Charlie, otherwise known as the Darkness or the Night Monster, is a hostile damage source unseen to the player in-game. She only attacks when the character is in complete darkness, unable to see. (Characters will state when they are vulnerable, e.g. "It's so dark!"). When being stalked, the character will become alarmed, exclaiming things such as "What was that?", followed by a loud "whoosh" to signal her approach. Moments later, a slashing sound is heard and the character will take 100 damage and 20 Sanity loss. The first attack will happen 5 to 10 seconds after the character enters complete darkness, with the character being stalked when 60% to 20% percent of this time is left until the attack. The attacks will continue every 5 to 11 seconds until the character finds or creates a light source in order to see. Most characters can survive a single attack, even without armor.
In the lore, Charlie was previously Maxwell's female assistant for his magic shows. After the two of them were brought into the realm of the Shadow Creatures (also referred as "Them" by Maxwell), it is believed that Charlie was transformed to have the demonic traits and personality to become the night monster. It was later revealed that she is also the younger sister of Winona, who she mentions in both of her letters to Maxwell in the William Carter Puzzles. In the A New Reign cinematic video, her night monster form was visibly depicted for the first time. While she still has a human conscience, it seems that she's partially controlled by evil forces and has little control over her violent actions. She is the secondary antagonist of Don't Starve and its DLCs Reign Of Giants and Shipwrecked, and the main antagonist of Don't Starve Together.
Main article: Cyclum Puzzles
In Don't Starve Together, Charlie serves as the main antagonist of the world, carrying on after Maxwell's reign while still being the night monster. After the events of Adventure Mode take place in which Maxwell and Wilson swap places, Charlie approaches Wilson as her human self and frees him from the Nightmare Throne. But after the demonic night monster version of her personality overpowers her, she attacks Wilson to absorb the powers he obtained from the throne and sends him back to the wilderness with Maxwell.
After removing Wilson from the throne and absorbing the power, Charlie changes the throne area to her will. Her human and demonic personalities constantly fight each other over how the throne area should look. Eventually, both personalities morph into one balanced form as she sits down on the new throne.
After Wilson and Maxwell finish building the Jury-Rigged Portal to bring other characters into their part of the realm, Charlie destroys it and replaces it with her own version, the Florid Postern, marking her new reign in the Don't Starve world.
The following light sources will prevent Charlie from attacking:
- Inventory/equipped items:
- A Heat Stone at full charge
- A Lantern while equipped or dropped (if not turned off)
- A Light Bulb on the ground
- A Glow Berry on the ground
- A Miner Hat while equipped
- A Pumpkin Lantern on the ground
- Star Caller's Staff's Star
- A Torch while equipped
- Willow's Lighter when equipped
- A Magiluminescence while equipped
- The force field effect of a Thulecite Crown (once activated)
- Moggles while equipped
- A Morning Star while equipped
- A Bottle Lantern while equipped or dropped
- A Boat Torch while equipped to a boat
- A Boat Lantern while equipped to a boat
- A Tar Lamp while equipped to the hand slot or to a boat (beta only)
- A charged Obsidian Axe or Obsidian Machete
- A Dragoon Heart on the ground
- Structures or world objects:
- A cooking Crock Pot (character must stand in front of it)
- Fire (Campfire, Fire Pit, Willow-made fires, or burning objects)
- A Light Flower when not picked
- A Lightning Rod when charged
- A Mushtree (intact)
- A Night Light (with fuel)
- A Pig Torch (with fuel)
- A Walrus Camp's light when a member of the MacTusk N' Son Hunting Party is occupying it (during Winter)
- A Nightmare Light or Nightmare Fissure while active
- An Ancient Pseudoscience Station (while near)
- Maxwell's Light (while near)
- The light from a Full Moon
- Light from a Brainy Sprout at night
- Erupting Krissure
- A Buoy
- Light from a Ballphin Palace at night (beta only)
- Characters and mobs:
- Abigail's glow
- Fireflies' illumination (coming close to them will cause them to disperse. If the player walks away, they will come back almost immediately, making it possible to "hop" between two or more patches of fireflies and survive the night. It can even be done with just one patch, walking in and out of repeatedly, although this is more difficult, and the player suffers greater sanity loss)
- Chester when transforming
- A Ghost's glow
- A Slurper (while it's awake and/or on a character's head)
- WX-78 on OVERLOAD after being struck by Lightning
- WX-78's sparks (when caught in Rain)
- Woodie in his Werebeaver state
- A Depths Worm's displayed lure
- Any mob or character that has eaten a Glow Berry
- A Houndius Shootius when charging a shot
- An enraged Dragonfly
- Light from Bioluminescence at night
- Rainbow Jellyfish (beta only)
- Any mob or character that has eaten a Dragoon Heart
- Any character that has eaten a Dead Rainbow Jellyfish (beta only)
- Charlie is referenced as Grue in the game files. This is a reference to the iconic monster from the game Zork. In Zork, the Grue only attacks players in pitch darkness after a line of warning, just like in Don't Starve.
- Her gender and humanity were first revealed by Kevin Forbes (Klei's lead programmer) on the Caves livestream.
- The first time her name was made known was in the Underground update, in which Maxwell started referring to the Night Monster as Charlie. Her former human version was later shown in some of the solutions of the William Carter Puzzles.
- The Moggles and Werebeaver's night vision render the player immune to Charlie. This suggests that Charlie is not averse to light itself, but rather the ability to perceive her.
- According to a letter written by Charlie found in one of the William Carter Puzzles, it is implied that Charlie did not think that the shadows were real until things started going wrong during Maxwell's final performance.
- Since Charlie used to be Maxwell's assistant while he was toying with questionable magic, it is assumed that she was transformed into the night monster after the events of Maxwell's Final Act.
- When killed by Charlie, the cause of death listed in the Morgue is "Darkness"; except for Maxwell, whose cause is listed as "Charlie".
- In a poster, Charlie is shown holding a book. It is believed that the book is the Codex Umbra. When Maxwell inspects the Codex Umbra, he says, "I'm so sorry Charlie".
- As seen in the A New Reign cinematic, Charlie has the power to put out lights when she is fully present in an area (shown when Maxwell's Lights turn off at her approach).
- According to character quotes in Don't Starve Together, Charlie smells like flowers, namely roses.
- According to Winona ("My sister was afraid of the dark."), Charlie used to be afraid of the dark.
- When exiting Don't Starve Together, a popup will say "Charlie will miss you!" before quitting.
- If a player enters a Worm Hole just before the night sets, Charlie will not attack when the character comes out of the other side. (This bug is stopped when going into light and then back into darkness again.)
- If the player pauses the game when the sound of Charlie attacking begins and resumes right before the sound ends, Charlie will attack early.
- If the player is killed by Charlie while surfing in the Shipwrecked DLC, the Morgue will list "Shenanigans" as the cause of death.