada when a storm crept up on me. The weather shouldn’t have been like this – but something big happened. Lights brighter and fuller than the sun flashed; the plane felt like it was riding a wave. I lost control and crashed. So now I’m here, somewhere in the middle of Northern Canada. It does me no help to know even this must. Canada, Northern or not, is absolutely massive. And right now it’s freezing.

More to the point, I’m freezing.

thelongdark8At least I have found a place to duck out for the moment. Near what appears to be a logging camp I discovered a few buildings. No one’s here. It’s far too cold. Luckily, the hastily abandoned buildings still have salvageable goods. In one cabinet I found water bottles and a can of food. No can opener, though. In another there was a sweater. It doesn’t help my legs but it is better than nothing for now. Beneath the sweater was an older camera with film. Despite the dire situation, I’ve decided to keep it to document whatever happens from here on out. In the distance I saw a watchtower. I will head there next and get a feel for the environment. Not yet though, as wolves continue to circle the camp. Will anyone come back here if that’s the case?

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It was more difficult to reach the watchtower than expected. Heading up the snowy hill almost killed me at one point. Some areas have guard rails, but of course this sliver of a walkway had none. Even though my legs were basically frozen solid, I still managed to pull them out of the heavy snowfall and continue climbing. Up here there is actually a hearth so of course that’s what I’m warming up by now. My legs hurt like hell as the sensation comes back to them but I’d rather this than feel nothing at all.

thelongdark2There was a man at the base of this lookout post. At first I thought it might just be some trash but… It was definitely a man half buried in the snow just a few feet from the building I’m in now. He was face down. I wouldn’t have dared look him in the face anyway. With that said, I took his shoes and pants. It’s sad but what else can I do? He certainly didn’t need them anymore. At the moment I’m keeping them by the fire for wearing once I leave this place. There’s a bed here, though, and I think I’ll have to sleep for now.

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After I had put on the dead man’s pants I realized there was something in his pockets. It was a crumpled up piece of paper. After unfolding it I realized it was picture of him (probably) with a young child. His daughter? The creases on the photo make it seem like it had been looked at regularly. Beyond that there was nothing else in the pants pockets. Before leaving this tower I’ll put the photo back with him.

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I decided to head way out. While on the watchtower I saw what appeared to be uncovered train tracks. It could have been simply a trick of the light but it inspired me. I had to check it out and see where they led! Unfortunately, they trekked into a tunnel. A cargo train loaded with logs stuffed the entry way. Apparently there had been a collapse in the tunnel. So this storm must have been very sudden if everyone had been engaging in work as usual beforehand.

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By the train there was another dead body. They were buried even deeper under snow. Their feet were uncovered, though, as was their backpack. With no way to dry the ice-cold clothes I left them on their body but took the bag. Inside were a host of medical tools. I also found a paper inside. It seemed to be a note from (or to?) another logger.

“Christine!

I’m heading out of the logging camp tomorrow morning. You should come too. You know I’ve worked at this for years but the weather has never been like this. It feels different. The wolves are more active, too. They seem to know when things are coming.

Don’t make fun of me! I want you safe with Jared and me. We will be with the first logger out to the South.

– Frank”

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Following the train tracks only to discover a derailed train and body made the prospect of following them in the opposite direction painful. Instead, I set off to the right and hoped something might be out there. After about 10 minutes of walking I came upon a large log cabin. It was two stories and seemed like some sort of visitor lodge. Hoping there would be food, clothing, and maybe even a link to the outside world within, I stepped inside.

Instead I was treated to a damp scent and painfully lonesome room. With that said, the first floor featured a nice stove and a variety of items for my taking. Included in the haul included more water – thank god. Beyond that, beef jerky, candy bars, and soda! I can’t say I’ve ever been a fan of junk food but I’d be pitiful to refuse these gifts. Searching every nook and cranny took longer than I thought. Once the bottom floor had been picked clean I could already see the moon peeking in through the windows.

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Then I ventured upstairs and discovered another body. A man was slumped down at the head of the staircase. His skin was completely pale. But why was he dead? I had just seen there was still food and water right here. Was it really so cold that even being indoors could leave a grown man frozen? Jesus. As long as his body remained here I wouldn’t be able to stay long, but I couldn’t bear to move him either. Instead, I crept past the body, attempted to put him out of mind, and searched the second floor.

thelongdark3There was a bedroom up here with a few areas to search. In a drawer was a pair of pants that would soon be worn by myself. It seemed this may have been where the man had been living for a while. Atop a table were some empty water bottles, some filled with… nothing drinkable, and a handful of candy wrappers. When searching around the beds I discovered a notebook. Inside were drawings, primarily, along with scratchy notes.

I would love to stay here but that body is too much to bear. This is all too much. What is out there beyond my eventual death? I don’t care. I’m not ready to die yet. I’m going to survive.

You can learn more about The Long Dark by reading our recent hands-on preview.  If you like what you see then you can pick it up for yourself on Steam.

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[author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/marcus.jpg”]Marcus is a fellow with a love for video games, horror, and Japanese food. When he’s not writing about games for a multitude of sites, he’s usually still playing one. One day when he became fed up with the way sites would ignore niche titles he decided to start his own site by the name of Pixel Pacas. Writing about video games is something he hopes to continue doing for many years to come.  Some of Marcus’s favorite games include Silent Hill 2, Killer7, and The Sims. [/author]

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Marcus Estrada
Marcus is a fellow with a love for video games, horror, and Japanese food. When he’s not writing about games for a multitude of sites, he’s usually still playing one. Writing about video games is something he hopes to continue doing for many years to come.
Marcus Estrada

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Writer for @Cliqist - This is my new ''PROFESSIONAL'' account. Yay, crowdfunded video games!
Glad to see the BL visual novel Sentimental Trickster was funded. How about those #Kickstarter stretch goals? https://t.co/AEU8LaeD6M - 9 months ago
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