There are various people the Ranger can interact with over the course of Road Not Taken, in both the Town and Forest. "Giftable" people develop relationships with the Ranger and can unlock helpful rewards.
The Ranger Edit
Locations: Town and Forest
The Ranger is the protagonist of Road Not Taken and its only playable character. He is a magelike person whose staff enables them to levitate and move objects at will, using the magical energy of its blue flame. A fateful storm brings them to the Town and, although the townspeople are wary of them at first, they are eventually accepted and become integrated into village society. This is helped by the Ranger's offerings of resources as well as their unique ability to rescue children who have gotten lost hunting Berries in the Forest.
During their 15 year lifespan, the Ranger builds relationships with the townspeople and acquires objects and charms that make their efforts in the Forest less difficult. Although their identity is concealed by a hooded cloak at the beginning of the game, they eventually reveal their (procedurally generated) appearance when asked to by another person. The Ranger's gender is determined by the player when they answer who they wish to emulate more, their mother or father. The Ranger can die before their 15-year career is completed if they run out of energy in the Forest or asks the Mayor to leave before they have rescued over half the children more than one time. At this point, their Grave will appear along with statistics about his career. The Ferryman will then transport the Ranger to a new life and career, beginning in the Town on year one. However, remnants of careers past remain in the form of leftover charms and graves in the Forest.
Giftable Characters Edit
There are six characters who can accept resources from the Ranger in exchange for points in a relationship meter. The Hunter and Nymph live in the forest, while the Archer, Maiden, Prodigy, and Yodeler live in town. A character can only accept two resource offerings per year, and up to one bundle of resources per offering. The value of a resource differs for each character, depending on their preferences and mood.
When a relationship meter has been filled, the character will give the Ranger a reward in the form of a secret, resource, charm, permanent object, energy, or the ability to banish an item from the forest. Some levels require confirmation from the Ranger to advance. If they decline, no points will be given beyond the amount needed to fill the meter for that level. The next time the Ranger makes an offering, they will be given another opportunity to advance.
The degree a person likes a resource does not change throughout the game and can be recognized by its text color in the prompt to make an offering. Green text is used for a liked type, black for neutral, and red for disliked. No points will be rewarded for a disliked resource offering, under any circumstances. As a rule, forest-dwellers prefer resources found in the forest and town-dwellers prefer one of two resource rewarded by the Mayor. When a character is sick, medicine will act as a liked resource; otherwise,
|Archer||Town||Berry, rice||Rabbit||Copper||Jess, Kat, Naomi, Noddy, Red, Sam|
|Hunter||Forest||Berry, rabbit||Rice||Copper||Brent, Edmund, Ryan|
|Maiden||Town||Copper, rabbit||Rice||Berry||Eve, Fleur, Flora, Rose|
|Nymph||Forest||Berry, rabbit||Copper, rice||N/A||Ada, Aya, Daya, Maya|
|Prodigy||Town||Copper||Berry, rice||Rabbit||Alex, Cristian, Hayden, Jonathan, Peters, Ray|
|Yodeler||Town||Berry, rice||Copper||Rabbit||Dave, Fedor, Marvin, Ralph, Scott|
Relationship Levels Edit
*The Ranger will be prompted to confirm or deny an advance to this level.
A person's mood toward the Ranger can be independent of his relationships with other people (i.e. true love) or dependent on them (i.e. jealousy) and are subject to change throughout the game. You can tell a person's mood through their body language, the color of the screen, and/or their dialogue with the Ranger. If a person has something to tell the Ranger, an exclamation mark will appear above their head and they will jump up and down, such as in year three, when each of the giftable people gives the Ranger one randomly selected resource. A good mood may make resources given to that person more valuable, thus increasing the Ranger's relationship with them at a higher rate. A bad mood may cause the person to downgrade their relationship level with the Ranger (usually to acquaintances or friends). Feelings towards Ranger will be revealed upon his death, along with other statistics about his career.
