The Blackboard contains Comic and Game spoilers!
- What's all this about?
- Sharing and downloading my art
- Game & Comic logics you should know about
- Wilson's story
- Maxwell's story
- Ending up as halflings
- The demons, Them
- Demon abilities
- Other questions updated
- List of available comic pages updated
> What's all this about?
This journal entry provides additional info about my Don't Starve Comic based on the game Don't Starve by Klei Entertainment. My comic is not an ordinary spiderman magazine so prepare for lots of cryptic reading. When you play the game Don't Starve for the first time you enter a mysterious wilderness world as the gentleman scientist Wilson. But beware! Forgetting to find a lightsource at night, ignore the fact that you're hungry or poke that cute animal will result in death and you have to start over. Luckily you unlock new characters and their abilities as consolation. It's up to you to find a way out OR face the challenges leading to the root of this cruel yet beautiful world.
Recommended links:Don't Starve Wiki - Familiarise yourself with the game mechanics, items and characters.
Buy Don't Starve - Official Don't Starve website by Klei Entertainment.
Animated Trailer - Forbidden Knowledge, official cinematic trailer about how it all started!
> Sharing and downloading my art
My comics and art are available for download but keep in mind you are not allowed to publish them on the internet or traditionally without my permission. Doing so will be considered theft. I am however easy on letting you use my art as long as you ask for permission and specify which picture you want to use. If I grant people permission I expect them to credit me as "TheOnlyHorse" and link back to my DeviantArt profile.
Click here for additional info if you want to share or download my art!
DeviantArt - Send TheOnlyHorse a Note.
Tumblr - Send Ecfor an Ask.
Steam - Add Miss and send me a chat message.
Klei Forums - Send Miss a Private Message (PM).
Skype - Search for theonlyhorse. Write a proper first message, default skype messages are ignored!
Download my comics and art by clicking this button on the right of each deviation:
> Game & Comic logics you should know about
When playing Don't Starve there are some game mechanics you should know about. They apply to my comic but some have been slightly modified.
- There are three things you need to keep track on in the game. Hunger sanity health.
- Oddly enough you never need to drink water or use the bathroom...
- Each character's default clothes never break or get dirty. In my comic it does happen but the effects disappear after a while.
- There's no blood in the game although there are many painful ways to die. In my comic characters have clear signs of injury.
- When starting a new game you play Sandbox Mode. If you find Maxwell's door and enter you face five different and randomly generated worlds. This is Adventure Mode. If you beat it you'll meet Maxwell at the Nightmare Throne and be forced to take his place.
- The Throne keeps Maxwell in place. It is unclear if he's able to leave the throne and visit Sandbox/Adventure Mode, his presence may be a projection. In my comic Maxwell has the ability to leave the throne as long as his captors agree.
- It is unclear what keeps Maxwell on that throne. In my comic it's them who appear in Maxwell's last speech in-game. "I don't know what they want. They... they just watch. Unless you get too close... Then..." I see them as a cluster of all-knowing demons who were exploited by Maxwell. In the end he lost control and they started using him. He's now desperate to escape but still wish to preserve what he's created.
- Maxwell brings puppets to his world, or maybe them force him to do so. Whoever is responsible it seems Maxwell consider the puppets his only hope. When you finally reach the Throne he'll say "You've been an interesting plaything, but I've grown tired of this game. Or maybe They've grown tired of me." Despite him confessing his puppets are treated with little respect. As you play the game you'll notice that death is rather easy...
- Besides Maxwell's Door there is another machine known as the Wooden Thing (Teleportato). Finding 5 things enables you to start the machine and escape, brining another unfortunate puppet to Maxwell's world. As of Comic Page 23 Wilson discovers this is not the case, the machine is nothing but a loop.
- The longer you stay in the world of Don't Starve the fiercer Hound attacks will get. Hounds will increase in numbers and attack more frequently.
- When Wilson jumped off the cliff he actually broke a basic game mechanic, you can't even touch the ocean in Don't Starve! Perhaps Maxwell is losing the grip when those bugs and glitches occur
> Wilson's story(I recommend you watch the animation Forbidden Knowledge first.) The very first page of my comic describes how hopeless and confusing Wilson's situation is. Wilson has spent more than two years in the wilderness and not a single sign of hope has come across his path. In fact you can't even call it path as Wilson has no idea where's headed. Every day is a struggle for survival and there seem to be no way out. A recent hound attack forces Wilson out of the woods. A bleeding mark on his back indicates he tried to confront the hounds but ended up fleeing instead, no rush though, he has already decided this is enough and walks to the ocean shore which surrounds the entire island.
