Main Campaign - First Run
Enough messing around, let's actually attack this river.
Start up a new game on Traveler difficulty. This 1st run will not be a full run because of one achievement that requires you to kill no animals. Rather, we will be setting up for a 2nd run by crafting warm clothing and building a stockpile of at least 10 jerky. By this point, you've seen the start of the game a few times, but I'll guide you through as if it is the first time.
The Campaign consists of 10 regions. There are story checkpoints in region 4 and region 7. Region 10 is the conclusion of the game. The entire Campaign will last approximately 40 miles.
If you die, you will restart at the beginning of the current region.
Go through the camp collecting everything you can. You will also see a blue mailbox with a flag. These mailboxes contain tasks that you can complete for rewards. These aren't necessary, but act as tutorials as you go. You can ignore any that you like (except for story achievements that you'll complete automatically).
Sometimes, a task will appear based on particular enemies that you will encounter, such as The Boar King, the Elder Wolf, and the White Wolf. These will let you know that a special enemy is nearby, and you can collect special hides from them.
The first task you will receive is Camp Tools. You will need to make your basic Stone Knife and Stone Hammer for use in all of your crafting.
Once you craft these, you can turn this in at the next mailbox and collect a Camp Fire. I suggest saving it for someplace where you really need it, but the first time you deploy it, you'll earn an achievement. (Alternately, you can deploy it, get the achievement, then dashboard-quit and restart.)
Once you start collecting rabbit pelts and stitching kits, you can upgrade your inventory. The Campaign gives you 20 inventory slots to start, and there is a maximum of 28 slots that you can have. Therefore, you need 2 Pouches to max out your inventory. Once you craft these, you will pop this:
Expand your inventory to the maximum
The Endless mode limits you to 12 at the start, so you will need 4 pouches when you play through that.
There are 6 different NPCs that you will encounter along the river. Some will trade with you, some will give you items. Encounters are random, so there isn't a guide for where to look for them. Check every location as you normally would, and you should stumble across them. Make sure that you interact with them in order to earn an achievement. They do not need to be found in one playthrough.
The tracker can glitch on this achievement. However, some have reported a good glitch: Magnolia seems to track every time, and can track multiple times. Therefore if you encounter her, speak with her, then dashboard-quit, reload the game, and talk to her again. This should help you finish the achievement.
- Helen Cockrow - usually at a Farm early in the game. Almost never appears later in the game.
- Feral Children - usually at a Camp
- Flimflam - Appears in various places, but definitely at the first story checkpoint
- Quincy Collie - Various city locations, but definitely at the second story checkpoint
- Magnolia - usually at a Filling Station near the gas pumps
- Cocteau - usually digging graves at a Church
Speak with every river resident
Now for a strange glitch. I noted elsewhere that there is an achievement for crafting all 67 items... but this is glitched. It is tied to the Chatty achievement. Therefore, once you find all 6 NPCs, you should also pop this next one:
Checkpoint #1 - Region 4
Approximately 12 miles down the river, you will reach Region 4. This region has no docks except for one at the end, which is a story checkpoint. You will have to get off your raft here and go up the hill. Don't forget to speak with the NPC on the way up for progress toward "Chatty."
The weather will start getting colder. Make sure you are upgrading your clothing; wolf works best until you find bear. Use tainted meat if you can to save your saplings for spear traps to take down the bears.
Also make sure you keep your raft healthy. There is an important caveat: once you reach Region 6, don't worry about your raft health. By all means, make sure you can travel, but once you get to Region 7...
Checkpoint #2 - Region 7
The 2nd checkpoint is approximately 24 miles down the river. As soon as you go on shore, this will pop.
The NPC as you land, Quincy Collie, is one of those you need to talk to for "Chatty."
Region 7 is a military base that you need to cross. There are snakes and wolves in the main part of the base, and a bear den right next to where you need to go. You can use your torch to avoid the wolves and the bear, but watch out for the snakes. There are a large number of saplings and cattails here to make spear traps if you want to kill the bear. Otherwise, cross the base, read the note, and go back to the dock. Quincy will have fixed your raft, and you can set out again.
Regions 8 and 9
Take note of the water after you get back on the raft. This is the first area of flat water you encounter. On Endless mode, flat water can kill you because you're food and water will decrease while your progress slows. Make sure to continue pushing down the river using . A motor is great for flat water, until your gas runs out. For the Campaign, though, this is only a short taste of flat water.
In the final regions of the game, 8 and 9, you will almost definitely encounter the Elder Wolf and the White Wolf. Keep stopping at docks until you find these. These wolves are no more difficult than a normal wolf (one spear trap each), but have very valuable pelts. I strongly recommend making a jacket from the White Wolf. It's better than a bear jacket.
You are now approaching the end of the campaign. If you have not encountered at least one of the two wolves by mile 35, try to make sure you have bear hide clothing in all 5 of your slots. Assuming you do find a wolf (hopefully the White Wolf), make that jacket. In any case, stop your campaign run now.
Crashing out of the Campaign
The goal here is to now set yourself up for your 2nd campaign run, which you need for Animal Friend. Move all of your heavy clothing to Aesop, and a stack of Jerky. Hopefully, at this point, you have 10 jerky. Make sure everything is on Aesop before continuing.
Now crash your raft until it sinks. Go to the Main Menu, and select Start New Campaign. YES, YOU ARE STARTING A NEW CAMPAIGN. Your items in Aesop's backpack will transfer to Aesop at the beginning of the next run. Equip it, and start again.
The last region begins at approximately 37 miles down the river. If you reach this point, you will no longer be able to restart your game with your clothing, and you will lose it all. Since it is very hard to survive the last part of the river without warm clothing, it will be rather difficult (without constantly stopping to build a fire) to travel the entire way without killing an animal for fur. Therefore, make sure you kill yourself before you reach that point.
Yes, I know that the 100 GS achievement is tantalizingly close, but your second run will go much, much faster.