|Name||Level||Chance||Effect||Max per Career||Gravestone Text||Notes|
|Bad Match||≥ 2||10%||1||Someone resisted you.|
|Betrayal||≥ 5||10%||1||Someone betrayed you.|
|Jealousy||≥ 2||10%||1||Someone was jealous of your friends.||Must have at least one Good Friend|
|Bias||≥ 2||10%||1||Someone hated your friends.||Must have at least one Good Friend|
|Sickness||≥ 5||10%||1||Your lover became sick.|
|Death||≥ 5||20%||1||Your lover died.||Two or more years have passed without receiving medicine when sick.|
|Childless||≥ 6||10%||2||You left no children.|
|Open-minded||≥ 2||10%||2||Someone approved of your love.||Must have at least one Good Friend.|
|Generous||Any after Year 1||N/A||Someone gave you gifts.||All giftable characters are generous in year 3, unless|
|True Love||≥ 2||10%||2||You found your true love.|
|Acceptance||≥ 2||10%||2||Someone accepted you for who you are.|
Other NPCs Edit
"Kids get lost harvesting berries. Bring them to a parent or the mayor to rescue them." -The Book of Secrets
Thanks to the industrious town Mayor, children are sent into the forest to hunt for berries each winter. The object of Road Not Taken is for the Ranger to return these lost children to their parents or the Mayor's room before the Ranger runs out of energy or they die. Children may be found lying in a room of the forest or in a more dire predicament that requires additional efforts by the Ranger. Once a child has been rescued, they will wait in the Mayor's room, moving between different spaces and occasionally questioning the Ranger as to the whereabouts of the rest of the children.
Once all the children have been rescued, the Ranger will be transported to the Mayor and can no longer access the rest of the rooms in the Forest. The Ranger can also choose to leave before all the children have been rescued by talking to the Mayor.
When children die in the Forest, their souls may become spirits, part of a lost item, or imbued in a forest item such as the valuable berry. If a child dies before the Ranger leaves the forest that year, they may leave behind a bone or skull.
Precocious Child Edit
"With proper introduction to an open flame, even small children can be taught to think for themselves." -The Book of Secrets
Precocious children may be found in a room of the forest. Otherwise, they can be crafted by throwing a child into a fire. This will revitalize the child so that she can move on her own and follow the Ranger to safety, thus saving the energy it would take for him to move or throw the child. Precocious children are recognizable by their black sweatshirts and upright position.
"Successful humans evolve into parents. This is the final and only win condition." -The Book of Secrets
Parents are found throughout the forest in search of lost children. A child can be returned to a parent (or vice versa) and they will both be teleported to the Mayor's room. After a parent has been reunited with a child, she will also rescue any children that are in a space adjacent to hers or the other child's.
Locations: Town & Forest
The Mayor is a utilitarian figure who welcomes the Ranger to the town only after he has proved useful. He doesn't mind that a few children die each year in pursuit of berries (in fact, their magical properties seems to depend on this).
While the Ranger is in the forest, the Mayor waits in the top left room. Placing a child into the Mayor's room rescues them and restores 15 energy. He also provides an option to leave the forest before all the children have been saved. If 50% or more have been saved, there is no penalty aside from a reduced reward. If less than 50% have been saved, the Ranger may still leave the Forest but receives a strike against him and will die if they choose this option in another year.
After the Ranger has either chosen to leave the forest or rescued all the children, the Mayor will reward them based on his success. The reward for 100% rescue rate is either 10 copper or rice on normal difficulty and 15 copper or rice on hard difficulty. However, it is possible to earn more with the help of permanent objects and equipable charms. The Mayor rewards a key, silver watch, and gold watch to the Ranger at milestones in their career.
Fisherman of the Great River Edit
Like Charon, the fisherman appears when the Ranger dies to ferry them across the "river" to their next life. While the Ranger is alive, they wait in the leftmost room of the town and has an option to revisit Learner's Grove.
Witch Doctor Edit
She will perform a checkup on the Ranger to inform them of how many years of their life remain. She is also the only source of Medicine in the game, which can be bought for the price of one bundle of any resource type.
Baba Yaga Edit
"Though the berries also store child souls, Baba prefers to get hers directly." -The Book of Secrets
Once the Ranger enters Baba Yaga's room, the exit will be blocked by a Locked Wall that can only be unlocked with the Skeleton Key. Baba Yaga will teleport herself around the room and levitate children to her cauldron in attempt to cook them. If she is successful, you will no longer be able to rescue the child. If there are no children left in her room, she will continue to teleport. She does not harm the Ranger if bumped into, picked up, or thrown (although her house does).
Town Square Band Edit
If the Ranger bumps into anyone in the band, it will prompt the game's credits. These include photos of each member of the development team that represent their personal "roads taken."