The Forest: Digital Diary

It’s a 2014 game I’ve held off playing because I don’t really like the early access dance that happens on Steam a lot. I’m happy to say I was right to wait, because I’ve researched online and they’ve made a ton of improvements, added multiple endings, and a lot of cool items/crafting to it. I am also happy to play this one because it is apparently 20-30 hours depending on your play style and experience, not hundreds of hours being logged into the abyss.

So anyways, this game is really fun so far. Has a Bioshock-ish intro, throws you on an Island to survive natural ways to die, along with crazy cannibal tribes people trying to hunt you down. In my second night playing, I built a treehouse with a zipline that shoots me to the shore so I can collect items. Welp I was finishing some crafting in the treehouse at night when I heard sprinting under me. I saw 4 or 5 maniac cannibals running around with torches looking for me because they saw I had an ocean shelter on the beach from the day before. It was terrifying and exciting as I sat crouched in the tree hoping they wouldn’t look up, which they didn’t.

This game is totally my speed right now, a great break in between just beating Days Gone and diving into Spider-Man on PS4. I highly recommend the Forest so far, will add more thoughts as I continue to have experiences.

Oh btw, it apparently has co-op as well, so I can imagine the experience is awesome with a buddy or 2. It also has VR options, which maybe I’ll try after beating the normal version… too tired to stand up in my living room and fake chop trees and stab turtles with make shift spears :smiley:

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If you think the cannibals are terrifying, just you wait!

I only played around 7hrs according to Steam and I haven’t played since that Early Access you spoke of, but it was good fun even back then. I think I switched over to The Long Dark Early Access at the time (which incidentally is nowhere near finished). Was on a ‘survival sandbox’ kick for awhile there.

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Yeah I heard about boss fights and know “crazy” things are bound to happen. Can’t wait

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Oh man, You’re in for a treat. I finished it with 3 of my friends. We had a blast.

Just one advice: Explore, explore a lot. You’ll be surprised with stuff you can find.

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Yeah I figured as much - just building an amazing Ewok village first so I can safely navigate important areas all via the trees. It is actually a great setup so far. I have a beach lodge, and a tree village with bridges and ziplines. I just want to extend it out a little further so I can safely traverse in the trees out of sight if needed for safety. I think what I might do is take screenshots every playthrough and do a diary log from my character’s perspective. Will make it extra fun! I think I want to beat it once alone, then play through cooperatively because I feel like I’ll get enjoyment from each experience.

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Entry #1

My name is Eric Leblanc. If you’re reading this digital diary, chances are I’m already dead.

I woke up in plane crash wreckage and saw my son, Timmy, get carried off by what appeared to be a native to the island I’m stuck on. I can’t remember why we were on that plane or where we were headed, and I bet the bump on my head is evidence that I had some sort of concussion during the crash… better that than dead I suppose.

I passed out shortly after seeing Timmy get taken. When I came to, I stepped foot off the plane, and into a forest jungle where I realized I was living the real life version of the popular television show, Lost. I turned around and decided to get back on the plane to see what I could find to help keep me alive out here. Lying on the ground in a pool of her own blood was the cute blond stewardess who was kind to Timmy. She was dead. I never saw a dead body laying where it actually died before. I’ve been to plenty of wakes and funerals, but this was very different, especially considering it wasn’t the plane crash that killed her, but the axe that was lodged in her back. After significant pulling, I was able to free the axe from her body. The ordeal was traumatic, but considering she was most likely murdered by the thing that just ran off with my son, I needed every resource I could get my hands on if I planned to ever see him again.

I used the axe to pry open suitcases where I found clothing, candy bars, duct tape, money, and other useful items I wouldn’t expect people to pack for a trip on an airplane. I went back to my seat where I remembered something that could very well save my life, Timmy’s Survival Guide book I gave him for his last birthday. Who would have known that the tool I used to encourage Timmy to stay in Boy Scouts would actually be put to the test in the field to save our lives. The last thing I found on the plane was my cell phone and solar powered charger, but considering I won’t be using this to make phone calls anytime soon, I’ve dubbed it my “digital diary.” If I don’t survive, you’ll have my entries and pictures to tell my story, no, OUR story of what happened here. If I do survive and find Timmy, this diary can be used for many purposes including closure for those who lost loved ones on the flight, coordinates to the island, and who knows… maybe a book or movie deal.

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love your writeup

I played this game waaaaaay back at the beginning and thought it was great. But I stopped and didn’t pick it up again because of well, early access. sounds like its finally time to play it proper!

