This was a fun creative project that I really enjoyed putting together. What would it be like to wake up on a planet alone, dying, and with no idea what to do next? No Man’s Sky might have the answer in this storytelling video.
The following is the script for the No Man’s Sky storytelling video I published last week. You can enjoy the video, or if you’d like to imagine the world the main character is in for yourself, read the script below before watching (includes a few extra bits that got cut from the video).
Check 1… Check
Is this thing working?
Alright well at least I know THAT is functioning.
Ehhh I don’t even know where to begin.
Survivor’s Log, Day 1, Ummm… and that’s all I really know right now. I can’t even remember my name.
I woke up this morning in a pretty bad spot.
Luckily I was in an exosuit so, it could have been worse I guess, but it was actually the suit that woke me up. The alarms were going off about some of the systems being damaged or low on energy, so I didn’t really have time to look around at my surroundings before I had to fix those.
The suit’s scanners told me that I am on a planet called Eniw, which is apt because the planet is as gross as the name is. And this planet is apparently in the Yekhary System, whatever that means. I have no clue how I got here. My memory is as blank as the land is sticky.
But I knew one thing with certainty – I was very, very alone. So solving all of those problems was up to me and the uncomfortably calm guidance system that the suit and multi-tool had. Thanks to whoever out there decided to let me keep those and then drop me on this planet almost dead and with no idea what to do next. Yay team.
That multi-tool really was a lifesaver, though. Without that I wouldn’t have been able to keep the life support and protective systems running. The one thing that seemed to work without any issues, besides all the alarms that is, was the mining laser attachment. Targeting the nearby plants and rocks I found that they were made of Carbon and Ferrite, which I knew would come in handy so I grabbed a bit.
I was desperately low on Oxygen and Sodium, though, as my suit’s robotic voice kept reminding me, but my scanner was damaged so I decided to look for a cave to chill in for a moment and recharge. Probably a dumb idea, but I don’t think there were any good ideas at the moment.
Just over the hill was a tight squeeze of safety, and that’s all I really needed to give myself a better chance of surviving. Not too long after that my scanner was repaired, my systems were all recharged, and I was ready to head back out into the alien world to find my way home.
Haha. I actually laughed after I fixed the scanner and thought about home. All I could really think about was the word “home”, because it didn’t actually have any meaning to me. Still doesn’t. At that moment, my only home was the grotty little cave I stood in. The toxic drip of silence prodded at the fact that my new sanctuary would not ease my nausea.
With the scanner fixed and my heart settled down I stepped back out of my home to search for any signs of Sodium or Oxygen. Thankfully, the scanner picked up a reading of a Sodium enriched plant not too far away. I ran as quick as I could to get to it before the systems started failing again in the harsh environment, and once I extracted the Sodium I put it to good use.
This suit seemed almost sentient, because immediately after I got the rush of relief from filling the tanks, I got another rush as a distress signal was displayed on my visor. Sure, a distress signal doesn’t normally mean good things, but if there was someone else out there and THEY had a signal going, then I might be able to make it off this planet.
I dead sprinted towards the beacon on my visor, pausing only to catch my breath and grab some extra Ferrite Dust along the way. Then suddenly, a shadow passed over me and my heart stopped for a moment. Three ships flew by just ahead of me in the direction of the distress signal.
Was I going to miss the rescue? I couldn’t rest anymore. Adrenaline kicked in and I got back to sprinting up the sticky hill…. And then the ships turned and left.
They hadn’t stopped for the signal. They hadn’t stopped for me. They just left.
I had a thought that maybe if I used the mining laser it would catch someone’s eye and they’d turn back around. But my luck wasn’t good enough, I guess. They vanished, and all I could do was keep running to that signal.
Then my luck got worse.
It was already bad enough to try running up the side of a slick mountain to reach the elevation of the signal, but of course I’d fall into a hole. A deep one, too. I wasn’t quick enough with the jetpack to get back out, and landed with a hard thud on the stalagmites below.
So there I was, running out of daylight, so close to whoever had sent that signal, and stuck at the bottom of a hole. I gotta be honest I was freaking out a bit at this point. I couldn’t get out for anything. The walls were too slick to climb and too steep to get a solid footing on. I kept falling down and landing on those same stalagmites over and over until I got pissed enough to clear them out.
I started screaming and panicking, way too much. It was terrifying to think that after all that effort just to survive, I’d find my grave by taking a wrong step in the direction of hope.
I went back down to the bottom of the cave to see if there was any chance that I’d missed an exit, but I hadn’t. The place was empty and closed off except the hole I fell through. I couldn’t give up, though, so I went back to the opening and tried for probably the 20th time to jetpack my way out…. And it worked. I was back on the surface. I don’t know if I was a crying man in my past life, but I definitely was one right there.
Home wasn’t reached yet, though. So the slippery climb continued on that mountain, with my eyes looking around a bit more carefully this time. Just as the signal read on my visor as being close, the star dipped below the horizon and I was in the void of night.
That’s when I saw it. Alone in the darkness a downed ship sitting to the right of me on the side of the mountain, looking like it could slide all the way down with a gentle push, distress lights shining ominously and giving the mountain a sinister eye like a cyclops.
