The Long Dark - Story Mode - Wintermute Walkthrough (Episode 1) > MGW: Video Game Guides, Cheats, Tips and Tricks
The Long Dark – Story Mode – Wintermute Walkthrough (Episode 1)
The Long Dark – Story Mode – Wintermute Walkthrough
Episode 1: Do Not Go Gentle
Will Mackenzie wakes up after his plane mysteriously crashes on Great Bear Island. While searching for his passenger, Dr. Astrid Greenwood, he comes across the small town of Milton, whose sole resident appears to be the Grey Mother, an elderly, blind woman. While she seems to know more about Astrid’s whereabouts, she does not trust Will and demands he help her before divulges any information.
Chapter 1: Survival of the Fittest
So let’s jump right in! Once you have control of Will, look at the piece of metal sticking out of his hand. You’ll want to interact with it and then rapidly hit the LMB. Eventually, the bar will fill, and he’ll yank the piece of metal out.
Now he’s bleeding through. If you take a look at your status, you’ll see this:
The status screen is where you can find more detailed information about your environment and condition. Here you’ll see that Will is suffering from the affliction of blood loss on his left hand. You’ll need to find a bandage to treat it before he dies. So walk around a bit until you find a first aid kit on the ground. The game will then walk you through using medications and other treatments.
Once you’ve stopped the blood loss, you need to find somewhere for Will to rest that is protected from the wind. Caves are great places to take shelter when there are no artificial buildings about, so keep moving forward until you find one. Once you enter the cave, the game walks you through the importance of fire and how to make one. Will then falls asleep.
Important Note: You’ll see in the screenshot below a pile of moss found inside the cave. That moss serves as Will’s bed. Be sure not to place your fire on top of moss or directly beside it, as some players have experienced a glitch where Will wakes up inside the fire and dies.
As you can see from your stats, Will is dehydrated and starving.
You need to start a fire to melt snow into the water. If you look back to where you started the fire last night, you’ll see the remainders of the previous fire. You can start new fires from burnt-out ones. Make sure to boil the water before drinking it to kill anything that could make you sick.
Now you need to find some food. Head out to the remains of the plane wreckage and loot any containers that you come across. You can also break the green crates for firewood and possibly supplies. There will be an MRE inside the metal container on the left, facing the crash.
After eating the MRE, Will complains about his injuries from the crash. You’ll see in the image below that there is a risk of the wound become infected.
You should have found some antiseptic, so go ahead and use it to heal the infection risk. After that, Will decides it’s time to retire for the day.
The weather is turning bad, and Will will freeze to death if we don’t build up the fire. So head outside and pick up any sticks or wood you can find. There should be around five cedar logs lying around, crates you can break up for reclaimed wood, books inside the crates, and plenty of sticks.
Once you’ve gathered all the wood, light another fire and add enough fuel that the burn time is 9 hours or more. You’ll have to wait for Will’s temperature bar to fill up, so spend some time boiling water, tearing up newspaper to make tinder plugs, or crafting bandages. Once the bar fills up, and you exit the fire screen, the day will end.
So Will has survived another night. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have any food. Head outside, and the game will teach you about crows. When you hear them, there’s some kind of body nearby. Corpses can also be found wherever the crows are circling, so look up when you hear them cawing.
As you’ll be able to see, there is some kind of dead creature up on the ledge across the ravine. And luckily for Will, a tree was blown over by the storm, which is perfectly placed for him to cross. After reaching the ledge, you’ll find a green backpack and metal case. The case will trigger a cutscene that gives some background, so be sure to pick it. This backpack isn’t searchable, but normally you can rifle through them.
After picking up the story items, head over to the dead deer; the game will let you harvest the meat. Go ahead and take all of it. Now you can eat it raw, but I (and the game) recommend you cook the meat first. You can either start a fire on the ledge or head back to your cave.
In your journal, the game suggests you try and climb out of the ravine. The climbing area can be found on the ledge, between the rosehip bushes.
Unfortunately, Will is still injured, and his attempt has only won him a sprained ankle. The game will then teach you about rosehips, which can act as an alternative to painkillers.
To use rosehips, you must first craft them into prepared rosehips. These can then be cooked with water to create tea.
Once you’ve filled Will’s stomach, he’ll retire for the day.
Will notes that he feels capable of climbing out of the ravine today, and if you check your status, you’ll see that the plane crash injury affliction has disappeared. So head back to the ledge and climb out. You’ll have a few more walls to climb, but the path is pretty linear. Eventually, you’ll come across the skeleton of Will’s plane. A cutscene will play, and the next chapter will begin.
