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Mason’s route is pretty rough at first until you get a handle on how to avoid the worst hazards. His route is focused a lot on temperature management as well as controlling your location in relation to a hunter that constantly moves. Things to keep in mind are:
- Mason will always catch you if you stick around at the beginning, which makes sense since he just started chasing you. For some endings that’s a good thing.
- Nights are safe (at least from Mason). At night, Mason is in his cabin so you can sleep and explore without being concerned with him.
- On the other hand, nights are cold. Try not to fall asleep without a fire burning, because once you’re asleep there’s no taking a break to warm up.
- Hunger is kind of meaningless in Mason’s route. As far as I’m aware it’s impossible to actually die from starvation in this route, and all it will do is increase the amount of energy you use. Depending on the ending you’re going for, ignoring food is fine (especially since you get a free full hunger replenish from the start.)
- Sanity is less meaningless, but can’t get you a game over just for having 0 of it.
- The previous 2 points mean that your number 1 focus is temperature. Always have a fire burning if you can, though be careful of burning it too long and attracting attention…
- The second useful tip svltryclown has pointed out for me (thank you so much!) that’s quite helpful is that you can use your pocket knife to make a tourniquet that will staunch the bleeding and revert you from gravely wounded back to wounded (as if you were only caught by Mason one time.)
- Last point (I know, there’s a lot, surviving Mason’s route is not easy) is that Mason never stays in one place very long. That means it’s hard for him to corner you, and you can typically wait him out unless you’re one turn away from death.
Unlocking The Cabin and Swamp
These show up in a lot of endings, and they’re not hard to unlock, so I’ll spell it out directly here:
- The cabin is unlocked by climbing the large tree found in the deeper forest during the day. It’s accessible from the clearing.
- The swamp is unlocked by mapping every location except the cabin, and can be accessed from the woods.
Additionally, you can’t light a fire in the swamp and it’s usually pretty cold there. It’s not a good place to spend a long time at unless you’re trying to lose sanity. It is entirely safe from Mason, though.
Mason will be in his cabin at night, so you can imagine what happens if you try to go there at that time… (or stay too long while he’s away!)
Whether you eat or not is irrelevant for a lot of the endings, but it does decrease how much energy you use, and it’s important for a few endings. This is a list of all the food and where to find it:
- Trail mix. You start with this, and it will fully restore your hunger. Save it for when you really need it.
- Fish. You can catch fish at the stream by searching (near the rocks), and then cook it with fire to make food that will also fully restore hunger. Attracts bears.
- Red berries. These berries hurt your sanity, but they are important for an ending (or any ending where you want lower sanity.) You can get them by searching the forest.
- Blue berries. These restore your food a little bit, and you can grab them at the same time as the red berries in the forest. Attracts bears.
Some of Mason’s endings were pretty difficult to get, but those ones also felt very rewarding. I encourage you to figure it out on your own, but it’s not fun being stuck forever either of course:
You visited the cabin – Overstay your welcome at Mason’s cabin.
Your hunt is over – Get caught by Mason 3 times. It’s easier if you avoid getting hit on the first day because it will give you more time on the second one, but if you want to get it on the first day, behind the spoilers is a path that worked for me: Don’t get hit by Mason immediately, instead keep moving and stay in the forest to get hit by him there instead, and hide so you don’t get hurt even more. Then, go back to the clearing and sit at your fire. If at any point your character describes the fire as “hypnotic” put the fire out and continue waiting. Mason should come hit you a second time in a few hours. Immediately make a tourniquet using your knife. Stay at your fire until morning, sleeping as soon as you can. Eat some trail mix so you won’t get too tired and need to sleep again. When morning comes, put out your fire and wait for Mason to come kill you. You should barely make it. This should be consistent because I’m 99% Mason goes a set location every hour.
Your flame is out – Get below 50 sanity and visit Mason’s cabin. Start a fire.
You lost your head – Reach 0 sanity. After that, go find Mason’s cabin and try to sleep. As your character notes, you would have to be crazy to sleep there…
Your smoke gave you away – Leave your fire burning for too long.
The cold took you – Reach minimum temperature (a pretty easy ending to get if you give up on warming yourself up.)
You were caught in his trap – Fail to search for and dismantle Mason’s bear trap at the stream. I believe it’s time-gated, but I’m not sure by how long. Try going there after a few days.
You were caught and cleaned – Fail to search for and dismantle Mason’s snare trap in the deep forest (also time-gated I believe, so just come here after a day or two.) Every choice from here results in your death, but one of them is… special.
You smelled delicious – Try to sleep with blueberries or cooked fish on you.
You bled out – Reach 0 health (this is also ridiculously easy, especially if you run into Mason and get hit with his crossbow early on.)
The water is still – Get your sanity really low and get red berries from the forest. Head to the black swamp and eat the red berries there (my sanity was about 30 before the berries when I got to the ending, but it’s a safe bet to get as close to 0 as possible.)
You denied him the pleasure – Reach 0 sanity, then interact with your knife and choose “end this.”
Now you are the hunter – Find and take Mason’s bear trap from the stream, then make your way to his cabin and set the trap inside.
You changed – This ending takes forever to get, but as far as I can tell all you have to do is survive for a very long time. Just run around building fires, resting at them until you can’t anymore without dying, and switching locations to avoid Mason. Ignore your hunger, you’re going to starve eventually anyway. I’m unsure if you have to get the nightmare at least once in any run to get this ending, but you don’t have to unlock the swamp or get the nightmare on this run for the ending.
You made a friend – This ending is… a hell of a ride, to say the least. It took a lot of running around and dying for me. To start off, you’re going to want to keep moving at first because Mason catching you early on is a death sentence. Avoid building a fire when you can, you want low sanity. In the meantime (until your sanity gets low), you should go unlock the swamp and the cabin. Hopefully after that your sanity is at least below 50, and you’ve been to sleep a few times. That means you should have had a nightmare. It’s kind of obtuse, but we want to recreate this dream by finding bones and offering them at the lake. You can find these bones by searching the meadow, but only after you’ve had the nightmare. When you have the bones, bring them to the lake, select them, and choose “offer.” After that, you’re free to head to Mason’s cabin, search the house, and claim your ending. Wow. Even though this ending wasn’t the last on the list, I decided to give it a detailed description and set it aside because it’s difficult to get.
There are quite a few Mason endings tied to low sanity, and so there are also quite a few ways to lose a lot of sanity. The ones that come to mind are:
- – Letting Mason catch you. Also experiment with your dialogue choices when speaking to him, as some lose more sanity than others. Has the unfortunate side effect of nuking your health.
- – Getting too cold. When you go long enough without lighting a fire, you’ll start to get cold. The first event here will lose you 10 sanity, while the second (which happens right before you’ll die) loses 20. You can warm up and repeat this to lose sanity extremely fast.
- – Eating red berries. You might only be able to do it once, but it’s fast and easy.
The Missing CG
If any of you are missing a Mason CG, it’s probably this one because it’s kind of out of the way to get and has nothing to do with any endings. To get it you need to:
- Find Mason’s snare deep in the forest and instead of taking it down, leave it up
- Go do other things/finish ending requirements for a few hours
- Come back to the location of the snare later and choose to look at what’s happening
Hopefully that helps everyone get the CG!
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