Despite claiming himself a scientist he offers some thoughts to a phenomena he cannot understand. He is more than aware of how things are getting worse and worse, it's like somebody is toying with the entire world. Wilson says "it" ignores him, that this selfish cowardly thing will give him answers. And Wilson couldn't be more right, because somewhere on a throne there's a man controlling everything, hearing every single thought, watching Wilson, as he jumps.
> Maxwell's story
Maxwell is held captive on the throne by them (demons). His ultimate goal is to escape the throne and return to the real world but he also wishes to preserve what he's created. To escape another person must take Maxwell's place. When Wilson attempts to commit suicide, by jumping off a cliff, Maxwell considers this action incredibly provocative but he's also afraid of losing his most successful puppet ever. This calls for a drastic plan to save Wilson and force him to find the door of Adventure. At the same time Maxwell must satisfy the gruesome minds of his captors or they will punish him greatly. If the demons find Maxwell caring about his puppets they will force him to kill it. Maxwell is aware of this and uses it to his advantage. He tells the demons it'll be a great show of inhuman sickness if Wilson is saved. His suggestion is supported by the demons and Maxwell is allowed to leave the throne. After all it was getting a tad boring to watch those silly mortals die from nasty creatures, starvation and suicide... Such a boring show.
On Page 4 Maxwell is present in the world he once created. Wilson is quickly infused with demons and granted a pair of wings to save him from the fall. Unfortunately he can't take the horrible pain and loss of blood that follows. Unconscious he drifts towards the cliffs but Maxwell saves him by teleportation. Wilson crashes nearby. Maxwell examines the crash site and Wilson is indeed alive but those demons inside him must be taken back or Maxwell will be in trouble, he is namely supposed to return to the throne. Before Maxwell brings the demons back he performs a rather cryptic speech spanning all the way from Page 7 to 9. This appears seemingly confusing to Wilson, if not humiliating... This grants Wilson a boost of self-confidence, he threatens Maxwell he'll end all this. This is exactly what Maxwell wants to hear! After all, he wants Wilson to find the door of Adventure.
Without hesitation Maxwell removes Wilson's wings on Page 9, a mortal would never be able to survive with them anyway. He then prepares to take back the demons from Wilson who's lying cold and bleeding on the ground. Maxwell who previously mentioned he can hear his puppets thoughts seem completely ignorant to all activity inside Wilson's head. Maxwell is so close to victory, why care when thriving in success? He has saved Wilson and fooled his captors to cooperate! But appearances can be deceptive, that seemingly weak and unconscious body is just about to strike.
Furiously Wilson slices the shocked mastermind himself. Maxwell can clearly feel the pain as the flint cuts through his throat. Wilson possesses so much anger and hatred he won't stop until Maxwell remains silent on the ground.
> Ending up as halflings
After Wilson had beaten down Maxwell on Page 10 he suddenly notices blood on his hands. Why would Wilson commit such a cruel action? He's a gentleman scientist! He also realises Maxwell barely fought back despite the unleash of those terrible shadow hands just minutes before. Wilson declares him and Maxwell equal as they both show the same behaviour and abilities, he then pulls the flint and hopes Maxwell will heal. Wilson's assumption about equality is true and later confirmed by Maxwell on Page 12.
Wilson and Maxwell are infused with demons but still somewhat mortal, you could call this the state of being a "halfling". You feel hunger, pain and emotions just like any person but you suffer from quick temperament changes and insanity. The demons are constantly trying to reach the surface and exploit their host's anger and hatred to cause chaos. This is a a great disadvantage as both Wilson and Maxwell need to pay extra attention to their sanity, however, they possess abilities only a normal person could dream of.
Abilities to alter their bodies (such as wings), teleportation, hearing one's thoughts, demonic shadow hands, rapid healing and great strength. Unfortunately this won't help Wilson and Maxwell escape the wilderness. They are left in a state that render them unable to enter the Door of Adventure or use the Wooden Thing. Nor may they teleport to the throne as halflings. Then again, Wilson and Maxwell are both aware of the horrible circumstances on the throne. They avoid it at all costs and strive for freedom. As of Page 14 Maxwell is trying to convince Wilson to take his place by offering truce and knowledge. How that turns out is questionable, as we all know Maxwell isn't the best to make friends...