Chapter 2: Echoes of Astrid
At this point, you’re pretty much free to do as you like. The game will give you a pop-up every once in a while to explain a new game mechanic, but you’re in control of everything else.
The first thing you’ll want to do is break up the green crate next to the crash.
This crate is special because it will provide you with more clothes. But don’t put them on immediately. If you check the clothes in your bag, you’ll see that they’re frozen. Obviously, wearing frozen clothing makes you feel colder instead of warmer. You have to set them next to a fire or keep them in a warm environment, such as a house, to thaw them out.
Anyways, keep going until you come to a frozen lake. The game will teach you about throwing stones. While the tutorial mentions how you can stun rabbits with them, you can also use rocks to distract wolves. Just throw them near the wolf, and it will investigate the sound.
Once you’re done exploring the lake, head towards the trees with moss on them. There will be another rockface for you to climb. If you’re having trouble locating it, look for the rosehip bushes around the base of the wall.
Once you get up the rock, there will be a dead deer. You can harvest it if you want, but there shouldn’t be any desperate need. Walk forward a little bit, and there will be a cave to your left.
Upon entering the cave, you’ll get a pop-up explaining the annoyance that is darkness. You’ll also unlock the blueprint for a torch. Unfortunately, you need lantern fuel to make a torch, and you don’t have that yet.
Thankfully, the game sees fit to provide you with a starter torch! Strike a match so you can see the torch (or just fumble about in the dark, Long Dark veterans) and pick it up. Or you might have taken a torch from a previous fire, in which case just pull that out and light it.
Once you set it alight, you can start exploring the cave. Don’t forget to search for the dead body and backpack. One of the two should have some lantern fuel, which will let you craft your own torches. This cave is pretty linear, so you shouldn’t get lost. There are a few forks, but they either lead to dead-ends or back to the main path. You do want to explore it thoroughly, though, because some nice goodies and side-story items are scattered about.
After exiting the cave, you will come across your first wolf.
The game will explain the basics of wolves. As you can tell, this particular wolf was eating and focused on the dead deer, allowing you to sneak past (crouch) it quite easily. You can also try to scare it off by throwing a torch or flare, but that doesn’t always work, so be careful. If the wolf attacks you, you will end up in a struggle.
When the wolf leaps on your character, the game will slow down and give you a short period of time to pick a weapon. At this point, all you have is the metal shard, but there are other types of weapons with various effects. For example, the metal shard will cause the wolf to bleed, while hitting it with a pry bar or hammer will scare it away faster. Regardless, once you’ve chosen your weapon, you enter the land of frantic button mashing. You want to try and fill the bar as much as possible until the struggle ends. If you’re successful, the wolf will run away yelping. If you fail, you’re character will blackout and regain conscienceness later.
Anyways, keep going past the wolf until you come to a road that Will comments on. You want to head left and follow the road, but watch out for the wolf around this area. If you hear the barking, head for the nearest car to hide. You can leapfrog between cars to avoid the wolf or just scare it using a torch/flare. If you’re tired, you can also sleep inside a car. Just light a fire outside to keep warm and make sure it hasn’t blown out while sleeping.
Eventually, you will come to a fork in the road. The right path will lead to some trailers that you can rest in if needed. Head down the left path to continue the story. You will find a church, which has a wolf out front, so be careful. There are some more side-story items inside, along with some clothing and wood. You can also sleep inside.
Keep following the road, and you will come to the town of Milton. You must enter from the road. Otherwise, the game won’t register that you’ve completed the quest objective. You’re in the clear once Will makes some comments about the town looking abandoned and that smoke is coming out of one house. Enter the house with smoke coming out of its chimney.
Chapter 3: The Grey Mother
The first NPC Will encounters, and she shoots at him. Well, this is shaping up to be a fruitful relationship.
The first you want to do is go through all of the dialogue options. For some reason, the game won’t give you the first quest if you skip them. Anyways, Grey Mother won’t tell you any information until you prove yourself to her. But she has given you a map!
Important Note: You’ll notice that most of Grey Mother’s furniture has red text when you interact with it. This means that it belongs to her, and she won’t be very pleased with you if you try to loot or break down her furniture. You will lose “trust” in her.
“Trust” can be earned by completing the objectives given to you by an NPC or giving them items they need. You can find a list of the items Grey Mother needs in the people tab of the journal. The numbers indicate the amount of trust you earn for each item. You can also find a list of the rewards you can earn for increasing her trust.
