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      UPDATED - Studio Note & Rhymes with Play Streams Temporarily Canceled.   03/06/2020

      UPDATE (3/19/20): Just a quick note regarding the team at Klei Entertainment. As noted previously, everybody at Klei Entertainment is working from home due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Many of us have been working especially hard to help maintain operations as we all move out of the office and into our homes and with everything being done online, extra time must be spent in organizing conversations and trying to maintain communication. As some of you may know, we have a very open office and we are almost always in contact with each other as we go about our days. Some of us work across multiple teams and that work has become a bit more challenging for everybody.   That being said, at this time the transition has not caused any major disruption in our operations, but it would be overly optimistic to expect that we won't have any delays at all. We're going to have to be especially mindful about this in the coming weeks and make sure we don't take on too much work so we can keep things running smoothly.  We will let you know as we see how these changes affect our timelines.  Thanks UPDATE (3/10/20):
      The test yesterday went well. We got the whole office (mostly) to work from home without significant issue. As a result, Klei Staff that can work from home have been asked to do so until further notice.  This means that we will have to cancel the Rhymes with Play stream until we are all back in the office. This shouldn't affect anything else at least in the short term, but if things change I will update you all here.  Original Post: Hey everybody,  This Tuesday March 10th, 2020 the entire staff at Klei will be working remotely for 1 day in an effort to prepare the studio to work remotely for a little while if the need arises.  Klei is already set up pretty well to allow for working remotely, however we are going to have a one day "dry run" with the whole studio so that we can identify and avoid any issues or downtime that may arise should choose to implement a work from home policy due to COVID-19 outbreak concerns. Unfortunately this does mean that we will be canceling the “Rhymes with Play” Art stream this coming Tuesday, however unless the situation changes we expect everything at the studio to be back to normal Wednesday and we’ll continue our regular stream schedule Thursday March 12th. If the situation changes at all, we'll let you know. Thanks for your understanding.

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  1. Surprise! Aside from Wes, Wickerbottom was waiting for the perfect time to appear! You've seen Wes with his Balloon Mech! But are you ready for Wicker's wondorous new abilities? Here are some details: Wicker's Diary is revealed! The crew got a make over! Maxwell is Mercury cause they're literate. Very Anime! The other changes were already listed in another thread! Prepare to clean your eyes with very powerful acidic liquid...or not up 2 u. Happy April 1st!! No Skin Sale! No skin sale for Wicker cause Klei needs 2 make money too y'know!
  2. When examining Withered Stone Fruit Bush Wormwood says something like this: 'Rest well old friend' According to Wickerbottom Lunar Islands are a new thing in the Constant. That means that it's that Moon Gem speaking through Wormwood in that quote. I think that's pretty neat.
  3. So I've noticed a couple of lore threads pop up recently, and although I'm more accustomed to talking about game play, I thought I'd go out of my comfort zone to see what I could find. Needless to say, I descended into lunacy trying to connect the dots in order to answer a bunch of lingering questions about the game's lore and meaning, but I think I've found enough information to at least point people in the right direction. To help readers who don't want a whole science-class lecture, I'll divide up this post into 3 sections: real-world info dumps, in-game info dumps, and analysis. Feel free to skip whatever sections/subsections that don't interest you. Section 1: Real-World Information The Moon as a Celestial Object For anyone who isn't familiar with the lunar cycle, the reason why you see different phases of the moon is because of the moon's position relative to the sun and the earth that allows the moon to reflect sunlight back to Earth; the different positions you see below are the reason why you only see varying parts of this reflected sunlight, hence the appearance of different moon shapes. This may seem simple, but when we're talking about eclipses (i.e. lunar and solar eclipses), it gets a bit complicated because the plane of the earth's revolution around the sun is NOT the same as the plane of the moon's revolution around the earth; it's actually tilted by a few degrees. From the earth's perspective, this is what the revolution of the sun and moon actually looks like. Only when the moon and the sun are on the same plane (at the nodes) will we get an eclipse. If the moon is between