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Nightmare Cycle

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The Nightmare Cycle is a state of magical flux associated with the Ruins. Nightmare Lights (and Nightmare Fissures) open and close with the cycle, spawning hostile Shadow Creatures, regardless of the player's Sanity.

There are four phases of the Nightmare Cycle: the Calm Phase, Warning Phase, Nightmare Phase, and Dawn Phase. The entire cycle lasts 600 seconds (00:10:00).

Calm Phase Edit

Appearance of Runic Turf at Calm State

Appearance of Runic Turf during the Calm Phase.

Wilson Portrait
All is well.

Wilson, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during calm phase.

Willow Portrait
Looks normal to me.

Willow, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during calm phase.

Wolfgang Portrait
No bad light.

Wolfgang, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during calm phase.

Wendy Portrait
I know not what lurks in the shadow.

Wendy, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during calm phase.

WX-78 Portrait
AT CYCLE MINIMUM

WX-78, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during calm phase.

Wickerbottom Portrait
The levels of ectoplasmic residue seem to be at their lowest.

Wickerbottom, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during calm phase.

Woodie Portrait
I think it's off.

Woodie, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during calm phase.

Waxwell Portrait
The heart of the city is still.

Maxwell, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during calm phase.

Wigfrid Portrait
Nöthing stirs.

Wigfrid, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during calm phase.

Webber Portrait
Everything's dandy.

Webber, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during calm phase.

Walani Portrait
I can breathe easy.

Walani, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during calm phase.

Warly Portrait
It appears that all is well.

Warly, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during calm phase.

Woodlegs Portrait
All be calm.

Woodlegs, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during calm phase.

  • The Calm Phase will be active for 285–345 seconds (00:04:45 - 00:05:45)
  • Nightmare Lights are closed (Shadow Creatures do not spawn)
  • Runic Turf is blue
  • No ambient sound can be heard in the background

Warning Phase Edit

Appearance of Runic Turf at Warning State

Appearance of Runic Turf during the Warning Phase.

Wilson Portrait
Getting pretty magical around here.

Wilson, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during warning phase.

Willow Portrait
It's warning me.

Willow, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during warning phase.

Wolfgang Portrait
The bad light comes soon.

Wolfgang, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during warning phase.

Wendy Portrait
I can feel the prying eyes.

Wendy, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during warning phase.

WX-78 Portrait
CYCLE MINIMUM HAS PASSED

WX-78, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during warning phase.

Wickerbottom Portrait
There are low, but increasing levels of vapors containing ectoplasmic residue.

Wickerbottom, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during warning phase.

Woodie Portrait
This thing just turned on!

Woodie, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during warning phase.

Waxwell Portrait
It beats once again.

Maxwell, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during warning phase.

Wigfrid Portrait
It's starting...

Wigfrid, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during warning phase.

Webber Portrait
Something's brewing.

Webber, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during warning phase.

Walani Portrait
Woah! Things are really heating up!

Walani, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during warning phase.

Warly Portrait
I feel some magic coming on!

Warly, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during warning phase.

Woodlegs Portrait
Somethin' feels off...

Woodlegs, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during warning phase.

  • The Warning Phase will be active for 60–90 seconds (00:01:00 - 00:01:30)
  • Nightmare Lights open up slightly (Shadow Creatures do not spawn)
  • Runic Turf is gray
  • A quiet ambient sound can be heard in the background
  • Ancient Statues begin to glow

Nightmare Phase Edit

Appearance of Runic Turf at Nightmare State

Appearance of Runic Turf during the Nightmare Phase

Wilson Portrait
I think it's becoming more concentrated!

Wilson, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during waxing nightmare phase.

Willow Portrait
The fuel is coming to life!

Willow, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during waxing nightmare phase.

Wolfgang Portrait
The bad light is here and getting stronger.

Wolfgang, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during waxing nightmare phase.

Wendy Portrait
They approach.

Wendy, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during waxing nightmare phase.

WX-78 Portrait
INCREMENTAL INCREASE DETECTED

WX-78, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during waxing nightmare phase.

Wickerbottom Portrait
Levels of ectoplasmic residue seem to be increasing.

Wickerbottom, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during waxing nightmare phase.

