If there's one thing Supermassive Games is known for, it's their horror games -- especially the supernatural elements that shape the spooky atmosphere. The studio's newest release, The Quarry, has players replaying every aspect of the game to unlock one of its 186 endings, which means facing some pretty gruesome monsters as it progresses. Many elements of The Quarry are similar to Until Dawn, Supermassive Games' spiritual predecessor to its newest game, including the use of supernatural creatures as focal points of the narrative.
Before we can do an accurate comparison of the monsters in The Quarry and Until Dawn, we have to discuss the ins and outs of what they are and their history. Knowing how each creature behaves as well as what ties them to their respective storylines will allow us to make accurate assessments of what they have in common and what makes them different.
If you're already familiar with The Quarry's monsters or Until Dawn's wendigos, you can skip ahead. However, if you need a little history refresher, keep reading from here on.
This piece contains spoilers for The Quarry and Until Dawn.
What Are Wendigos in Until Dawn?
Until Dawn's wendigos are pale, bony, practically indestructible creatures that are created when someone eats human flesh on Blackwood Mountain. These creatures have an insatiable hunger and will feed on both humans and animals. They are impeccable trackers that can catch their prey with ease, but only if the prey is moving. If a target is motionless, wendigos cannot see it and have a harder time attacking. Players experience this firsthand in Until Dawn with the "Don't Move" mechanic that can mean life or death for many of the characters.
Wendigos are scared of fire, as it's the one thing that can actually kill them. Flares and flamethrowers are regularly used against the wendigos in Until Dawn, though a blast from a shotgun can knock them down long enough to allow someone to escape. Unfortunately for those afflicted with the wendigo curse, there is no cure. However, just killing a wendigo doesn't eradicate the curse, as the spirit of the wendigo is then released and free to roam the mountain until it finds its next victim.
The History of Wendigos in Until Dawn
The wendigos of Blackwood Mountain have a long-spanning history, dating all the way back to 1891 when the mountain was first mined for tin and radium. The native Cree tribe previously inhabited the area but refused to hunt the animals or hurt the mountain for fear of disturbing the spirits that already resided there. When the mining first began, it awoke the wendigo spirits and began the curse that plagued the mountains for years to come.
One of the most notable wendigo creation instances occurred in 1952 when there was a cave-in at the mines, trapping 30 men inside. Some began to eat the flesh of the other miners in order to survive -- out of the 30 men, only 12 made it out of the mines. A wendigo metamorphosis can take anywhere from three to 12 days, and as the men changed they were observed and even experimented on in the Blackwood Pines Sanatorium before they eventually slaughtered the staff and anyone else called to the scene.
Players don't get a clear picture of the history of the wendigos until the explanation from the Stranger in Chapter 8 of Until Dawn, though they can find plenty of clues throughout the mines, sanatorium, and even the Washington house to get an idea of what previously transpired on Blackwood Mountain. Though the Stranger spent his time trapping and confining the monsters to the sanatorium, Mike unfortunately sets them free when detonating a large amount of explosives when fleeing, in turn leading to the showdown between the miner wendigos and the wendigo-formerly-known-as-Hannah.
What Are Werewolves in The Quarry?
In the reveal we all probably saw coming, yes the creatures in The Quarry are werewolves. In keeping with typical lycan tradition, werewolves in The Quarry transform during the full moon and have a hunger for flesh and blood. These monsters are quite spindly with claws, sharp teeth, and (sometimes) yellow eyes, though they do seem strangely non-hairy when compared to other werewolves.
Watching the werewolf transformation in The Quarry is quite a gruesome sight, as those infected with the curse literally explode into and out of their werewolf form. These creatures can track players via their scent and will kill and eat them if they cannot get away. Most of the time, going up against a werewolf means coming back with a wound or two -- which can include getting bitten by the monster.
Those who have been bitten by a werewolf are then infected with the curse, though it's a bit murky on when exactly their transformation will take place -- for some characters it's mere minutes, while others have a bit more time before turning. There are two ways for characters to no longer be a werewolf: death by a silver bullet, or killing the wolf that bit them to cure themselves of the werewolf curse.