the earth and sun on the same plane, we get a solar eclipse. If the earth is between the moon and sun on the same plane, we get a lunar eclipse (i.e. a full moon that looks red). Fun fact: even though the moon is in the earth's shadow in a lunar eclipse, the reason why the moon is not only bright but red is because of refraction (i.e. when the space that light travels through changes like from vacuum to air, the light's direction is affected) and a phenomenon called Rayleigh scattering (basically, the oscillating electric field of light [that's why we call them EM waves] causes gas molecules on earth to oscillate at the same frequency and therefore "scatter" photons of the same frequency everywhere; the kicker here though is that high-frequency light like blue light gets scattered more than low-frequency light like red light). The sky (AKA gas molecules in the atmosphere) is blue because blue light gets scattered more than red light, but the lunar eclipse is red because red light gets scattered less and reaches the moon more than blue light. Another thing to note is that the same half of the moon will always face the earth. This is caused by tidal locking; basically, the gravitational gradient (a not-uniform gravitation field) generated by the earth pulls on the bulges of an oval moon which slows down the moon's rotation to the point where the moon's revolution is synchronized with the moon's rotation, resulting in the same moon hemisphere pointing towards Earth 24/7. As a result, the opposite hemisphere will never point towards Earth and never be visible unless you actually fly to the moon yourself. This is where Mulan's "mysterious as the dark side of the moon" line comes from. Since I brought up the term, I might as well elaborate. Umbra is a Latin word that means "shadow"; in English, it specifically refers to the darkest region of the shadow. Umbra is commonly used in an astronomy context, referring to the deepest region of a shadow created by celestial objects (i.e. the same region that causes eclipses). Lycanthropy Lycanthropy is basically a "disease" that causes someone to transform into another animal, most commonly a werewolf. Lycanthropy has a rich and complicated history over in Europe full of variations, but more contemporary works of fiction (i.e. mid 1900s) portray lycanthropy as a hereditary condition that's instigated specifically by a full moon; on top of that, modern werewolves are weak to silver. Another thing worth mentioning is that lycanthropy is a common motif in Canadian folklore. Unlike contemporary portrayals of lycanthropy, lycanthropy in Canadian folklore involves people who transform every night - full moon or not - in which "most transformed into wolves, but others were doomed to a fate a little less cool: turning into dogs, cats, owls, cows, oxen… there were even some werepigs." Last thing to note is that even though werewolves have been historically portrayed as violent and demonic creatures, contemporary fiction sometimes portrays them sympathetically, whether as a symbol of spirituality and nature or a metaphor for discriminated minorities. Gestalt Gestalt is a "collection of physical, biological, psychological or symbolic elements that creates a whole, unified concept or pattern which is other than the sum of its parts, due to the relationships between the parts". This term is often used to reference Gestalt psychology, which is a branch of psychology focusing on people's perception of "the whole" over "the sum of its parts". Artistic Inspirations Don't Starve has multiple sources of influence, from Minecraft to Tim Burton. From a literary standpoint, however, Don't Starve was mainly influenced by Edward Gorey and H.P. Lovecraft. Gorey is a surrealistic artist with a morbid Victorian-era style who writes gothic "literary nonsense", a genre of literature that tries to break conventional logic and language with a blend of common sense and things that don't make sense. Alice in Wonderland is an example of nonsense literature. Lovecraft writes horror fiction; he's the guy responsible for "Lovecraftian horror". This is the type of psychological horror that puts gore and shock value on the back burner in favor of inherited sins, human existential crises with respect to a much larger universe, and the insanity that comes with pursuing forbidden knowledge that can't be understood. If some of these themes sound familiar to you, you've probably watched a few sci-fi cartoons, and - to be fair - you probably have a high IQ. Section 2: In-Game Information The Aporkalypse Hamlet is a gold mine of information, especially when it comes to figuring out what the moon is capable of. For starters, look no further than the Aporkalypse and the Aporkalypse Calendar, which spells out what the ancient pig civilization believes to be how the celestial objects move. While I don't have Hamlet myself, I was able to find a few pictures of what the calendar looks like during the Aporkalypse. In both cases, the entire calendar - tellurion and rings included - stop moving; the symbols and celestial