–Maxwell, when greeting the character
Maxwell (William Carter) is the main antagonist of Don't Starve. He scattered all the Characters across his dimension, while forcing them to survive a harsh wilderness for his own amusement. He appears at the beginning of the game, telling the player to start gathering food and build a campfire, before disappearing into a cloud of smoke. He looks very tall and sinister, wears a dapper tuxedo, and holds a cigar. During exploration, players can find Maxwell Statues or Chess Biomes themed after him.
Main article: William Carter Puzzles
In 1901, Maxwell was a British man named William Carter who boarded a ship from London to the US, with the hopes of pursuing his career as a magician in New York City. Three years later, after his career flopped and he went into debt, William decided on traveling west to San Francisco, California. When his train crashed into a circus wagon, William went missing and was presumed dead. After escaping from the accident still alive, William discovers a mysterious book called the Codex Umbra, which contained knowledge of powerful dark magic. While deciphering the various symbols inside his book, William's mind was opened up to new possibilities for magic acts. He gathered this new information and began incorperating it into his magic shows. Soon, William returned to a life of show business under his new stage name: "The Amazing Maxwell".
After settling down with his newly-found alter ego and knowledge, Maxwell hired Charlie as an assistant for his magic shows. Their magic shows appeared to be successful, creating very convincing acts using the knowledge Maxwell acquired from the book he discovered. In 1906, Charlie went to Maxwell's apartment after not hearing from him, but instead of finding Maxwell, she discovers his hidden "study room", with various symbols and incantations crudely scratched on the walls. Among them were the phrases "Enough", "It's them", and "Charlie". She ran away terrified after seeing this, but came back to slide a letter under Maxwell's door acknowledging the room and suggesting that they take a break after their next big act.
Later that night, Maxwell and Charlie were to perform their big final act, wherein Maxwell would pull a shadow from his mysterious book. After making the book appear out of nowhere in his hands, Maxwell reached inside a page, but instead of pulling a shadow out, something inside of the book was pulling him in. After breaking free, a glimpse of the Shadow Watcher appears, the book turns to a blank page, and Maxwell and Charlie are grabbed by shadow hands and pulled into the Constant. It's unknown exactly what happened right after they were captured. Ultimately, Maxwell was put on the Nightmare Throne and given full reign over The Constant, using it to bring in people from the real world to torture them (Wilson, Willow, etc). Charlie would become the monster of the night, killing unsuspecting people in the darkness.
Maxwell will only appear again in Adventure Mode. Maxwell will greet players at the beginning of each world, like in Sandbox Mode, but now he is wearing a dapper cloak instead of a tuxedo. He will say different things in each World and will get angrier and angrier as the player progresses. Maxwell's anger seems to weaken him; as he becomes more furious, he starts to deform.
In the last Chapter of Adventure Mode, "Epilogue", players will finally confront Maxwell. They will be teleported to a dark and dead wasteland, with a hallway in the center. At the end of the road, players will reach Maxwell's Hall. A deformed Maxwell is sitting in a large chair with a Gramophone nearby playing music. He tells the player that when he got here there was nothing but dust and "Them" and that he doesn't know what They want, that They are just watching. If the player attacks Maxwell, the throne protects him (a lightning bolt will strike the player and destroy their weapon), and Maxwell tells the player that the throne will not allow it. He then tells the player that he has been around here for a long time, and that the player can either put the key in the box or stay around and keep him company.
When the player puts the Divining Rod into the Nightmare Lock, Maxwell is freed. However, he will fall to his knees screaming as his body disintegrates and seemingly dies. The player's character will take his place on the throne. Despite all this, Maxwell continues to exist and becomes a playable character.
- Note: Italicized lines are unimplemented.
A Cold Reception
King of Winter
The Game is Afoot
When players approach Maxwell in the throne, he will say a line. Players have to click on him to read all the lines. Once he says all the lines listed below, excluding the special ones, all he will say is "...".
- "Is this what you were expecting?" / "Is this how it ends?"
- "Forgive me if I don't get up."
- "You've been an interesting plaything, but I've grown tired of this game."
- "Or maybe They've grown tired of me."
- "Heh. Took them long enough."
- "They'll show you terrible, beautiful things."
- "It's best not to fight it."
- "There wasn't much here when I showed up."
- "Just dust. And the Void. And Them."
- "I've learned so much since then. I've built so much."
- "But even a King is bound to the board."
- "You can't change the rules of the game."
- "I don't know what they want. They... they just watch."
- "Unless you get too close... Then..."
- "Well, there's a reason I stay so dapper."
- "What year is it out there? Time moves differently here."
- "Go on, stay a while. Keep us company."
- "Or put the key in the box. It's your decision."
- "Either way, you're just delaying the inevitable."
- "Reality is like that, sometimes."
- "I think I've said enough."
If the Gramophone is turned off, then Maxwell will say... "Thank you, I've been listening to that song for an eternity." If the Gramophone is then turned back on, Maxwell then states... "I suppose I deserve that."
If the player activates the hidden Teleportato, Maxwell will say... "Don't you think I've tried that?" followed by "This is the end of the line. We have no escape."
If the player attacks Maxwell he will say... "The throne won't allow that. I've tried."
There are several series of commented-out lines for "QUEST_SURVIVE" found in the game files. These appear to be early concepts for Maxwell's introduction lines, given how radically different they are from his current ones. Several of these lines have grammatical errors. One set is identical to Maxwell's normal introduction. The rest are listed here, labeled with numbers representing the order in which they come.
There is also a line for "NOUNLOCK" (presumably for trying to activate the Nightmare Lock with something other than the Divining Rod)- "Ah, I am a fool. I had dared to hope." and two for "COMBATFAIL"- "Where would be the sport in that?" and "Who do you think allowed you to make that?"
Don't Starve Together is the sequel to Don't Starve. Chronologically, it takes place after the events of Adventure Mode. Now, Maxwell is a playable character and no longer the main antagonist, having been replaced by Charlie. He, as well as all other playable characters, spawn from the Florid Postern.
- Maxwell is named after a scientific paradox known as "Maxwell's demon".
- Maxwell's in-game design is possibly an allusion to Professor Woland from The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov.
- As of the "All's Well That Maxwell" update, upon exiting the game, a popup says "Maxwell will miss you!", instead of "Wilson will miss you!".
- In the game's Alpha, Maxwell shared the same voice as Wilson, except with a lower pitch.
- In the early access beta of Don't Starve, Maxwell's design used more realistic proportions than his current design.
- In the official description for Don't Starve, Maxwell is not named forthright, but is referred to as a "demon".
|Maxwell's voice in World 2.|
|Maxwell's voice in World 3.|
|Maxwell's voice in World 4.|
|Maxwell's voice in World 5.|
|Maxwell's sorrowful voice as he sits on the Nightmare Throne.|
|Maxwell's voice as he dies after being freed from the Nightmare Throne.|