Woodie Portrait
It's vibrating!

Woodie, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during waxing nightmare phase.

Waxwell Portrait
The pulse is quickening.

Maxwell, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during waxing nightmare phase.

Wigfrid Portrait
The magic is heightening!

Wigfrid, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during waxing nightmare phase.

Webber Portrait
It's getting magickier!

Webber, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during waxing nightmare phase.

Walani Portrait
It's gaining strength!

Walani, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during waxing nightmare phase.

Warly Portrait
Magic hour!

Warly, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during waxing nightmare phase.

Woodlegs Portrait
It be buildin'!

Woodlegs, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during waxing nightmare phase.

  • The Nightmare Phase will be active for 150–210 seconds (00:02:30 - 00:03:30)
  • Nightmare Lights open up completely (Shadow Creatures will spawn)
  • Runic Turf cracks glow red
  • A loud ambient sound can be heard in the background
  • Ancient Statues are distorted, glowing brightly
  • Splumonkeys transform into hostile Shadow Splumonkeys
Wilson Portrait
It seems to be staying steady.

Wilson, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during steady nightmare phase.

Willow Portrait
It's almost humming.

Willow, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during steady nightmare phase.

Wolfgang Portrait
I think bad light not get stronger.

Wolfgang, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during steady nightmare phase.

Wendy Portrait
They're all around me!

Wendy, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during steady nightmare phase.

WX-78 Portrait
LEVELS ARE HIGH AND MONOTONIC

WX-78, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during steady nightmare phase.

Wickerbottom Portrait
The levels of ectoplasmic residue seem to be at their peak.

Wickerbottom, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during steady nightmare phase.

Woodie Portrait
It's going crazy!

Woodie, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during steady nightmare phase.

Waxwell Portrait
The pulse is holding steady.

Maxwell, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during steady nightmare phase.

Wigfrid Portrait
The magic pöwer hölds steady.

Wigfrid, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during steady nightmare phase.

Webber Portrait
Stable, for now.

Webber, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during steady nightmare phase.

Walani Portrait
I think it's keeping consistent.

Walani, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during steady nightmare phase.

Warly Portrait
Steady on.

Warly, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during steady nightmare phase.

Woodlegs Portrait
Th'nightmare's at its peak!

Woodlegs, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during steady nightmare phase.

During the Nightmare Phase, Nightmare Fuel begins to seep from the eyes and mouths of Ancient Statues. If statues are mined during this stage, there is a chance for a Shadow Creature to spawn from them. Earthquakes occur most frequently during this state.

Wilson Portrait
Feels like it's receding.

Wilson, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during waning nightmare phase.

Willow Portrait
I think it's turning off.

Willow, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during waning nightmare phase.

Wolfgang Portrait
Bad light time is ending.

Wolfgang, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during waning nightmare phase.

Wendy Portrait
I think they're leaving.

Wendy, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during waning nightmare phase.

WX-78 Portrait
THE CYCLE IS SUBSIDING

WX-78, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during waning nightmare phase.

Wickerbottom Portrait
Levels of ectoplasmic residue are high but seem to be decreasing.

Wickerbottom, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during waning nightmare phase.

Woodie Portrait
It's settling down.

Woodie, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during waning nightmare phase.

Waxwell Portrait
The pulse is waning.

Maxwell, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during waning nightmare phase.

Wigfrid Portrait
It's starting tö retreat!

Wigfrid, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during waning nightmare phase.

Webber Portrait
Magic go down the hole.

Webber, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during waning nightmare phase.

Walani Portrait
It's leaving...

Walani, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during waning nightmare phase.

Warly Portrait
Subsiding.

Warly, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during waning nightmare phase.

Woodlegs Portrait
Me pegs feel it be dyin'.

Woodlegs, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during waning nightmare phase.


Dawn Phase Edit

Appearance of Runic Turf at Warning State

Appearance of Runic Turf during the Dawn Phase.

Wilson Portrait
The nightmare is almost gone!

Wilson, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during dawn phase.

Willow Portrait
I guess it's nearly over.

Willow, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during dawn phase.

Wolfgang Portrait
Good time is soon.

Wolfgang, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during dawn phase.

Wendy Portrait
It's almost over.

Wendy, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during dawn phase.

