Until Dawn is a game in which every protagonist can either die or survive, depending on your choices. This is a complete guide on how to save each and/or every protagonist. By following this guide, you should receive the They ALL Live Trophy.
Ashley's first opportunity to die is in Chapter 9. While walking to the Sanatorium, the group decides to go through the manhole that leads into the sewers. At one point, Ashley becomes separated from the group (Sam, and possibly Emily and Chris). She then hears a voice, thinking it's Jessica. You're then presented with a set of choices:
Investigate the Voice or Rejoin the Group
Though the safest option is to rejoin the group, you should investigate the voice if you want to find all totems. Cruise every corner and you will find a loss totem. Once you approach the banging hatch, do not open it, or Ashley will meet her demise. Don't even interact with the trapdoor. If you undo the latch and abandon it, the Wendigo will come out from the trapdoor and kill her. Instead, go to the right side and ignore the hatch - Ashley will rejoin the group soon enough.
Ashley can also die in Chapter 10. While inside the lodge, decisions as Sam are vital to Ashley's survival. However, if Sam dies, Ashley, and possibly Chris, Emily, and Mike will escape the lodge regardless. If you're aiming for the best ending, this is not an option for you.
As Sam, don't fail the first two don't move segments. Mike will then be noticed by a Wendigo. After that, you will be presented with a set of choices:
Save Mike or Run To Switch
- If you save Mike, Ashley will have one less potential death.
- If you run to the switch, Ashley will be killed in the explosion (including Mike and possibly Emily, but never Chris).
- If you do nothing, Mike will be thrown against a pillar, resulting in his inevitable death later on.
- If Emily wasn't bitten, or Ashley refused to reveal the truth about the bites earlier, the Wendigo will notice Emily. Choosing to NOT run to switch will save Ashley for the rest of the game.
- If Emily was bitten and Ashley chose to reassure her earlier, the Wendigo will notice Ashley. This will result in the following choices:
Save Ashley or Run To Switch
- If you save Ashley, she is safe from the Wendigo. However, she is still in the lodge, therefore she will still die in the explosion if you choose to run to the switch later on.
- If you run to the switch, Ashley and Mike will die in the explosion.
- If you once again do nothing, the Wendigo will gouge her eyes out and then switch its attention back to Sam.
The best way to ensure her safety and get the best ending is to Save Mike and continue hiding until everyone but Sam makes it out of the lodge. Once Ashley makes it out of the lodge, she's safe.
While he does not actually die in this chapter, the decision he makes in the gun trap will affect whether he lives or dies later on. During this section, you have the decision of Shooting Chris, Shooting Ashley, or doing nothing. Choosing to shoot Ashley will only cause Chris' inevitable death later, so the best option is to either do nothing or shoot Chris.
Chris's first real opportunity to die is in Chapter 8. Once the Stranger is decapitated, Chris will have to run for his life back to the lodge. You will have four shooting segments before Chris can make it safely inside. There will also be one QTE to hit so Chris can duck under a tree, though this should not kill him as long as you shoot the Wendigo once he trips.
- Note that it is much harder to aim for explosive objects, thus always try to aim for the Wendigo.
If you failed to shoot the Wendigo or an explosive object during one of the four timed aiming segments, Chris will be decapitated. In order to make it safely inside, Chris has to not shoot Ashley earlier on. Once he makes it inside, he will be safe for the chapter.
The last time Chris can die is in Chapter 9. In order for him to survive here, do not leave him behind. Telling him to stay with the group puts him with the others and guarantees his safety for the entire remaining game.
- If you accidentally chose to leave him behind in the conversation, you can still pick him back up by interacting with Chris again as Ashley before going to the manhole.
However, if you did leave him behind, he can still be saved, as long as Ashley did not open the trapdoor. Once he heads down into the tunnels, he will, like Ashley, hear what sounds like Jessica's voice, and the player will be given the options to Investigate Voice or Rejoin Group. Investigating the voice will not be fatal to him as long as you walk past the latch. Rejoining the group keeps him safe.
- This option may be preferred for those who wants to see the alternative and unpopular cutscene, or simply wants Chris to pick up the loss totem. If so, you can have Ashley rejoin the group entirely.
- Note that if Ashley died earlier by opening the door, and Chris was left behind, no matter what decision he makes, he will not survive.
