When I first laid eyes (and ears) on one of Sons of the Forest’s radios, I had no idea that, a few hours later, I’d be booting them around the forest. And I certainly didn’t anticipate the weird gravity and physics-defying road these devices would lead me down.
I was determined to bring its tunes to my base – after all, crafting is so much when it’s got its own soundtrack. What I hadn’t counted on was that while you can turn radios on and harvest them for circuit boards, Sons of the Forest steadfastly refuses to let you carry one.
Instead, it puts the in the same non-collectible decoration category as buckets and garbage bags. The latest patch has, I can confirm, “Fixed Kelvin dropping radios destroying the radio”. Instead, this normally amiable NPC will carry them for a brief period of time. Then he’ll cast it into some other dimension, never to be heard from again.
I’d previously tried kicking a radio around, just for the fun of it, inadvertently discovering it was waterproof in the process (don’t ask). But then I wondered – what if I just kept on going? I decided to abuse the physics engine and kick a radio all the way back to my base. But, with the previous radio a permanent resident of the Phantom Zone, I needed to find a new boombox. Luckily, I hit the motherlode: stumbling into a cannibal camp with three radios, all ready to be punted around the map.
The cannibals themselves were nowhere to be seen. This particular run I was playing in Peaceful Mode, so I didn’t have to worry about getting my face eaten. And, for a while, things were going well, albeit slowly.
I’d brought Kelvin along for the ride, and set him to work chopping trees down. Yes, Sons of the Forest’s radios are weirdly waterproof, but I was determined to do things the right way. So I went to the trouble of building ramps and/or bridges across any river I came across. Take that, Death Stranding, with your energy drinks and your stupid Ride with Norman Reedus shower curtains.
And that was the plan, as I kicked and shoved the first of the three radios towards my base. Things were going well right up to the moment when, a few metres away from my first ramp, the first radio brushed against the edge of a log and exploded. Silence filled the forest (the radio had been blaring as I booted it), leaving me with a sad looking circuit board.
The second didn’t fare much better. I managed to traverse the river, and was dribbling the boombox towards HQ when it clipped right into a rock. I could hear it playing somewhere beneath me – while it might be of use to future archaeologists, that was no good to me.
Third time lucky, I reasoned. I didn’t bother turning this one on so when it, too, was swallowed by the Earth, and I glumly started trudging back to Cannibal Central. I wandered right past the previous radio, still belting out its music, along with the odd advert or two.
Suddenly, it struck me: I needed Kelvin. I broke into a dash and discovered my bleeding-eared saviour axe in hand, still merrily pillaging the forest. I led him to the buried radio and, hoping against hope, ordered him to pick up the radio and drop it at my feet.
Joy of joys, he retrieved it and I pressed onwards, punting the precious sound box as I went. I briefly stepped away from it and made a start on gathering more logs. But, then I changed my mind… that wasn’t down to any environmental concern, however.
Instead, buoyed by the power of rock and thoroughly smug at getting the radio back, I decided I’d kick it right through the stream. You think you can steal the right to rock from me, Sons of the Forest? I will not be denied!
That was my train of thought; right up until the radio launched itself into the stratosphere. I gawped as, suddenly silenced, it smashed down on the other side of a stream.
In a way, I was glad that the cannibal cook-out zone was now radio-free. Plan B had been to set up a new base next to the radios, but the smell – and the flies – were a bit off-putting. I’d tried smashing some of the more gruesome pots but I just ended up with a handful of unsettling, meaty blobs. It was time to move on. Dance and decaying meat just don’t go well together. And I needed a better D.J. name then MC Murdercamp.
My quest continued throughout winter, as I mostly put aside petty needs like food, water and warmth, only starting a fire when the ice crystals started obscuring my vision. And I did steal that dead guy’s Cheerios but there was no way he was getting them past the golf ball in his mouth.
But my further efforts yielded only disappointment. I got pretty far with one radio, stolen from a skeleton-heavy campsite. Then it was gone. Then it wasn’t. It sat there in the river, mocking me, disappearing whenever I stepped close.
The next one, borrowed from another camp, just plain disappeared. It seems objects glitch and/or despawn once they travel too far from their origin point. It makes a strange kind of sense, from a programming perspective. The alternative would be for developer Endnight to track the position of every in-game object, which could be a nightmare.
So where does that leave my quest for music? With no reasonable alternative, short of Endnight patching in the ability to carry radios, I’ve chosen to embrace Plan B.
I’m creating a brand new base within earshot of the last-but-one radio. There’s a rather picturesque waterfall, we’re sorted for Halloween decorations and we get to rock out while we build. It may not have been the endgame I was after, but I’ll take this as a win.