The Longing-ist Playthrough: Day 1: Part 1 – 01/01/2022 – 400 Days to go…

2 January, 2022 - 11:01 pm by
About 9 mins to read

(Alright, before you start – Day 1 turned into a pretty long session of exploration and therefore a bit of a mammoth write-up! 😅 I’m hoping to limit my playtime going forward to keep things more manageable.)

Okay, so here we go! Firing up the game you get straight into it – the Mountain King cuts a pretty imposing figure, with his crown merging with the stone of the cavern ceiling and makes for a rather awesome sight. After a few emotional words about how the Shade should absolutely not leave the caves and passing comment on his loyalty, he begins his slumber to regain his strength, and the timer at the top of the screen begins to countdown.

The big boss man – better do as he says

And with that it was time to begin my long wait. Entering the small doorway at the King’s feet, I find [my room]; it’s not exactly homely. There’s a bookshelf, a desk and a little arm chair, but that’s really about it. There was a hole in the wall at the back of room too, actually. Where might that lead? Approaching the desk, it seems I can do some drawing. I asked the Shade to do a sketch of himself; I wanted to use white but it seems I don’t have any of that lying around, so I had to use black, which I assume is charcoal.

Oh god. That’s a rather bleak outcome. I wouldn’t say the sketch was of him at all and instead just looked like a scribbled void in the middle of the page. I don’t think this little Shade has much in the way of self confidence… 😐 I hung the rather damning sketch above the hole in the wall behind the armchair and decided to check out what that was all about. Oh! It turns out it’s a fireplace! Nice. A bit of a fire would make the place much more cosy, but I don’t have any materials to start one with. I think I’m beginning to see a pattern here…

I played with the menus a little bit to try and figure out anything else that I needed to know. It turns out I can remember places that I want the Shade to walk back to and there’s a button to return to the [Hall of the King] – that’s going to be very handy when I’m exploring, I’m sure. Well, with that it’s time for me and the Shade to head out and try and find some stuff to spruce this place up a bit. I can’t be living here for 400 days in the state it’s in now. On my way back out I notice a broken instrument lying on the floor – it looks like I’ll be able to play music to pass the time too, once I collect all of the pieces. Another thing to keep my eyes out for…

I walk through the [Hall of the King] and ascend the large stairway opposite the entrance to [my room]. The music here is regal and impressive, but it’s pretty foreboding too. It gives this big room more of a sinister feel than a grand one.

“There’s no need to hurry. I have plenty of time.

The Shade

Yeah, you’re right about that pal – 399 days, 23 hours, 47 minutes and 35 seconds. Plenty of time, indeed. The stairway continues up and I find first one piece of coal on the floor and then another. At the top of the stairs there’s a big set of doors that I want to go through, but they’re old and stiff and are going to take some time to open…

Okay, so that thankfully only took 30 seconds or so, but I can imagine that’s only a taste of things to come. Going through the door it opens up into a large room decorated with soft pink stone columns and with red crystals embedded in the walls – very nice! The music here isn’t quite so worrying either; it’s got some strings and a bit of a synth sound that definitely eludes to the start of something new.

Come on man, that’s not even a squeeze!

“This seems like a great place to be lonely.”

The Shade

Ugh – well that’s depressing, my man. We’re only 15 minutes in and you’re already getting in my feels. Inspecting the crystals on the wall, the Shade reliably informs me that while his nose is sharp, it’s not sharp enough to dig the crystals out of the wall, and that I’ll need a mattock for that. More self-deprication – I’m hoping he gets over this stuff. I hadn’t even considered taking the crystals, but if that’s on the cards then I’m all for it. I decide I should probably add this place to my remembered rooms so that I can come back here later on and dig out those shiny stones. [The crystal crossroads] has three doors leading out of it.. Which way should I go?

I decide to use the long-held rule of my tabletop role-playing group that says you should always go left when you have a choice of direction and you’re inside (but you should always choose right if you’re outside, for anyone wondering), and go through the left-most door. I find myself in a room with a row of broken [crystal windows] which look rather cool, though it does make me wonder why they’re broken. The regular pillars and windows give this room the look of a chapel, but it turns out just to be a connecting corridor. We are however, back to the creepy music… An underground kingdom is a pretty spooky place to live, it would seem.

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The [crystal windows] – I love this room.

Through another doorway and I’m faced with another choice… head up the high path, or down the low one? High path. Annnnd.. more doors. Oh god, it’s going to be so easy to get lost down here. Should I start a map? Ooh, what’s that on the floor? I found a piece of flint for the fire! Awesome – I just need one more piece and probably some wood and I can get the fire going. The path seems to be taking me deeper and I’m faced with a rather [creepy cave mouth]

“This looks like the entrance to a dark and lonely place. Just what I need.”

The Shade

Thanks pal – that fills me with tonnes of confidence. What the hell was that noise?! Is there something else down here? Nope, it’s just a recurring sound-effect… I think. The walls are starting to look less like halls and more like roughly hewn caves here. Anyway, I go through the door only to be faced by three more doors. Going through the furthest one (always go left, remember), there’s another two doors. This place is becoming like an ants nest and it feels like I haven’t a chance in hell of exploring all of these doors logically – I just know I’m going to get lost and/or confused as I try to backtrack. The pathways are leading me ever deeper and I’m beginning to feel like the hobbits exploring the mine of Moria – the place feels ancient and enormous. I pass a [collapsed doorway] that looks like I’m going to want to explore when I’ve found that mattock and can clear the rubble. There’s loads of coal down here – I’m collecting it pretty regularly as it dislodges from the ceiling and falls to the floor in small lumps. More doors to choose from…

Finally, a dead end! I’ve come to a steep wall that the Shade can’t climb up, so I begin to backtrack. I found a path that would seem to lead me back uphill but I change my mind and head back – I might as well explore as much of the deep as I can, since that’s where I started.

And this is where I took a break to go and grab some Chinese food, because I was hungover after New Year’s drinks and in serious need of something to help me get right. 😅

Continue reading: Day 1: Part 2