bodies glow red; and the celestial bodies themselves are always arranged in the order you see above. Another thing to note regarding the aporkalypse is the appearance of a red moon and the presence of a shadow creature called the Ancient Herald. Not only is the arrival of a shadow creature noteworthy in itself, but the Ancient Herald has an unusual crescent-shaped crown of sorts that resembles the bottom 2 crescent symbols found on the aporkalypse calendar and the ancient gateway in the murals. The Aporkalypse Calendar also contains a gate-shaped symbol at the top and a triangle right underneath. Looking in-game for appearances of triangles, I could only find 3 other instances: Finally, within the same section of the ruins containing the Aporkalypse Calendar, there's a corrupt version of the Wishing Well called the Ends Well that spits out either purple gems or nightmare creatures. The Cursed There are quite a few characters in Don't Starve that have the lycanthropy curse. Let's start with Wilba. Wilba is the daughter of Queen Malfalfa and an unnamed father who has the werepig curse. She has a silver necklace given to her by her father that prevents her from transforming into a werepig when worn, and like everyone who has the curse, she will transform when eating monster meat or being exposed to the full moon. The pig king is the ruler of a more tribal population of pigs than their Hamlet counterparts. Some noteworthy facts include the pig king and his pig followers originating from a "distant land" and the fact that the pig king is adorned with some accessories on his hat. Unlike his followers, the pig king never transforms during a full moon. Additionally, one of the topiaries in the pig city resembles the pig king. Woodie is a Canadian lumberjack who also has the curse, but unlike Wilba or the pigs, he has 3 forms, each of which he can instigate at will using idols made of monster meat. That being said, the animated short portrays a Woodie that has complete control of his curse, being able to transform into all 3 at will without idols and even maintaining his human form during a full moon. The RoG pigs are followers of the pig king; every single one of them have the curse. These pigs do not transform unless they eat 4 monster meat or they're exposed specifically to the light of the full moon. The Moon in DST Ever since the Return of Them update, the moon has displayed a crack for 1/2, 3/4, and full moons, which is obviously a reference to the piece of the moon that fell from the sky and makes up the lunar island in DST. A thing to note here is that the crack is located in a different spot in every lunar phase, including the waxing vs waning phases. Needless to say, the lunar island - which originated from the moon at the location of the crack - has some interesting information. Every organic material on the lunar island is a mutated version of its respective plant/animal, from pengulls to carrots. The Steeped Lunar Essence from the Hallowed Nights event actually spells out exactly what each mutated thing on the lunar island originally was. Another major thing to note here is the celestial fissures. Celestial fissures are only found on the moon-turf portions of the island, and they emit light and an enlightenment aura at a magnitude depending on how close the moon is to being full; a new moon will result in nothing from the fissures while a full moon will result in maximum enlightenment and light. Wickerbottom's quotes for these fissures are likewise worth pointing out. The Ancients I feel like the lore revolving around the Ancients has been covered to death by Youtuber Zeklo, with a video summary of some of his content recently released by another Youtuber James Bucket. Instead of rehashing their points, I'll link their videos on the topic in the sources section (right under the nightmare throne link). Some things I want to add to these videos are: 1) Metheus (i.e. not Prometheus or Epimetheus) is the name of the character the Fuelweaver mentions, and she is female according to a Klei live stream 2) The Fuelweaver himself is confirmed male in both a live stream and the description for A New Reign 3) Maxwell is the first ever person to sit on the nightmare throne according to another live stream, meaning that the Ancient who is now the Fuelweaver has never sat on the throne The civilization aside, there are some interesting details about the gateway worth observing. Section 3: Analysis and Discussion The Pigs It's very likely that the pig king is Wilba's father as evident in the pig king's vignette backstory, the pig king's topiary image in Hamlet, the fact that Wilba has the curse when no other Hamlet pig does, and the fact that all of the pig king's followers do have the curse. This explains a couple of things like why the pig king followers have electricity in their houses and why werepig imagery shows up in the Hamlet cities. An argument I've seen against this claim is the fact that the pig king doesn't transform during the full moon, so he can't be Wilba's father. However, it's established