I watched it for a moment just as it watched me. Watched all around me, too, like it was the red-eyed god over these dark, sweaty lands. There was no movement aside from sparks off the top of the ship. No signs of life or that the owner was even still there. Didn’t even see a blink.
Since my suit still needed a closer look over for any extra damage, and I didn’t want to stand in goop any more, I walked right up and hopped into the ship. If it slid down the mountain from my added weight, at least it would be a quicker death than being stuck down in that cave.
The ship’s autodiagnostics came to life and told me what systems needed to be repaired. Obviously it was the useful ones. Launch Thrusters. Pulse Engine. All offline.
There I was. Alone in a strange world. Unequipped and in danger. With no memory of how I got there, and no sense of what came before. But the ship at least seemed to recognize me. The controls reacted to my touch, or at least that of my exosuit. I wasn’t dead yet, and the ship, so I thought, was a lifeline out to the stars.
I started running through the systems with new confidence that I would find some way off the planet. The previous owner’s logs were missing, but my exosuit connected just fine and I was able to get some guidance on how to repair the thing.
I decided to get straight to work and managed to make some progress on the pulse drive before I realized I needed more materials. So I slid down the side of the mountain to search for anything that might be useful. A little too fast of course cause I’m an idiot, but that jetpack saved my life just like before, and thankfully I didn’t break my neck.
At the base of the mountain was a few busted up containers that didn’t really have anything useful in them. I couldn’t even get into two of them. But it gave me a thought that maybe there was more in the area that would be worth looking for.
I searched for hours. All through the night. Walking up and down the side of the mountain, way out into the valley below, even got my scanner ticking a bit to help the search. There was nothing else out there. Just sweaty rocks, gross plants, some skittish cat-like things, and the footprints I left behind in the goo.
I did manage to craft some carbon nanotubes and fashion an Analysis Visor onto my multi-tool. Figured it would be a good idea to use that if I needed to mine the raw materials to make parts for the ship. Other than that the entire night was an absolute failure. I ran through most of my Sodium and Oxygen supplies, and all I got out of it was some slime in abandoned machinery.
It’ll go nicely with the collection I’ve got on my boots.
The star popping back up over the horizon with morning stole what little bit of hope I had left. The ship was dead. There was no way I could fix it. And my suit was running dangerously low with some of its systems again.
Staying in one spot wasn’t an option. There weren’t enough raw materials nearby for me to keep shelter in the ship for long, and who knows how long it would take a passing ship to notice the distress signal. So I floated back up the mountain to look one last time at the ship, said goodbye to the cyclops, and then I hit the road.
The plan was to use the scanner and analysis visor to find Oxygen and Sodium, and then just follow that in whatever direction it took me. It seemed to be a decent plan at first, but once I got out of sight of the ship, I stopped for a moment and just listened.
There were no signs of civilization to be heard or seen, except a few broken crates on the ground and ignorant ships in the sky. If I was a gambling man at one time, I surely would have known better than to bet on this plan succeeding. But it was all I could do, so I started runnin.
I ran over hills and through valleys. Past countless alien creatures and plants. Didn’t stop for any of them except to get some Sodium and Oxygen to keep my suit fueled. My visor told me to check the ship for a Planetary Chart, but what good would that do me when the ship doesn’t even fly? I ignored the message and just kept runnin.
Then, as I came up one last hill, and looked through the sagging leaves of foreign trees at the vast stretch of empty land ahead of me, something shimmered in the corner of my eye.
The pink and yellow painted metal of a real life building was there in front of me, beckoning for me to come closer. I wasted no time and ran and jetpacked all the way there. Hope was found.
The main hatch to the structure could not open fast enough for me, and I didn’t care who was on the other side about to get a surprise visitor. They could shoot me if they wanted…. At least I wasn’t gonna die alone in goop somewhere.
But when I finally made it through, there were no surprises. No shots. No sounds from anyone. The place was empty.
I was still alone.
It didn’t seem like the place was abandoned, only that the inhabitants had left it for a trip elsewhere.
I went outside and hopped on the roof to see if there was anything in the surrounding area worth looking at. The star was beginning to dip low again, and even with all the green stained land it did seem to be a serene night. I stood there for a bit, just looking out at the darkening sky, and wondered if someone was watching me. If they were entertained by this lone man fighting for his life, trying to understand and remember anything that could help him escape.
Who are you watchers? Who are you who have put me here in this wasteland? What is this sick fantasy you have of watching someone go through waves of fear and hope and adrenaline and emotion as they look in the eye of death?
There’s no answer, of course, but that’s probably for the better. With my heart calmed, mind cleared, and a foundation of courage created by a hollow metal structure, I recognized that it would be a bad idea for me to be caught inside that place when the inhabitants returned. It would be wiser if I approached more strategically once I know who comes here.
So, I left the place, activated the beacon outside to find that the name of the region I’m in is the Cagelaxi Floodplain, and found a cave nearby to rest my head for the night. That’s where I’m recording this log now.
I don’t know what to do now. I’m hungry. I’m tired. I’m…. scared.
My suit is fully recharged but I am fully drained. My mind is going to the dumbest places, too. I can’t even say if I’ll be alive in the morning with any certainty, but here I am worrying about if I’ll like the man I was when I start to remember.
If I start to remember.