I swear though, way back then, I thought the protagonist was a female. ROFL

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Entry #2

Today is the sixth day I’ve been on this island, and I still have no idea where I am, but more importantly, where Timmy is. Thankfully his Survival Guide has kept me alive in multiple ways including building shelter, eating non-toxic berries, and building a rain catcher out of a turtle shell and some sticks… I don’t need to document how I came by the shell… I need to learn to accept that some actions are required to keep me alive, and live with what those things are.

I made a small hunting shelter on the beach my first night by using sticks, rocks, and leaves. I hid my shelter in one of the many shipwrecked cargo containers on the shoreline. The shelter was very basic, but served its purpose to help get me through the night without sticking out like a sore thumb to the natives. How do I know? Well… because I heard footsteps and whispers around me many times throughout that night, yet I was never found. If I don’t die at their hands, I’ll die of a heart attack worrying that they’ll find me at some point.

I decided to spend the next few days gathering resources to build a more hidden, longer term shelter, as I assumed it was only a matter of time before I was found by the island people. I’m convinced the treetops are the best solution to staying out of sight, while enjoying the vantage point they provide to spot incoming threats. Inspired by the Ewok village from Return of the Jedi, and with the aid of the survival guide, I built a tree top shelter, complete with rope bridges, and even a zipline to take me down to my original shelter on the beach. In the event I am spotted in the trees, I’ll have an escape route.

I was also able to make a log sleigh to help me store more building supplies than I can carry with my hands.

Late yesterday, I was able to put the finishing touches on my tree top lodge by adding some rope entries, and thankfully I did, as my first night spent in the trees proved to save my life…

I awoke in the middle of the night to hear loud screaming and rustling in the forest below. My heart raced as I reached for my crafting axe and cell phone for the flash-light function if needed. The natives were sprinting around the area beneath me, all the way to my storage container shelter on the beach. They must have had a plan to surprise me in the middle of the night as they had at least six or seven men running around, inspecting what I built, and clearly looking for me. One of them, the pack leader, was carrying a torch. If he saw me in the trees, he could have burned me out of my shelter. Thankfully he didn’t see or hear me, not even when I risked taking a picture to add to the diary. Yes, that was a stupid move, but I need to document everything happening here as I am positive the outside world is not aware of this island or these people.

I still have an uneasy feeling that I’ll eventually make contact with the natives. After seeing what they did to the stewardess, I’m convinced they’re not a peaceful tribe, and I need to use Timmy’s guide to make weapons. Today I plan to make a club and some spears. If I feel like getting crazy, perhaps some molotov cocktails. As I mentioned earlier in this entry, this island is forcing me to think and do things I wouldn’t do in any other circumstance. I’ve never killed… well really anything outside of insects… and that turtle for the rain catcher. I don’t even keep fish I catch when I take Timmy to Mine Falls Pond. I don’t know if I have it in me to kill large animals like the deer I’ve seen on the island, let alone a person. I suppose I’d kill for Timmy, but I’ll know for sure when the moment presents itself when it comes to my own self defense. I’ll have to rely on my adrenaline and instincts… they’ve gotten me this far.

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Entry #3

It has been three days since my last entry, meaning eight total days in this Godforsaken place.

I’m no longer the man I was when I crashed here eight days ago… so much has happened in three days.

As mentioned in my last entry, I’ve been busy crafting weapons. Blunt spears, axes, and clubs made of sticks, skulls, and rocks. I also made a bow out of a stick and some bungee rope and arrows out of sticks, sharp flint, and feathers. It isn’t just the book that helps me with crafting, but it feels like it is all oddly familiar, or at least easier than it should be.

Now that I established a tree base, provisions, and weapons, I decided it was time to explore. Maybe I could find clues as to Timmy’s whereabouts? Perhaps I’d discover other useful items. Either way, I needed a good gauge on how big this place is if I ever wanted to see my son again and get off this thing.

I decided to keep the ocean on my left and follow the coast line as far as it would go. An hour or so in, I discovered a few tents with luggage cases and random items around like flares. Does that mean Timmy and I weren’t the only ones to survive the plane crash? Maybe there were people on this island before us?!

As I continued to wander, I got extremely hungry. Soon enough, I ate through nearly all of my provisions and realized I needed to find berries or hunt for food very soon. I stumbled upon a dear and realized I didn’t have it in me to try to kill it. I snapped its picture which startled it and it took off. Soon I came across an unsuspecting squirrel and I knew it had to be me or him… so I swung quickly with my axe before I could think too hard on it, breaking the squirrel’s back as I missed with the blade itself.
After I built a fire and ate the meat, the satisfying taste and full stomach made me forget any type of sadness I was feeling in the moment.