The first objective is to get her some firewood. If you check your journal, you’ll see that you need to get her 24 hours of burn time. This can come from sticks, reclaimed wood, etc… so there’s no real need to go chop limbs. If you explore the town, you should find enough coal and reclaimed wood to fulfill the quest. As a quick reminder:
-stick = 8 mins
-reclaimed wood = 30 mins
-coal = 1 hour
-cedar wood = 1 hour
-firwood = 1 hour, 30 mins
You want to place all of the wood for her into the bin right outside her front door.
You can’t take anything out of the bin once the quest is finished, so be sure to only put her firewood in there.
As for the hatchet she mentioned, go ahead and pick it up. It is a much better weapon against wolves than the metal shard Will pulled from his hand. There is a little shed behind Grey Mother’s house with a red toolbox. The hatchet will be on top of the box and a prybar in one of the drawers.
Once you’ve stocked Grey Mother with firewood, she’ll tell you a little of what’s happened in the past few days and give some tantalizing tidbits about Astrid. But now she wants food before she’ll tell you more. She also suggests you rob the gas station outside of town if you’re having trouble finding enough.
Once again, check your journal for more details. In this case, Grey’s Mother wants at least 8000 calories worth of food in her fridge. You should honestly be able to get enough by looting the abandoned houses of Milton. Grey Mother has also marked the locations of several deer carcasses if you need more food but doesn’t want to break into the gas station.
If you’re really desperate, go to the gas station. The only penalty seems to be that you gain less trust with Grey Mother (+5 vs. +10). Just turn left after leaving Grey Mother’s house and follow the road out of town to get there. The station will be on your right. You’ll need a pry bar to open the door.
Grey’s Mother is quite pleased with Will, and she drops some more information about Astrid. But it doesn’t sound good. Unfortunately, she clams up again. At this point, you have to let her “rest” for a while. This is a good time to do side quests, increase Grey Mother’s trust, or finish looting Milton. You’ll know it’s time to progress when your map shows a giant exclamation mark over Grey Mother’s house.
So it seems Astrid may have left town via the tunnel. But all the talk of strange men is a little disconcerting. Will’s next mission is to go check out the tunnel and report back to Grey’s Mother. This is pretty easy; just follow the road past the gas station, and you’ll find a wrecked bus. A cutscene will play, and it’s back to Grey Mother for Will!
Well, that’s sad. I’m starting to like Grey Mother…she even makes you a magic soup that stays hot forever. Anyways, it’s time to let her rest again. Like before, just wander around until the map shows an exclamation mark over Grey Mother’s house.
…Okay…I’m getting the distinct impression that Grey’s Mother and Will are talking about completely different things. But let’s humor her (if only for the sake of story progression). The farmhouse has been marked on your map, so it should be easy to find. Don’t forget to check the mailbox for a potential rifle round!
Unfortunately, it’s locked. The key is in the truck off to the left of the farmhouse. Once again, Will makes some comments about his current quest, letting you know you’re on the right track.
As usual, there’s some pretty nice stuff in here. To find the deposit key, you need to search the urn on the fireplace.
You’ll also find a locked box in the office. The key to this can be found on the dead body in the shed outside. But be careful; a wolf is chowing on it, and he’s not going to give up his meal easily. Prepare for a struggle.
Anyways, now you need to use that key. If you haven’t started the Milton Deposit Box quest, now is like any good a time as ever. The deposit boxes are found in the vault at the back of the bank. The vault code is found in the bank manager’s house (the one with the Canadian flag), and you need his house key to get in.
Go ahead and open the deposit box. You get another box, which is for Grey Mother. Head on back to her place.
…and the box contained pearls? This isn’t making any sense, and Will is completely fed up. Fortunately (or unfortunately), Will is bound by linear storytelling and thus does not just march right out of town. Talk to Grey Mother, and she’ll tell you to give the pearls to LIly, who is at the graveyard. Head on back to the church, and enter the graveyard across the road. You’ll get a sad cutscene. Then it’s back to Grey Mother for your final cutscene.
Chapter 4: Paradise Lost
Well, that was sad. I don’t know about you, but I really like Grey Mother. For those who just wanted to steal her rifle from the get-go, take solace in the fact that you don’t have to deal with her anymore.
Anyways! Head upstairs and unlock the chest. You’ll get some nice items and the all-important mountaineering rope. Now Chapter 4 officially begins! Take any magic soup left for you and use Grey Mother’s magic fire to do any last-minute cooking.