through Wilba that a silver accessory will prevent transformations from happening at the cost of sanity during moments when the transformation would have happened. Wouldn't you know it; the pig king happens to have ring accessories on the horns of his hat that appear to be a mixture of gold and silver, and it's also established that "Wilba's father" knows this because Wilba's silver necklace came from him in the first place. This also explains why there are obelisks next to him in every world; sanity affects the appearance of Mr. Skitts who raises/lowers the obelisks based on that sanity level. Basically, it makes sense for the pig king to essentially have a sanity test lying around. This whole theory on the pig king's origins cements the connection between werepigism and the ancient pig civilization, suggesting that the curse that plagues today's RoG pigs came from a subpopulation of the ancient pigs over in Hamlet. Additionally, the presence of a device that can physically prevent a lunar eclipse on top of the nightmare-fueled wishing well indicates that some of the ancient pigs tampered with magic. Unlike the Ancients, the ancient pig civilization did not completely fall as evident in the existence of modern pigs, which suggests the possibility that the werepig curse came about from meddling in said magic without being fully consumed by the forbidden knowledge. This explains why the ancient pigs have convoluted traps and pathways preventing explorers from finding these magical relics in the first place, and it also explains why some pigs have the curse while others don't. Woodie Honestly, this guy is an anomaly. It's extremely hard for me to make sense of Woodie's situation given the information we currently have. We know from the Winona short that Woodie's from Earth like most of the other survivors, and it's very likely that Woodie's curse is the same one affecting the pigs given the fact that both curses are triggered by monster meat and a full moon. However, I couldn't find anything within the game at all that connects Woodie to the pig civilization, and on top of this, Woodie's animated short completely contradicts the Woodie we know in DST. The only thing I could find was an extremely loose folklore connection in which some Canadian lycanthropes were werepigs. What I find interesting though is that the animated short seems like it's purposefully going out of its way to contradict DST Woodie. On top of the fact that he clearly isn't transforming with monster meat or monster-meat idols, Klei made the artistic choice of emphasizing the fact that Woodie isn't transformed on a full moon at the end of the video instead of literally any other time of the day or any other lunar phase, even though Woodie's full-moon transformation has been a noticeable part of the character since the beginning. Maybe this short is supposed to be a light-hearted, non-canon showcase where Klei's animators get to let loose and have some Canadian fun; who knows? The Ancients It's pretty obvious at this point that the tragic tale of the Ancients is supposed to mirror Maxwell and Charlie's tragic backstory. In both cases, you have a male character who's obsessed with dark magic and a female associate who is skeptical of that dark magic. Both male characters create their own downfall through dark-magic overuse, and both female characters end up corrupted in some way by the consequences of the male characters' actions. Thematics aside though, it's worth noting that the Ancient Herald very likely is one of the Ancients; if the Herald's name and appearance doesn't convince you, Wagstaff's quote hopefully should. The symbol on the herald's head that appears on the Ancient Gateway in the murals also cements this connection. Here's the kicker though; the same symbol that links the Herald with the Ancient Gateway is also present on the Aporkalypse Calendar (i.e. a device that is clearly attuned to the moon), and for some reason, there's 2 of them. So to simplify what I'm trying to get at, we have a shadow creature resembling an Ancient who's directly connected to the moon and symbolically connected to the Ancient Gateway and calendar. Transitively, this means that the gateway and moon are also connected. If this network of connections isn't enough to convince you that the gateway and moon are connected, the symbols on the calendar almost explicitly spell this out. The calendar's top symbol is an obvious reference to the gateway itself; the triangle in the middle is a linking symbol (i.e. the same linking symbol that mentally links you to dark-magic knowledge and physically links you to a different point in space); and the two crescent symbols at the bottom clearly represent the moon. The Nature of the Moon So first off, it's pretty clear that the thing that instigates the Aporkalypse is a lunar eclipse. The blood moon is a dead giveaway, but if you're not convinced, when the calendar symbols align to signify the beginning of the Aporkalypse, the 3 celestial bodies (the ones rotating around the calendar's tellurion) line up in