A little further ahead, I spotted more natives in the distance. It looked like they were sprinting right towards me, so I crouched into some thick bushes and prayed they wouldn’t see me. Thankfully, they sprinted down below the cliffs I was near and ran the shoreline. They appeared to be searching desperately for something, but I have no idea what they were looking for.

I used the opportunity to sneak by them. They had to be coming from somewhere, a home base of their own. Maybe that’s where they were keeping Timmy or other survivors from the crash. Maybe there were items there to help me press on. Once out of sight and sound, I picked up the pace.

As assumed, I came across some wooden huts with what looked like warning poles out front with heads on them, and a fire that had just died out. After searching the grounds for any type of resources, I turned to leave and saw him standing in front of me, as still as a statue with eyes like a crazy person. I was standing 10 feet from a native painted in some sort of ceremonial paint. I knew by his demeanor he was sizing me up, thinking about how he planned to kill me and most likely eat me. Then it happened, in a split second, he sprinted at me shrieking with fire and lunacy.

I side stepped him quickly and bashed him with my blunt axe on his shoulder as he swung by, missing what could have been a devastating punch to my temple. He surprisingly took the blow well, spun around, and sprinted into the woods. Within five seconds, he sprinted back, but this time on all fours, seemingly running as fast as a dog. I wound up with all of my might and connected with his head like a baseball at a batting cage.

When I opened my eyes, I examined my enemy. He had a significant gash in his head where I connected, blood pouring out. He was moaning a very low, dazed moan, and I knew I had to finish him then and there before his cries got louder and his reinforcements got wiser to my presence. I switched to my crafting axe as it was the sharpest item I had on me. I took a deep breath, imagined my enemy as nothing but a large piece of meat, wound up with my hands behind my head, and came down on his neck as hard as I possibly could. In one instant, I went from a guy who was forced to hunt squirrels and kill a turtle to survive, to a decapitating man-killer.

Then I heard an immediate rustling in the woods behind me. I turned around with an axe swing and connected with the chest of another native, killing him instantly before he could stab me with what looked to be a very sharp spear. I dragged his body inside one of the huts and decided to set it on fire to send a message to my new friends.

I apologize for the graphic nature of my descriptions and photos, but you will experience this as I have. Through this diary, you will live how I lived. It’s the only way you’ll be able to understand why I’ve done what I’ve done. I don’t have a choice. It isn’t about me anymore. Everything I do is for Timmy.

I need time to process everything. Right now I feel nothing. Cold… empty… nothing

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Entry #4

Days nine through twelve have proven increasingly difficult. For the first time since crashing here, I felt like I didn’t have it in me to survive.

After killing the two natives, I set their camp on fire in hopes that their huts would burn down and the rest would move to the northern end of the island and leave me alone out of fear for what I’d do next. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Not only did their huts not fully burn down, but within ten minutes of returning to my tree lodge to rest for the night, I heard swarming all around me. I wasn’t sure if they saw me or not, but I believe they tracked me back to the general area.

This was the first time I heard them communicate amongst themselves. It was mostly a combination of hissing and clicking their mouths, but certainly enough for them to respond and act on. When I could sneak peaks between the boarded base frame of my lodge, I saw them divide and search the area around me, sniffing the leaves and grass I had brushed by several times. I thought for sure they’d simply look up, and that would be the end of me. Truthfully, I somewhat longed for it, not for the idea of dying, but more so the idea of not having to worry about keeping from thirst, starvation, being poisoned, or worst of all, hunted… but… they never found me.

I watched them scurry back to wherever they came from and I stared up at the moon for what felt like hours. I thought about how no matter where anyone was, there were people out there looking at the same moon I was. People off in a distant safe place far from this nightmare. It made me feel less alone.

When I woke in the morning, I decided I needed to abandon my tree lodge for a while. Once again, I packed up all of my weapons and rations and traveled up the west side of the island in search for Timmy. Rather than uncover new ground, I thought it best to retrace the area I was familiar with, then explore new places from there.

After reaching the huts I tried to burn down, I pressed further up the coast into uncharted territory. That’s when I found the oddest thing. Laying dead in the sand for a stretch of 25 to 30 yards or so were sharks. Dozens of sharks.

There was no sign of a wound on any of them. No harvesting of their carcasses. The birds didn’t even take interest in them. This made me wonder what was responsible for their deaths, and furthermore, why have they remained untouched?

I continued to press down the beach when I discovered the first glimpse of true hope, a boat!

I knew I had to get closer for an inspection, so I carefully worked my way down the cliff, all the while being chased by daylight. As I got to the beach parallel with the boat, I was able to see the front end was badly damaged, but the boat was still mostly intact. I decided to swim out to it and sneak up to peak inside, verses announcing myself to who could be a potential threat. I made my way onto the main deck of the boat, couldn’t see any sign of activity inside the cabin, and decided to enter at my own risk.