History of Werewolves in The Quarry
Any character that's infected, playable or not, can be traced back to Silas Vorez, more commonly known as Silas the Dog Boy or Silas the Wolf Boy, an albino kid who transforms into a pale werewolf. Players can decide whether Silas lives or dies by the end of The Quarry, but what doesn't change is how Silas and the Hackett family have an intertwined fate based on an incident only six years prior.
Eliza Vorez, the Hag of Hackett's Quarry, owned a traveling circus show called "Harum Scarum," where her son Silas remained caged as an attraction, with a sign touting him as a "Dog Boy." Seeing the boy in the cage made Kaylee Hackett, daughter of camp owner Chris Hackett, want to set him free, so she convinced her brother Caleb to help her. He started a fire as a distraction so they'd have enough time to get Silas free, but didn't anticipate how quickly the hay would burn.
The fire claimed many lives that night, including Eliza, but the Hackett kids managed to free Silas. However, the young albino boy bit Caleb in the process, in turn infecting him with the werewolf curse. Silas escaped and spent the next six years wandering the east coast, earning the nickname "White Wolf" when people glimpsed his unusually pale werewolf form.
Some time after being bitten, Caleb accidentally infected his sister Kaylee and his father Chris, who all turn into werewolves the night the teens are trying to leave camp in The Quarry. From there, players have the choice to turn, kill, or save any combination of the counselors trying to survive the night as well as the Hacketts trying to protect their family.
Similarities Between The Quarry Werewolves and Until Dawn Wendigos
It wouldn't be a Supermassive game if players weren't at least a little scared of the creatures stalking them in the night. Both the werewolves in The Quarry and the wendigos in Until Dawn are understandably fear-inducing, and we can really see the signature Supermassive Games creature design with the monsters' spindly, toothy appearance and brute strength.
Perhaps the most striking resemblance between The Quarry's werewolves and Until Dawn's wendigos is the sympathetic aspect of both main antagonists. While all of the werewolves and wendigos pose a threat to the characters of their respective stories, players are given enough information to have a sort of sympathetic bond with the "big bads," Silas and Hannah.
Until Dawn opens with Hannah getting pranked and it going horribly wrong, with players eventually learning that she had to resort to cannibalism of her own twin sister to survive before turning into a wendigo. Similarly, Silas was just a kid who Kaylee and Caleb "free" from the circus, inadvertently killing his mother and (probably) the only person who knew how to care for him.
While it's sad the Hacketts are infected with the werewolf curse, it's very easy to read the situation as the family dealing with the consequences of their own actions. Silas and Hannah are both given the short end of the stick and have to make gruesome decisions in order to survive -- it's truly heartbreaking.
Differences Between The Quarry Werewolves and Until Dawn Wendigos
There are obvious differences between werewolves and wendigos based on the supernatural "science" of their creation, behavior, and manner of death, but we're going to focus specifically on the historical differences between Supermassive's werewolves and wendigos -- namely how the werewolves have very little history and the wendigos have a ton.
Until Dawn's wendigos have quite the historical backstory, really establishing them as entities that lived on the mountain long before the kids showed up. Conversely, The Quarry's first werewolf, Silas, only came to North Kill county six years prior, and we never get a lot more insight into how he came to be a werewolf or if there are others like him.
It's honestly a bit odd that players never learn more about the lore of the werewolf curse -- if anything, we learn more about the Hackett family's questionable history instead. Where Until Dawn's wendigo lore and history felt fleshed out and part of a bigger story, the werewolf lore of The Quarry felt cobbled together with the Hackett family history, resulting in no broader understanding of the wolves or how they came to be.
Perhaps this lack of historical insight into The Quarry's werewolves was intentional, as many players would already be familiar with such a popular type of occult. However, it comes across as an overall detriment to the game, especially when compared to the blueprint set up by Until Dawn, because the audience is unreasonably left with more questions than answers in regards to werewolves and their overall place in the story.
The Quarry Werewolves Versus Until Dawn Wendigos
Is it fair to attempt to assert that one of Supermassive Games’ monsters is scarier than the other? No, as each creature can strike fear into players and add to the overall scariness of The Quarry or Until Dawn. But there is something to be said about how their similarities and differences function in the overall Supermassive Games formula. Players will ultimately have their favorite “big bad” to go against, though both monsters are as creepy as they are intriguing.
Which occult do you prefer -- The Quarry’s werewolves or Until Dawn’s wendigos? Let us know in the comments below.