> The demons, Them
The demons, as first addressed by Wilson, are a cluster of all-knowing minds making sure Maxwell stays on the throne. They also go by the name them as we're unsure what they actually are and what they want. In physical form the demons appear as multiple heads slowly swarming the throne making sure everything stay in order. There are two types of demon heads. The ones without lower jaws simply serve as a storage units where memories and information are kept for later use, those with jaws are capable of speech as well as dealing damage. The shadow hands deal damage as well. Demons do not have eyes, they see the world through Maxwell which in turn see the world through his puppets and mobs inhabiting the wilderness world. Thick strings grow out of the demon's heads, connecting them together. The spine-like structures support the heads and allow the demons to move around. Communication between them and Maxwell is incredibly fast as it travels along the strings. You could call it a network and Maxwell himself serving as the link between the wilderness and the all-knowing minds of them.
The demons have a never-ending appetite for mortal suffering and punish Maxwell as soon as he attempts to disobey. They don't kill him though as that would break the link to the world he has created, they need Maxwell. The demons also find Maxwell's constant attempts to bring puppets rather hilarious as they keep dying all the time. Despite most of the puppets being failures they ease Maxwell's suffering as they bring entertainment to the demons. Wilson on the other hand must've been rather boring because he kept surviving. Maxwell saw potential and came up with a drastic plan that would benefit him. He suggested that Wilson should be saved from suicide, an intriguing idea the demons thought! That would bring even more suffering upon Wilson who wished to die. Maxwell's suggestion however was actually a plan to fool the demons and Wilson to string along. Maxwell wished that one of his puppets would reach the door of adventure, make it through all 5 challenges and then free him from the Throne. That plan was lost when Wilson fought back on Page 9 - 10...
Considering the demons seek to infuse and control a body it seems they can't use their abilities or survive on their own. At this current stage the demons are split up between Wilson and Maxwell. The demons have to wait until the dispute between these men has been solved as they cannot merge together on their own.
> Demon abilities
This paragraph covers abilities of a demon infested person. Wilson and Maxwell's abilities will deplete if overused, their sanity will drop as well. Regaining abilities is possible by gaining sanity e.g sleep, good food or actions that soothe the mind.
Wilson's wings (altering your body)
Wilson's wings grow in size and length through the comic. They're are fairly useless when new-grown because of all those fluffy feathers and weak musculature. The base of the wings rests on his shoulder blades, kept in place by tendons and muscles spanning from his spine. Maxwell could grow wings as well but he seem to be more fond of using shadow hands. As for now Wilson has successfully volplaned but not yet figured out how to move the wings properly, preventing him from gaining altitude. The wings are heavy and taking off on the spot is impossible. As funny as it may sound it's actually a good idea to jump off a cliff to get some air under those wings or teleport oneself into the air.
Growing wings is painful as everything that gets in the way will be moved whether they're ribs, shoulder blades or musculature. Ripping off the wings is even more painful but necessary if the victim must return to a mortal state. A mortal would never be able to survive with such huge wings as ones heart would not be able to transport blood, nor would he be able to grow suitable muscle mass. The wings cling like ticks and simply cutting them off with surgical precision would still leave unnatural tissue inside the host. Think of it as leaving the ticks head inside your skin, that's not pleasant at all.
Shadow hands are not extensions of the body such as wings. The hands belong to the demons and are able to interact with objects despite their transparent appearance. Maxwell is an expert at controlling these hands. Wilson used shadow hands on Page 21 but if he's capable of controlling the hands properly is questionable as they seem to appear only when he's enraged.
There are actually two kinds of teleportation. True teleportation takes place when Maxwell travels between the worlds and his throne, his body must die and rebuild when this happens. Maxwell's memories are kept safe by the demons as they tag along wherever he goes. This applied to Maxwell when he still was bound to the throne which he no longer is.
False teleportation is what you see in my comic, things are actually moving really really fast. Considering it fools our eyes we may as well call it teleportation.