At first glance, things seemed mostly normal inside. I found an adorable unicorn picture made by one “Megan Cross” and it made me think of Timmy and how he used to draw me pictures like that and beg me to hang them around the house to show off to company.

I rummaged through some cabinets where I found first aid supplies, a tennis ball, and a yacht magazine from 1981. Is that how long this boat has been stuck on this island!? Hopefully its captain simply collected old boat magazines.

I made my way to the bed at the back and was incredibly seduced by the idea of simply lying down and going to sleep… but I couldn’t do it. The boat was in the middle of the open, its captain and potential family missing, and who knows if anyone was watching it or expected to return. I’d be like Goldie-locks, waking up to the three bears wondering why I’ve touched all their stuff and slept in their bed. But dang, it really did look comfortable. I snapped a picture to look at later when I was ready to go to sleep in some sort of cold, wet, makeshift sleeping arrangement I’m sure I’d be crafting soon.

I came out of the bedroom and turned to the other side of the cabin, only to feel my heart double its beats per minute. In the kitchen was a massacre of blood, guts, and a skull.

On the table was a severed head, couldn’t have been more than a few days old.

Last, and nearly as unsettling was a milk carton with Zachary, a missing child’s picture posted on the side.

Was the captain searching for this lost child on the island? Did he ever find him? Was I staring at what could potentially be my future if I wasn’t careful? If anything, the mess that was made and the questions that raced through my head helped bring to light the brutal reality of the situation, and ease my feelings about my killing from the days before. These island people can’t be thought of as people at all. They’re monsters, plain and simple, and I must fight them as such. It’s me or them, Timmy or them. I can live with what I’ve done, knowing how evil these things truly are.

As darkness crept up on me, I decided to swim back to shore and setup a hidden sleeping area close to the boat, but far enough out of sight to help me remain unseen. I stayed awake as long as I could, but never spotted any activity near the boat or the beach I was on. I must have been exhausted, because amidst the terror of what I had seen moments earlier, I dozed off.

When I came to, I stretched my legs, looked around and spotted a cross in the sand close by. Once I got closer, I realized it was marking a grave. The grave had photos of the boat scattered around it, and even a tent with s’mores sticks in the sand. Now I was convinced a child was on the island, but I wasn’t sure if they were who was buried, and I wasn’t about to dig up the grave to find out.



I decided to continue exploring down the beach. About an hour later, I came across more dead sharks on the shore. As I got closer to inspect them, I heard a rapid pitter patter getting louder and coming up closer behind me, so I spun around.

A native sprinted up to me on all fours, and as I prepped to give him a bash with my club, he stopped 10 feet short, stood up on his hind legs, and simply stared at me. Then he sprinted back into the forest, only to come back and do the same strange thing all over again. He did this three times, probably hoping I’d let my guard down, but I didn’t. On his fourth return, I sensed he was going to make his attack, and sure enough, he sprinted all the way up to me this time while making an attempt to tackle me. I was able to jump to the side of him and connect with a blow to his head with the edge of my club. I stood over him and violently crushed his skull with my club until I knew he was dead. Just killing a monster, have to keep telling myself. Just killing a monster…

I dragged said monster’s body over to my make shift overnight area, built a fire, and lit it all up. I wanted lots of smoke and the disgusting smell of burning flesh to get the native tribe’s attention, in hopes their fear would make them back off. Again, lots of risk this would backfire, but I had to keep trying…

I decided to continue exploring down the shore while the fire consumed everything around it. As I wound around the rocky border to the shore, I saw another native, only this one was sprinting full speed away from me, turned right and vanished into thin air!

That’s when it hit me… the natives lived in caves built into the massive ledge. I walked up to where the tribesman disappeared, and sure enough, there was a cave opening in front of me. As I stepped inside, I saw a light coming from around the corner, bouncing around the cave interior. I quietly pursued the source of the light, and that’s where I found a fire burning next to a tent. Survivor’s! I knew it! Maybe I could band together with them to fight this mess! Only, where were they? If the fire was fresh, but no one was around, and shortly before a native ran inside the very area I’m standing in now, did they scare the survivor? Did they kill them? Were they chasing them right now?! I wanted to find out, and potentially help the best I could, but I was simply exhausted and needed to set up a camp to rest.

I went outside, setup a hidden sleeping area in a bush, and convinced myself a tired me would only lead to my death, but a rested me would be effective towards whatever was in there. Tomorrow is a new day, and I planned to explore every inch of that cave and hopefully find Timmy and other survivors… and put down any enemy standing in my way…

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