The Longing-ist Playthrough: Day 1: Part 2 – 399 Days 21 Hours 59 Minutes and 43 Seconds to go…

2 January, 2022 - 11:59 pm by
About 14 mins to read

Returning to the game, I found the Shade curled up on the floor asleep; he woke up and mumbled about dreaming of an endless hall with white pillars which sounds both frightening and incredible. I wandered around in the depths for a while until I came to another dead end. I could see that there was something stuck in the rock on the other side of the wall, but I can’t get to it. What is that? It looks like some kind of metal insect or something but it’s not moving. I do more backtracking and I eventually come to a tight tunnel space that the Shade had to crawl through; it opened up into a spacious cavern with some standing water in. Interesting; where will this lead to? The caves down here really are like a warren – I’m faced with two more sets of two-door-choices (I went left both times – best to stay consistent) and found myself at the top of the steep wall from earlier! Ah, so this place is a loop! Or at least, part of it is. Good to know.

Sorry to leave you down there in the dark, lil buudy

I turned back so as to try and keep track of where I had and hadn’t been, finding a pool that the Shade had to wade through. What the hell is that?! Oh my god, it’s LIGHT! Streaming through a doorway! And there’s a big plaque on the wall… Please don’t say “Way out”, cause I’m not allowed to go out…

“Only a fool tries to reach the end of eternity.”

Inscription on the plaque.

Well that’s certainly menacing. I was happy enough that this wasn’t an exit of any sort and went for it, asking the Shade to go inside. The room opened up into a huge white hall with high vaulted ceilings and lined with pillars – this is the room that the Shade had dreamed about! The music here sounds like some sort of holy song and is definitely more inviting than anything I’ve heard so far. It also seems that time has stopped in here! That could be useful later… I walk to the right, along the long hall… What is that, wrapped in a curtain?

I investigate and it is in fact a curtain, and one that matches my armchair, no less! Okay, I’m pretty stoked about finding curtains for [my room] – my first real find of the game! Now the place won’t look so bleak. I keep walking and find three books and a piece of paper before I see something that looks like a trapdoor on the floor… No, it’s not a trapdoor, but a rug! This place is fantastic – it’s like Ikea for dwarfs! The Shade warns me that the halls seem to be endless, and that, while it’s enjoyable to explore here, he is going to have to walk all the way back… Hmm… good point.

Look out of place much, my man?

I decide to keep going until I reach one more item, which turns out to be a book; I mark down the room for remembering and then turn back. I was surprised just how deeply into the room I had gone – it felt so much longer walking out than it did walking in! Must’ve been all the excitement of the free soft furnishings, I guess. I came out of the [Endless Hall] and wandered the caves some more, doing my best not to get lost.

I found the metal insect thingy! It turns out that it’s a crystal of some kind, but argh – I need the mattock to get it out of the wall! That thing is quickly becoming the item I want the most. With some more poking around I stumble on a small room with a boulder in and the sound of running water. Pushing the boulder out of the way, it looks like a little water fountain or something. I wonder where that water goes? I think I’m finally coming to the end of exploring this little cave system, and I go through the last door of the original three that I found upon entering the [creepy cave mouth]. The path leads deeper and I have a hunch that this is the path I turned back from right near the beginning… and it was. Great news – it is loop! Now I’m sure that I’m clear down here, though I have no idea how I’ve managed to explore everything without getting bamboozled!

Heading out of the [creepy cave mouth] I decide to explore some of the higher levels. Walking through one of the rooms, there’s a hole in the back wall and can see just how deep the caves seem to be; again, the impression here is that the network of caves is incredibly vast. Coming through a door I find myself at the bottom of a [huge staircase] and what’s that on the floor at the bottom? An instrument piece! Amazing – that’s two out of four that I have now. Heading up the stairs I come to a green door, which apparently leads to the library, but it’s blocked from the other side and I can’t get in. Dammit. The Shade isn’t happy with that either and tells me he’s gained ‘1x Disappointment’. Oh god, the last thing this poor guy needs is more bad news – he’s glum enough as it is!

I move on past the library and up more stairs – there’s tonnes of them. I see something red on the floor though… It’s a piece of clay that I can paint with! I’ll have to look at what other things I can sketch when I get home. A bit of red will liven up the place a bit, for sure. I come to a warm looking cave and can see something strewn on the floor on a path in the background. I can’t quite see what it is though. Is it a scroll of some kind? Or a bone, maybe? I’m wandering a little more aimlessly now and I’m not entirely sure where I am compared to before. I walk through a door and find that I’m back at the [crystal windows]. Best head back to the [huge staircase] before I get lost…

“Loneliness is real.”

The Shade

I’m here with you buddy.

