The First Flare refers to the first appearance of the Aurorae in The Long Dark's Story Mode. It is the primary cause of the so-called "quiet apocalypse" seen in both Story Mode and Sandbox Mode.
The First Flare event took place at least 10 years after the The Collapse: the economic collapse of the Canadian - and wider North American - economy. The exact time of the First Flare is not stated, though based on notes found in Milton (including the letter outside Milton Credit Union dated September 2012) and conversations between Grey Mother and Will Mackenzie, it likely occurred later than September 2022.
Cause & Effects Edit
The cause of the First Flare and subsequent Aurorae has been labelled as a geomagnetic storm. Its most immediate effect was the widespread disruption of electronic devices, including lights, cell phones, televisions, radios, power plants, and vehicles. One of the Flare's slower but more devastating effects is the destabilization of weather patterns and wildlife behavior, leading to extreme weather and unusual animal activity in many areas. Due to the loss of worldwide communication and the isolation of the game's setting of Great Bear Island, it is impossible to determine the exact scope of the First Flare; however it is implied that the entire world has been affected, leading to the collapse of civilization.
Notable Incidents Caused by the First Flare Edit
- Electronic devices across northern Canada (and presumably the rest of the world) stop working, leading to total blackouts and loss of communication.
- Wildlife behavior is disrupted. Predators that once avoided humans now attack them on sight. Bears are roused from their hibernation and begin roaming the area.
- Disruption of weather patterns leads to extremely cold temperatures and brutal snowstorms across many regions of Great Bear Island and presumably the rest of northern Canada.
- Loss of electricity, severe weather, and food shortages lead to widespread looting and violence throughout many of the affected areas.
- Dozens of motorists are stranded on highways and roads after their cars stopped working.
- Pilot Will Mackenzie and Dr. Astrid Greenwood crash in the mountains outside of Milton following the total loss of power to McKenzie's plane.
- A prison bus carrying several inmates to Blackrock Federal Penitentiary crashes into a collapsed tunnel outside Milton.
- A cargo airliner crashes into the summit of Timberwolf Mountain, scattering debris and cargo all over the area. (Sandbox Mode; unconfirmed for Story Mode)
- A motorist named Matt loses control of his truck and drives off a bridge in Desolation Point. (Sandbox Mode; unconfirmed for Story Mode)
- The implication that the First Flare occurs in the winter of 2012 may be a reference to the 2012 apocalypse theory.