the order of sun, planet, and moon; this alignment is exactly how lunar eclipses occur in real life. With regard to the moon phases, I don't think that Wickerbottom's assessment is completely accurate. Her quote clearly implies that the light from the moon comes from these fissures. Here's the thing; EVERY single fissure on the lunar island illuminates the same amount of light relative to each other no matter the moon phase. If moonlight were exclusively coming from these fissures, we would NOT be seeing these moon phases; instead, we would be seeing different intensities of full moons every night. I'd argue that Wickerbottom's assessment isn't completely inaccurate though because the intensity of the fissures - particularly the enlightenment aura - is at its maximum during a full moon, which explains why it's specifically the light of a full moon that causes strange things like wereform transformations and glowing pig/merm heads. What I'm trying to say here is that it seems like "moonlight" is a mixture of reflected sunlight and lunar essence, and both seem to affect the properties of that moonlight. This theory also explains why lunar eclipses behave differently from normal full moons even though lunar eclipses are full moons, and it also explains why flowers turn into evil flowers on a full moon (in single player) even though they turn into lune trees on the lunar island. Some have suggested that the moon and shadows are fighting each other, with lunar magic being the opposite of dark magic (i.e. light vs dark). The evidence I've presented seems to paint a much different picture; if anything, it seems like the two forces are either in league with each other or are two sides of the same coin (i.e. two sides of the same moon). I'm strongly leaning towards the latter. The fact that the moon is capable of spawning a powerful shadow creature and has the ability to instigate an apocalyptic event is a red flag (no pun intended) that not only shows that lunar magic has some alignment with dark magic, but indicates that the moon (or whatever being controls lunar magic) is an antagonistic force. This alignment is further supported by the fact that full moons affect pig/merm heads by making them glow, and when you hammer these structures down, you get nightmare fuel (i.e. the moon is capable of creating the very thing that fuels dark magic). This "duality" interpretation of the moon also explains a couple of other things like the ancient gateway and Charlie's scene at the end of the Forge trailer. First of all, notice how the mural portrays both a white and black aura emanating from the same gateway, which matches up with the mixture of white and black we see from the gateway in the Forge trailer. Secondly, notice the scene at the end of the same trailer where Charlie specifically absorbs this white essence from the portal. Knowing that "Charlie's machinations have come to a head as she turns her attention towards the skies - and the mysterious entity that awaits there" (official Return of Them description), it seems safe to assume that this white essence is lunar magic. On top of all this, the real-life "dark side of the moon" looks significantly different from the side that always points towards Earth. To put it as simply as I can, this moon duality theory explains Charlie's motives in the Forge trailer, the activated gateway's physical appearance in the mural, the connection between the gateway and the moon, the two crescent symbols on the Aporkalypse calendar, and the moon's ability to create shadow creatures while paralleling the duality of our real-life moon's light and dark hemispheres. I'm not going to go as far as to say that the moon is "villainous" though because there is a pattern to lunar magic's effects on organic life. Simply put: plants with little to no sentience like saplings, carrots, dragonfruits, and butterflies (these butterflies don't seem to be animals as evident in the fact that you can plant them to literally make a flower, the fact that they can drop butter when you kill them, and the fact that Wurt is able to eat them as a vegetarian) either become sentient altogether (e.g. saladmanders and carrats) or take on an "improved" lunar form. Sentient animals, on the other hand, become completely corrupt and disfigured, whether it's hounds, pengulls, or spiders. This lunar magic pattern is notably consistent with the lunar gem that created Wormwood in the Lunar Roots trailer. Lunar magic doesn't seem to be "evil" as much as a metaphor for forbidden knowledge that corrupts those who try to understand it. With that being said, we know nothing about the dark side of the Don't Starve moon. Keep in mind that the lunar island came from one specific side of the moon; we can't assume the lunar island represents the entire moon. The Theme of Don't Starve Assuming I haven't butchered anything, if you take a step back to look at all of this from a literary standpoint, it actually paints a cohesively poetic picture of what this whole franchise is all about. People tend to think of starvation in terms