- Demonic Spiders:
- Red Chompers. They're fast and aggressive, deceptively calculating (capable of pulling off fake charges and evading mistimed melee strikes), and tough enough to take the better half of a pistol magazine to kill. Starting at the Old Woods, they become a common enemy, and certain areas can be swarming with them. Even if you're competent, if all you have is a nail board, you'll have a very tough time.
- There are three enemies introduced in the Swamp, and all three will terrorize your time there.
- The first is the Swampers, black mutated alligator-looking things that lurk in deep waters. They deal massive damage and can spit at you, with their spit actually leaving behind a trap similar to the moving vines traps or chain traps. This means you're effectively a sitting duck if you get stuck in it, and god help you if you're near water, since you have even less mobility while stuck to it.
- The second are the Human Spiders. These things are fast, relentless, and very persistent predators that will pursue you until either you or them are dead. They are some of the fastest things in the game, and they have the ability to self-replicate by tossing off a chunk of their torso that'll grow into a new but less healthy Human Spider. This means that a one-on-one fight can soon become a three-on-one if you fail to take it out quick enough. The upside is that a single shotgun shell will kill a Spider.
- Lastly, there's the Centipedes, horrific monsters inhabiting human corpses that can burrow underground. These things are able to dodge and jump around with abandon, and while they're fragile, they hit very hard, and their persistent attacks can make fighting them a real pain in melee. Guns make quick work of them with good aim, but their fast, erratic movement can make this easier said then done. Worse still, during the nights you're almost guaranteed to be attacked by one or more, and they'll un-burrow right from beneath you.
- Difficulty Spike: Two, as the paragraphs above may tell you.
- The transition from the Silent Forest to the Old Woods is nothing short of brutal. Red Chompers become a common enemy, the Hideout is much harder to secure and the only part of it made safe by the gas is inside the building's outer walls. You'll also get nightly intruders way more often, which includes the Chompers (who can break barricades much more easily and quickly than Huge Dogs) and Banshees (that can now spawn without the telltale overhead crows; the only cue is the change in ambience). Unless you've practiced melee combat to exhaustion, it's best to spend your Reputation on ammunition and the crafting ingredients for Molotovs.
- Moving from the Old Woods to the Swamp is even worse. To start with, you have to lug everything you want to keep yourself the Bike Man doesn't reach the Swamp. Anything you leave in the workbenches of the other hideouts is permanently lost. There's water everywhere and no continuous road to save stamina, so going anywhere is a stamina-draining slog that limits how much you can explore and loot in one day. You can be ambushed at any time by all of the Demonic Spiders mentioned above, and they frequently pop up at night to say "die", and that is when a Banshee doesn't pop up when the Shadows are running amok. Speaking of nighttime, the Swamp is exceptionally stingy with wood for barricades outside of the Sawmill location. And the kicker? The whole Swamp, easily the biggest area of the gamenote , does not feature any Time Freeze locations the moment you step out of the Hideout in the morning, time ticks on relentlessly. The only upsides are that the Hideout is not as hard to secure as the Old Woods onenote and ammo for guns is abundant, so you'll hardly be forced to engage in ill-advised melee combat.
- Jerkass Woobie:
- The protagonist is a merciless, cruel individual with a disdain for basically everyone around him, and he's able to commit some seriously brutal actions throughout the story for his own personal gain. That being said, he's a mutated, possibly mentally unwell individual stuck in an absolute hell on earth, and the multitude of flashbacks throughout the game imply that he had a loving home life with his family; much of what he does is simply in an attempt to get back home. The fact that, no matter what you do, the protagonist never truly comes home is deeply depressing.
- Same goes with the Villagers, who treat you like absolute dirt, but themselves are on the verge of collapsing, and depending on your actions they can all go savage or be decimated to the last person.
- Most Wonderful Sound: The slowly rising orchestral piece that plays whenever dawn is about to break, signalling at least a momentary reprieve.
- That One Level:
- The Old Woods are a true Difficulty Spike. Red Chompers and Huge Dogs roam the place constantly, there's no equipment upgrades to speak of like when you go from the Dry Meadow to the Silent Forest, and the hideout has more holes than a sieve, making nights exceptionally difficult to manage.
- The Swamp is utter hell to navigate, as it's a colossal areanote filled with swamp water that slows you down, poisonous mushrooms galore, and a large amount of tough enemies (including the three above-mentioned Demonic Spiders), which can have Black Substance on them. There are no separate major locations where the In-Universe Game Clock freezes, so you can only visit one location per day and that's with a carefully-designed schedule. Also, gasoline and wood are at a premium and a must pickup whenever found, and thanks to the twisting land paths and the water, it's a slog to carry supplies back to the hideout. Fortunately, ammunition for firearms is absurdly easy to find there, the hideout is more easily defensible than the Old Woods one, and nightly invaders aren't nearly as relentless.
YMMV / Darkwood