Hearing one's thoughts
Wilson and Maxwell are able to hear present thoughts, they cannot read minds like a book. Whatever is stored inside their brains remain safe until they start thinking about it. Maxwell previously described this phenomena as "thoughts flow by" like sound waves, however, sometimes this ability is greatly weakened because they're distracted by something else. This is exactly what happened to Maxwell at the end of Page 9. Hearing one's thoughts is heavily dependent on a person's ability to focus and process information. Something both Maxwell and Wilson seem to lack...
The demons have strong self preservation instincts and they need to keep their mortal host alive to survive. This causes wounds to heal rapidly, even brain damage. Memories however cannot be saved. This applies to Wilson and Maxwell as halflings.
The drawbacks can be described as a constant conflict between the demons and their host, this causes quick temperament changes and insanity. Wilson and Maxwell are also rendered unable to use the door of Adventure as well as the Wooden Thing. Nor may they take place on the throne. Maxwell also lost fragments of his memory when Wilson was granted his abilities, including wings.
> Other questions
There is still a bunch of unanswered questions and character sayings that have been confusing my readers. If anything is missing you're more than welcome to reply so I can add your question!
The numbers do not indicate comic pages, they're just there for navigation!
#0 - The Blackboard? Why did you choose that name?
Back in the 1920's there were no fancy things such as DeviantArt journals. If anything was good for writing down lots of information it must've been a paper or blackboard everyone could look at ^^
#1 - What's up with the white and black speech bubbles?
At the start of the comic Wilson's thoughts and speech are represented by white while Maxwell's are represented by black. However, as you progress through the comic you'll notice this keeps changing. Black indicates insanity and white stands for sanity. Grey is the transition between these two.
#2 - What are those black curls surrounding some comic frames?
They are a sign of something unnatural creeping around. Low sanity, the demons, lurking mobs of the wilderness, Maxwell himself... The list is long.
#3 - "And it still belongs to me. Have fun without it." ~ Wilson, Page 2
Wilson refers to his own life, Maxwell can of course hear this... On Page 8 frame 4 Wilson gives you more food for thought regarding his decision to "commit suicide".
#4 - Why did Maxwell grant Wilson wings? He was teleported to safety on Page 5, Maxwell could've done that in the first place!
You're right but teleported objects (or in this case Wilson) keep their speed during teleportation. Wilson was falling down that cliff at crazy speed, if Maxwell had teleported him immediately there'd be nothing but a pile of cracked bones and blood once Wilson hit the ground. By granting Wilson wings his speed was greatly reduced and he survived the crash.
#5 - Why didn't Maxwell fight back on Page 10? He's got all these demons at his disposal!
Wilson is also infused with demons, it happened on Page 3 - 4 when he was given wings. On Page 10 Maxwell sits right next to Wilson and prepares to take back the demons he granted but instead he is sliced by Wilson. It must've been incredibly surprising to Maxwell, especially in his state as halfling, he felt pain... This question is heavily connected to the question below, I recommend you read it as well!
#6 - "Pain reminds us of how fragile we really are but dealing pain awakens them." ~ Maxwell, Page 11
This could be described as maintaining one's sanity in my Don't Starve Comic. What Maxwell says implies that violent actions, both mental and physical, will allow the demons to take control. The feeling of anger and hatred is a start and dealing damage may escalate the situation to a whole new level. Wilson suffers from this when his white speech bubbles turn black, which makes us wonder why Maxwell's speech bubbles are constantly black...
There are ways to reverse the inhuman state of demon control. Watching, listening or simply be aware of your own or someone else's grief and agony reminds you of humanness. That clearly indicates something is wrong and you get that odd feeling. Injuries to your body also reminds you off being a fragile human. In the game of Don't Starve you can also regain sanity through sleep, certain food, befriended creatures, better clothing or actions that soothe the mind.
#7 - Why did Maxwell's tuxedo jacket vanish on Page 11?
Maxwell's devil-horned jacket is very characteristic, to me it symbolises evil and demon control. His jacket and gloves also served as protection, you clearly see Maxwell lit a fire in his own hand on Page 7 without burning himself. When Wilson stabs Maxwell on Page 10 the few cuts on the jacket are less serious compared to the waistcoat. The disappearance of Maxwell's jacket serves no major purpose except he'll be freezing a lot more during winter...
#8 - What happened to the other characters seen on Page 13?
They were killed by Maxwell and replaced with new puppets...
#9 - What eye colour do Wilson and Maxwell have? Page 14 doesn't show the colours in day-light.