of malnutrition, but there's more than one way to starve; you can be "starving for knowledge" for example. Looking at all of the events in the lore that have unfolded, this Lovecraftian interpretation of starvation seems to be what Klei is going for. Maxwell started off literally starving, but after finding the codex umbra and achieving the fame and fortune he always wanted, his hubris and curiosity never went away; his downfall came from satiating his obsession by escalating his dark magic to the point of no return. The ancients' extinction via overuse of nightmare fuel almost exactly mirrors Maxwell's fall. Wilson, Winona, and Wagstaff were likewise lured into the Constant in their pursuit of knowledge. Even the ending to the original Don't Starve game is Lovecraftian in the sense that the two knowledge-hungry characters both meet a terrible demise. The reason why I bring this up is because it seems like Klei is setting up another forbidden-knowledge conflict; this time, instead of Maxwell or the Codex coercing our heroes into a trap, it's the moon's promise of enlightenment. For evidence, look no further than the Gestalts and the Celestial Altar whose character quotes imply that the moon is tempting them with knowledge (i.e. forbidden knowledge). Lingering Questions for the Future Aside from the fact that I haven't fully answered my own questions, there are a lot of lingering questions about the world and story. Who's the "gatekeeper" mentioned in the Forge and Gorge? Why are the Forge inhabitants hostile to the gatekeeper while the Gorge inhabitants aren't? What is the Gnaw? How did Maxwell's niece of all people find her way into the Constant, and why is her twin dead? Who exactly is Jack Carter, and how is he relevant to the story other than being one of Maxwell's closest family members? Who is the night monster that coexists with Charlie? Are the "dangerous trained monkeys" from the circus accident connected to the monkeys we see in the Constant? And finally, will any of these questions ever be answered, or will they remain unanswered with a couple clues sprinkled in over time to keep with Don't Starve's nonsense-fiction mystery and Lovecraftian themes? Sources: https://www.reddit.com/r/dontstarve/comments/arcof2/question_about_aporkalypse_calendar/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZjQYJvvFHk https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_phase https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Far_side_of_the_Moon https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Werewolf http://thisiscanadiana.com/blogposts/2017/11/1/the-werewolf-of-quebec-city https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Werewolf_fiction https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/gestalt https://dontstarve.fandom.com/wiki/Ancient_Civilization https://dontstarve.fandom.com/wiki/Ancient_Herald https://dontstarve.fandom.com/wiki/Ancient_Mural https://dontstarve.fandom.com/wiki/Pig_King https://dontstarve.fandom.com/wiki/Silver_Necklace https://dontstarve.fandom.com/wiki/Vignettes https://dontstarve.fandom.com/wiki/Intricate_Topiary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0r0WfV2y5s https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don't_Starve#Conception_and_design https://dontstarve.fandom.com/wiki/Celestial_Fissure https://dontstarve.fandom.com/wiki/Lunar_Experiment https://study.com/academy/lesson/literary-nonsense-genre-definition-examples.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lovecraftian_horror https://lithub.com/on-the-darker-side-of-the-perpetually-dark-edward-gorey/ https://dontstarve.fandom.com/wiki/Shadow_Manipulator https://dontstarve.fandom.com/wiki/Electric_Isosceles https://dontstarve.fandom.com/wiki/Telelocator_Focus https://dontstarve.fandom.com/wiki/William_Carter_Puzzles https://dontstarve.fandom.com/wiki/Metheus_Puzzles https://dontstarve.fandom.com/wiki/Reanimated_Skeleton https://dontstarve.fandom.com/wiki/Nightmare_Throne https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcY8WV9CGLM&list=PL85quN8BGMDh_Jjoa42qMnzE0bMyIk3LI&index=2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paVmu60JfG0&t=179s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vygRnYnPL0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hugrMLgDsQ https://dontstarve.fandom.com/wiki/Return_of_Them https://dontstarve.fandom.com/wiki/Gestalt https://dontstarve.fandom.com/wiki/Celestial_Altar Anyways, that's all I got. Let me know if there's anything I'm missing or if you have a different interpretation of the lore and message. That being said though, I'd appreciate it if we could keep this thread in the realm of evidence-based reasoning and not speculation. From what I've seen, lore discussions that involve interesting interpretations but lack any evidence tend to go nowhere and occasionally lead to unnecessary destructive arguments. EDIT: Just realized that some of the pictures somehow didn't appear. I'll try to fix this later. EDIT 2: Fixed. EDIT 3: Trivial grammar mistakes, and added picture of celestial fissure