Aha! Trying another doorway I come out in the background, near the bone/scroll, and pick it up to find it’s an instrument part. Should’ve guessed, really; only one more to go though. I’m paying less attention to the doors that I’m walking through now and am definitely wandering around rather than exploring. I take the Shade through one doorway though and am gobsmacked – it’s absolutely chock-full of gleaming golden treasure! 🤩

Whoa! I’m definitely getting more Tolkien vibes in here, with Smaug’s horde beneath Erebor coming to mind… I hope there isn’t a dragon down here… I ask the Shade to try and pick up the treasure but he can’t because it’s protected by a thick layer of crystal glass and guess what I need to break it? You got it – that damned mattock. I seriously need to get my hands on that thing. I was a little disappointed with the [treasure room] until I found a piece of white chalk on the floor that I’ll be able to draw with… Pretty crappy consolation prize, but I’ll take it.

Big time haul from the [treasure room]!

I backtrack through a maze of stairs and eventually come to a tight cave heading right. It opens up and I can see paths running all over the place – higher, lower, and in both directions. Another ants nest scenario. Great. I decide to go low before I go high and eventually find myself at the bottom of another steep wall that my Shade friend can’t climb up. Another disappointment. Sad face. I retrace my steps and explore the high route; the camera zooms out to show me what looks to be a path that leads to some sort of [crystal mine]! The only problem is that the platform I’m on is pretty high up and I need to jump down to continue. That’s more than pretty high up – it’s legitimately high up. I decide to give that a miss and turn back. Continuing up the [huge staircase], I think I’m finally at the top. Once I get up there I come to a [broken stair] – I ask the Shade to jump across…

“This jump is too exciting for my tastes. I better wait for that stalactite to come down first. I guess that could happen in a week…”

The Shade

Well, that put the end to going that way – have to come back on Day 8, I guess. Turning back there’s more stairways and doors that are too numerous to describe well, and I somehow loop back to the [treasure room]! What the hell? Exploring really is proving to be a nightmare! I backtrack again and find a piece of paper on the floor that I managed to walk past earlier. Hmm. More doorways and stairs proves that there are even more loops here than I thought… More like tangled knots, than tidy loops, though. I’ve somehow made my way back to the [huge staircase]

Okay – NOW I’m at the top. The room opens up into a large cavern that’s littered with some kind of moss! The Shade tells me that it’s “not ready to be harvested yet”… Ooh, that’s certainly interesting! I’ll have to check on this daily until it’s ready. There’s a lot of water in here – long, shallow pools which I’m guessing is encouraging the moss – I ask Shade to go through them.


The Shade

Finally. I knew he could be cute. That whimsy is adorable. 😊

The water isn’t deep enough to drown myself in.

The Shade

Ugh. Okay. That is f-ing bleak! 😰 Leaving the [moss room] and moving upwards, I came to a wide, spiky-looking tunnel but decided to turn around – I feel like I’m straying further and further away from [my room] and I want to head back there soon. It’s getting late. Pottering around just a little more before returning home, I came into a broad room with some kind of mosaic on the wall… it’s a [map of the kingdom]! A-ma-zing! But dammit, Shade says that it will take some time to decipher… I wonder…

Yes! I nailed it. Leaving Shade standing in front of the map allowed him to understand it and the camera began to slowly zoom out to show all of the caves! That is an absolutely awesome mechanic – I’m genuinely impressed. I took a screenshot of the zoomed out view to help me later on. Quickly glancing over it now though, I can see I somehow missed a large area above the [Endless Hall], and the [crystal mine] might not go as deep as I thought. Moving away from the [map of the kingdom], I finally come to a large, open-sided staircase, but am pretty disappointed to find that it goes nowhere. 3x Disappointments now. Grr. I decided that was the last straw and headed home.

Okay, it’s hardly comprehensive, but it’s my map and I love it

Arriving at [my room], my curtains are up and my rug laid down, as well as a nearly completed horn or trumpet on the floor. The place looks a million times better already! That’s more like it! Oh! There’s a small water fountain (or something) in the room now too – I’m guessing I opened it up by moving the boulder in the caves. I can’t tell if Shade enjoys the sound of running water or hates it, but I find it relaxing so I’m going to keep it running. Shade tells me that time seems to pass more quickly now the place feels ‘more homely’ and he’s right! Time is moving twice as fast in here now! Looks like that 23rd Feb 2023 estimate is already entirely wrong! I decided to light a fire because I have loads of coal to spare, and want Shade to be comfy for his rest, but upon lighting it I find that time begins to move at five times the speed! That’s an absolute game-changer!

Not wanting to wile away too much time over my first night (I don’t know how long the fires burn for, and I don’t know what time I’ll play again tomorrow), I decide to leave [my room] and wait at the feet of my king to pass the time, and eventually sleep.

Continue reading: Day 2