If Chris remained with the group, or safely rejoined the group if he got left behind, in the previous chapter, his survival is ensured for the rest of the night, as he escapes the lodge (now infested with Wendigos) automatically as soon as the player takes control of Sam for the game's final QTE and Don't Move segments.
Even though Emily can't die in this chapter, she can make choices that can block one of her potential deaths later on. Before turning on the power, explore the fire tower further and you'll see a flare gun. Here you can choose to keep it.
Note: This potential death is negligible even without the gun, as you can manage to keep her from dying later on. It is advised that you give the gun to Matt, as one of his deaths may not be manageable unless he has the gun.
Emily can die in Chapter 8. The first set of QTEs (before going to the elevator) is not fatal and does not kill Emily even if you attempt to miss every one of them (including the Don't Move segment). If she no longer has the torch from Chapter 7, she will use a flare. If you missed the second QTE of this set, you will get to keep the torch/flare (but may prompt you to a Don't Move segment in the elevator). If you miss the QTE followed by the second one, she will lose it.
Emily starts to pop up a flare if she loses her means of illumination earlier. You will then be prompted with the choice to either go left or right. Choosing right or doing nothing will allow the Wendigo to catch up to you, ultimately leading Emily to the left path anyway. She will enter the elevator. If you chose right or nothing, there will be a Don't Move segment, but if you chose left and did not miss any QTEs, the segment will be skipped. Once she gets up to the high grounds, she will throw her torch/flare.
- Failing to activate the elevator in time will result in Emily's death.
After that, there will be a second set of QTEs, which are fatal to Emily. Failing to hit one QTE will permanently block the chance of using the flare gun while missing two QTEs will result in her death.
Hit the first QTE to drop down the cluster of boulders. Later, hit 2 QTEs to tilt the two barrels. Emily will prompt to light up the gasoline from the second barrel.
- If you managed to lose your means of illuminations at every possible chance, Emily can still light up the barrel.
Emily will then hop on a conveyor belt, and you'll have the option to either stay or leap off of the conveyor belt. If you choose to stay on, you'll have to hit the QTEs correctly to keep her from falling down an ore grinder. If you fail to hit the QTE, you will get one more QTE and have one last chance to save her. Miss the second one, and she will fall down to her demise.
- However, leaping off will not block the chance of using the flare gun; thus it is the ideal choice.
Emily will then continue running and close the door behind her. If she has the flare gun and successfully hit every QTE, as well as light up the second barrel, she can use the flare gun to shoot the Wendigo; successfully doing so, she will not get bitten and will be safe for the entire remaining QTEs of this chapter. Otherwise, she will get bitten.
- Note that the flare gun can be used once Emily approaches the door.
- Also, failure to use the flare gun when given the chance causes Emily to get bitten, but also skips the entire remaining QTEs ahead.
She'll then try to hop on a zip-line, regardless of being bitten or not (unless she fails the aiming QTE of the flare gun). The following QTEs will also not kill her in any instances.
Later, inside the lodge basement, if Emily got bitten, when Mike points the gun at her, do not shoot Emily; let the timer expire instead.
Emily can also die in Chapter 10. While inside the lodge, decisions as Sam are vital to Emily's survival. If Sam dies, Emily, along with possibly Chris and Ashley, will escape the lodge.
As Sam, don't fail the first two Don't Move segments. Mike will then be noticed by a Wendigo. After that, you will be presented with a set of choices:
Save Mike or Run To Switch
- If you save Mike, Emily will have one less potential death if she pushed Ashley earlier.
- If you run to switch, Emily, Ashley and Mike will die in the explosion, but not Chris.
- If you do nothing, Mike will be thrown against a pillar (resulting in his inevitable death later on).
If you did nothing (Mike is thrown against a pillar):
- If the bite incident happened and Ashley revealed the truth:
- If you did not run to the switch while the Wendigo noticed and approached Ashley, Emily will be safe for the rest of the game.
- If the bite incident did not happen, or Ashley refused to reveal the truth about the bite when it happened:
- The Wendigo will notice and approach Emily, and you are presented with a set of choices:
Save Emily or Run To Switch.
- If you run to the switch, she and Mike will be killed.
- If you save Emily, she is safe from the Wendigo, but if she's the last person in the group (didn't push Ashley), then she could still die in the inferno. Otherwise, she's safe for the rest of the game.
- If you once again do nothing, Emily will have her eyes gouged out and the Wendigo will switch its attention to Sam.
The best way to ensure her safety (and get the best ending) is to Save Mike and continue hiding until everyone but Sam makes it out of the lodge. Once Emily makes it out of the lodge, she's safe.