WX-78 Portrait
LEVELS ARE LOW AND DIMINISHING

WX-78, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during dawn phase.

Wickerbottom Portrait
There is very little ectoplasmic residue vapor.

Wickerbottom, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during dawn phase.

Woodie Portrait
It's nearly still.

Woodie, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during dawn phase.

Waxwell Portrait
It calms once more.

Maxwell, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during dawn phase.

Wigfrid Portrait
Barely any magic remains.

Wigfrid, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during dawn phase.

Webber Portrait
Return to us, day!

Webber, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during dawn phase.

Walani Portrait
It's almost over...!

Walani, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during dawn phase.

Warly Portrait
This nightmare is almost over!

Warly, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during dawn phase.

Woodlegs Portrait
It be slippin' away...

Woodlegs, inspecting a Thulecite Medallion during dawn phase.

  • The Dawn Phase will be active for 15–45 seconds (00:00:15 - 00:00:45)
  • Nightmare Lights remain open (Shadow Creatures will spawn)
  • Runic Turf is gray
  • A quiet ambient sound can be heard in the background
  • Ancient Statues continue to glow
  • Splumonkeys remain hostile Shadow Splumonkeys

Caves Edit

219740 screenshots 2013-12-22 00001

A Fissure in a Cave floor as the Nightmare Cycle leaks through.

The Nightmare Cycle can also leak through to the Caves, in the form of Nightmare Fissures (similar to those found in the Ruins starting area). Nightmare Fissures are cracks in the floor that open and close, spawning Shadow Creatures the same way Nightmare Lights do. They are surrounded by an aura of white light and emit a bright red light.

Don't Starve Together icon Don't Starve TogetherEdit

In A New Reign, the Atrium Biome will also have the Nightmare Cycle.

Upon inserting activating an Ancient Gateway, the Cycle will be locked at it's peak phase and will not change unless the Gateway is deactivated.

Prototype Tips Edit

Nightmare Cycle safety

Using a Bush Hat to avoid Shadow Creatures.

  • Players can avoid getting attacked by Shadow Creatures in the Nightmare Phase by remaining away from the Nightmare Lights and Nightmare Fissures. During the Warning Phase, they can move to a location (particularly the Wilds) where they are a safe distance away (slightly past the character's line of sight, and away from Splumonkeys) and remain there until the cycle ends. The Shadow Creatures that spawn will remain by the Lights and Fissures and do not wander, therefore will not seek the character out nor chase them. Standing on glowing Runic Turf is safe.
  • A Bush Hat or Snurtle Shell Armour can be used just before the Nightmare Phase starts in order to avoid the Shadow Creatures that spawn. 
  • The Nightmare Lights appear on the map, giving players an overall visual of safe versus dangerous areas.
  • Hammering down the Splumonkey Pods and killing the Splumonkeys will permanently remove them. During the Nightmare Phase they become Shadow Splumonkeys, a hostile creature, and chase players until the end of the phase. As a major challenge to the Nightmare Phase it is beneficial to remove them and will allow larger areas of safety, especially when kiting Shadow Creatures.

Placeholder Trivia Edit

Gameplay Mechanics
Activities CookingCraftingFarmingFishingSleeping
Environment Day-Night CycleMoon CycleNightmare CycleEarthquakeLightningRain
(Sandstorms Don't Starve Together icon) (Strong WindsFogWavesFloodingVolcanic Eruption Shipwrecked icon)
Seasons SummerWinter • (AutumnSpring Reign of Giants icon)
(Mild SeasonHurricane SeasonMonsoon SeasonDry Season Shipwrecked icon)
Mechanics BeardBiomeCharactersCharlieControlsDeathDurabilityExperienceFireFood SpoilageFreezingHealthHungerInventoryLightMapNaughtinessNon-renewable resourcesSanitySavingStructures
(WetnessOverheating Reign of Giants iconShipwrecked icon) (DiseaseRegrowth Don't Starve Together icon) (Poison Shipwrecked icon)
Mode Survival ModeAdventure ModeCavesRuinsVolcanoDon't Starve TogetherWorld Customization
Others Pig VillageRoad (Trail) • GraveyardOceanAbyssBridgeSet PieceThingsMorgue

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