Time to head out! Take a right after passing the Milton gate (the picture on the right shows the path you want to take, looking back at Milton), and eventually, you’ll see a hiking sign.
Keep going past the ranger station until you come to a picnic area. You want to attach your mountaineering rope to the rock pictured below.
As Will says, you won’t be coming back to Milton once you go down the rope. So finish up your remaining side-quests, max out Grey Mother’s trust, etc…
If you’re encumbered, you can’t go down the rope, so this is a good time to practice inventory management. The next area is pretty generous with the items, so don’t worry about messing up. Make sure your clothes are ~100% condition (cloth is heavy) and don’t leave the hatchet behind! Coffee is also nice to bring. When you’re ready, click on the rope and head down the cliff.
Ouch. Time certainly took a toll on that rope. Well, gotta move forward. Keep following the climbing area signs, and you’ll eventually come across another mountaineering rope.
Since you’re climbing up instead of down, this trip will exhaust you much more. Make sure your tiredness bar is at least half full (full is best). Drink any coffee if you have it, and start climbing the rope.
Once you’re at the top, it’s pretty much a straight shot. If you’re not sure where to go, head for the waterfalls. You’ll have to climb over the fallen tree to advance. After some time, you’ll come across a cave. This cave is linear like the previous one; any detours will lead to dead ends in short order. So keep going until you find the cave exit. One more cutscene and then credits!
Important Note: After the credits (you can skip with ESC), you’ll be brought back to the main menu. You want to select “Wintermute” and then “Load” to access the save you just finished. If you select “New” and then Episode 2 instead, you’ll be starting fresh and not have any of the nice items you collected in Episode 1.
Light Up the Night
You will unlock this side quest after earning 175 trusts with Grey Mother. Will wants something to defend himself from the wolves. While Grey Mother isn’t going to give him her rifle, she does know that one of the neighbors owned a distress pistol in case of emergencies. However, he seems to have hidden it to prevent the kids from shooting themselves in the eye.
You can check your map to learn approximately which house the flare gun is in (see the picture below for the exact house). Once you enter, Will will comment on old McDermott hiding the gun, so you know you’re on the right track. The gun is under the rug in the bedroom.
Milton Deposit Boxes
There are a few locked deposit boxes at the bank. One is unlocked during the story, but you have to find keys for the others.
First of all, you need to gain access to the deposit boxes. They’re locked in the vault at the back of the bank, and Will won’t even attempt to unlock it without the combination.
To get the combination, you need the bank manager’s house key. It can be found in the top drawer of the office on your right when you first enter the bank. This key unlocks the house with the Canadian flag outside.
Once you’re in the bank manager’s house, search the bedside drawer on the right. You’ll find a piece of paper with the vault code on it. Then just head to the vault and unlock it.
Deposit Box #7
This key is in the below house, Milton. You’ll find it in a plastic container, under the bed.
Deposit Box #13
This key can be found on a corpse outside of Milton. Head out of town as though you’re going to the farm. Once you reach the wooden bridge, turn left and follow the river. The corpse will be on your right, upon the snowbank. Look for circling crows.
Deposit Box #15
You’ll find this key during the story. It’s on Paradise Meadows farm. Check the main story walkthrough for more details.
Deposit Box #20
The key to this box is in the blue truck on the outskirts of Milton. You want to leave Milton as though going to the gas station, but head off the road to your right. The key will be on the dashboard of the car.
Milton Supply Caches
You must have activated the relevant mission for the cache to appear. Check your journal and click on the “side mission” tab to check if the cache mission is active.
Medical Supply Cache
You can unlock this cache by raising Grey Mother’s trust to 125. She’ll tell you that the Millers have some medical supplies hidden in their backyard. If you check the map, you can see that the Miller lives right in on the edge of town, near the gas station. The cache can be found behind the second-to-last house on the way to the gas station.
Church Supply Cache
This is unlocked through a note found in the below car. It should be on the floor of the passenger seat. The cache is behind the church on the way into Milton, near a fallen tree.
Radio Tower Cave Cache
To unlock this cache, you need to pick up the below note. It can be found in the little house upon a hill, somewhat separated from Milton.
The cache itself is hidden in a cave near the radio tower. The tower should already be marked on your map, and there are little signs along with the trail up.
When you reach a big, knocked-over tree, go under it. The cave will be down the slope. The cache itself is hidden in the big rock at the very back of the cave.