Jessica has the earliest possible death, possibly making first-time players quest to save her more difficult, especially considering a large amount of QTEs necessary for her survival.
While chasing after Jess as Mike, you have to either choose all the quick options or choose a maximum of three safe routes, while not missing any QTEs.
You can choose more than one quick path to slip in a few errors on QTEs (up to 4). The more quick paths you choose, the more mistakes you are allowed to make.
If you saw Jess initially lying on the elevator (instead of falling from the top with her jaw ripped off), then you have successfully chased after her, and she is guaranteed to be alive until Chapter 10.
Either as Jess or Matt, you must choose to hide. There will be a Don't Move segment. Failing it will result in death. If you play as Matt, you have to be quick enough to catch Jess from falling; otherwise, the Wendigo will notice and kill both of them.
After that, as Jess or Matt, you must choose to Break Through/Hide Together (choosing to Abandon Jessica as Matt will obviously get Jess killed), and complete the Don't Move. If successfully doing so, they (or just Jess) have officially survived until dawn.
While wading through the water with Mike, go to the left of the water wheel, instead of Mike's direction. Have Sam read Hannah's Diary. Josh is guaranteed to live once a butterfly effect notice pops up.
Matt is one of the hardest to keep alive, as the majority of his choices can either drastically decrease a relationship or get him killed.
While Matt cannot die in this chapter, he can make certain choices that can ensure his survival later on.
When Emily explains her idea of going to the Fire Tower, disagree with her. Despite his disagreement, they will still go to the Fire Tower.
As Matt and Emily get cornered by a herd of elk, you'll be prompted with a timed target to hit one of them with your axe. Allow the timer to expire, and Matt and Emily will escape the herd unscathed. If you are, however, looking for a challenge, hit the elk, Matt will then be pushed over a cliff, and he can climb his way back up with a set of QTEs. Do not miss any of them. Failing just one will instantly result in Matt's death.
Later, as Emily, on the Fire Tower, she can find the flare gun. If you want to avoid the bite incident, keep it. If not, give it to Matt, if you disagreed with Emily. Agreeing with her will trigger Matt to shoot it off, making it useless.
Note: Emily's bite incident is negligible, as you can manage to keep her from dying later on. It is advised that you give the gun to Matt, as one of his deaths may not be manageable unless he has the gun.
When you're playing as Matt again. If you want to entirely avoid his potential death, jump to safety. If not, and if Matt still has the usable Flare Gun, choose to save Emily twice. You'll then have a target to shoot. If you fail, Matt will be impaled on a hook.
- If Matt does not have the gun, this path will result in his inevitable death.
- This choice is mostly to avoid decrease or promote an increase in Emily and Matt's relationship.
When you're playing as Matt, and Jessica is alive, hide. If you fail the Don't Move segment, the Wendigo will find and kill both of them. If you hide successfully, there will be a QTE to stop Jessica from falling - if you fail it, both of them will be killed by the Wendigo. Hiding a second time (Hide Together) and succeeding the Don't Move segment will allow Matt and Jessica to live.
- Note that if Matt is alone, the QTE will not be available.
However, if Jessica is not alive, you can also keep running at all times. Running twice will allow you to outrun the Wendigo, and if you are quick enough in locking the door, Matt will live. If not, the Wendigo will catch up to Matt and will bash his face in.
- This method is still usable even if Jessica is alive; however, this method will kill Jess.
- Do not move during the first Don't Move segment.
- Save Mike after he breaks the light bulb.
- Do not run to the switch at any given time.
However, if Sam died during the second Don't Move, or after she saved Mike, Mike will live for the rest of the game.
Do not make errors starting from the second Don't Move.
The fastest way to save Sam is to succeed in the second Don't Move segment and run to the switch as soon as possible (you'll also get a trophy for this), but doing so will cause anyone who's still in the lodge to be engulfed in flames (excluding Chris).
If you're aiming towards the best ending, as Sam DON'T FAIL any don't move segments, Save Mike when you have the chance, and continue hiding until everyone but Sam leaves the lodge.
As Mike, hit as many QTEs as you can. Wolfie will be killed if you miss 2 QTEs (3 if Mike still has the machete).
When having the choice to Barricade or Escape the Wendigo, Barricade to make sure Wolfie does not get slaughtered by a Wendigo.
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How To Survive Until Dawn As Every Character