Wilson has clear dark green eyes and Maxwell's are golden brown with a tint of orange.
#10 - Why won't Maxwell and Wilson just try to kill each other?
If one of them die the other one will be infused by demons and bound to the throne. Neither can they leave the wilderness in their current state, although that's what they strive for. As of Page 14 Maxwell and Wilson have agreed on truce until they've solved this dilemma.
#11 - On Page 15 Wilson has a map, where did that come from?
In the game of Don't Starve you always have a map, Wilson was granted one as well and has kept it since then. Probably inside his pocket or waistcoat.
#12 - Could Wilson escape the island by flying?
No, the island is a loop. If he flies far enough he'll end up on the other side again.
#13 - There's a blue bird on Page 17!
That's a generic Snowbird, you can read more about them at the Don't Starve Wiki.
#14 - Does Maxwell look particularly demonic because he's doing something naughty?
Whenever Wilson or Maxwell use demonic abilities they start to change in appearance, lose sanity and the speech bubbles turn black. Wilson is by default more sane compared to Maxwell, probably because he barely had a good night's sleep on that throne. Nor have he eaten anything in ages. He's pretty much a wreck, keeping himself alive with the help of them. Abusing those demonic abilities also drain them to a point where the host is completely insane and out of power. Regaining sanity however solves the problem (read #6).
#15 - Maxwell's hair and attire are all messed up on Page 19.
Well he did teleport back on the ground. Somebody was unlucky enough to end up together with those piney pines *cough* Not to mention Maxwell did try to catch up with Wilson. The forest is quite thick where they are located.
#16 - What is a Halfling? Maxwell specificially uses that word on Page 19. The word has previously been used as well!
A "Halfling" describes the state as half human / half demon. There's more to read at the paragraph "Ending up as halflings", scroll up a little bit
#17 - How did Maxwell lose all his powers on Page 19?
In the game of Don't Starve you have a "Sanity bar" to keep track on, using magic drain bits of that bar. When you finally run out of sanity you go completely insane and can no longer use magic, simply because that bar is empty. This in-game logic has been applied to my comic. Wilson and Maxwell are half demon which gives them amazing abilities, but they are not unlimited! There are multiple ways to regain sanity however, such as sleep, good food or actions that soothe the mind.
#18 - Will Charlie show up in the comic?
Yes, although I doubt she's the Charlie she used to be... Did you know she's always around watching?
#19 - Wilson's wings keep changing through the comic!
They do indeed. They grow in size, feather length and fluffyness :3 Wilson grows a full beard in 16 in-game days!
#20 - How will this comic end?
If you ever played Adventure Mode I can tell you it won't end like that.
21 - Maxwell looks rather stiff on Page 22. Why?
Maxwell's right arm is broken (he hasn't moved it normally since Page 20) and he's using his left arm to hold pressure on something that hurts on the inside. Internal bleeding, broken ribs? He got squashed by a huge deer-hand! Maxwell isn't healing up either, he's as vulnerable as a normal human being.
#22 - At the end of Page 13 Maxwell says he tried to sneak past a message, but on Page 23 he mentions memories are shared. Wouldn't they have noticed what was going on in the first place!?
Keeping secrets as well as lying is extremely difficult BUT possible. Long term planning and word-play can help getting things through. The demons may be superior to any human being but will they ever understand our feelings and ways to express ourselves?
#23 - What kind of pine trees are those?
The pine trees in this comic are more like spruces because this is what a pine tree looks like in my area. Doesn't look very piney : P
#24 - "Maxwell! He keeps coming back!" ~ Maxwell, Page 24
Was there a man named Maxwell in the first place?
#25 - Why doesn't "Maxwell" remember his identity on Page 25?
When Maxwell granted Wilson wings on Page 4 his memory was split as well. Maxwell doesn't really notice something is missing until the subject is brought up, in this case his former identity.
#26 - Did Maxwell lose his eye on Page 25?
Judging by the looks on Page 26 the answer is yes, but Maxwell and Wilson heal over time if they have sanity at their disposal.
#27 - Night is close at the end of Page 26. Will Charlie attack?
She doesn't attack if people sleep through night.
> List of available comic pages
Visit my Don't Starve Gallery where I keep all Don't Starve related art!
Awesome proof-readers so far:
Chris (demonmaxwell on Tumblr)