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LIFE IS INEFFICIENT

WX-78

WX-78 is the fourth playable Character in Don't Starve unlockable via Experience, with 960 XP. They are also one of the playable Characters in Don't Starve Together (DST). They are a self-sustaining automaton that hates all living matter.

WX-78 can upgrade their Health, Hunger, and Sanity to 400, 200, and 300, respectively, by eating Gears. Being a machine, they take damage when they are in the Rain unprotected. When struck by Lightning, WX-78 will experience "SYSTEM OVERLOAD", emitting Light while moving at an increased speed. WX-78 can also eat stale and spoiled Food without the negative effects.

Lightning Settings Icon Special Power

WX lightning dusk

WX-78 glowing during the evening after being struck by lightning.

WX-78's main perk is System Overload. This is activated after being struck by Lightning. System Overload provides the following benefits:

  • Movement speed is increased by 50%.
  • WX-78 emits Light (the radius of which diminishes gradually near the end of the Overload).
  • Immunity to Freezing.

WX-78 will lose 33 Sanity Meter and gain 100 Health Meter for each Lightning Strike that targets them, and can be struck multiple times after System Overload has been activated. System Overload lasts for roughly 1 Day but can be stacked from multiple strikes to last indefinitely. Being near a Lightning Rod or wearing items that protect from Lightning (e.g. Eyebrella) will prevent WX-78 from being struck. It should be noted that it is possible to set nearby objects and Mobs on Fire when struck by Lightning.

WX-78 also has the ability to permanently upgrade their maximum Health, Hunger, and Sanity. This is done by "eating" Gears. A total of 15 Gears must be eaten to gain maximum stats. In Don't Starve, their maximum stats are all at 100. Each upgrade adds 20 Health Meter, 6.66 Hunger Meter, and 13.33 Sanity Meter.

In DST, the starting stats are increased to 150, so each upgrade adds 16.66 Health Meter, 3.33 Hunger Meter, and 10 Sanity Meter.

Don't Starve WX-78 Upgrade Table
WX-78 Portrait
Health Meter Hunger Meter Sanity Meter
No Upgrades100100100
Gears ×1120107114
Gears ×2140114127
Gears ×3160120140
Gears ×4180127154
Gears ×5200134167
Gears ×6220140180
Gears ×7240147194
Gears ×8260154207
Gears ×9280160220
Gears ×10300167234
Gears ×11320174247
Gears ×12340180260
Gears ×13360187274
Gears ×14380194287
Gears ×15 (Max)400200300

DST WX-78 Upgrade Table
WX-78 Portrait
Health Meter Hunger Meter Sanity Meter
No Upgrades150150150
Gears ×1167154160
Gears ×2184157170
Gears ×3200160180
Gears ×4217164190
Gears ×5234167200
Gears ×6250170210
Gears ×7267174220
Gears ×8284177230
Gears ×9300180240
Gears ×10317184250
Gears ×11334187260
Gears ×12350190270
Gears ×13367193280
Gears ×14384196290
Gears ×15 (Max)400200300

WX-78 is also able to eat stale and spoiled Food without penalties. This allows them to stockpile food for increased lengths of time. Note that other Food penalties still take effect (such as eating Monster Meat).

In the Shipwrecked (SW) DLC, WX-78 is immune to Poison. In the Hamlet (HAM) DLC, WX-78 will not take damage from being poisoned but will still lose Sanity while poisoned, and will still take damage from the Gas Rainforest. Since WX-78 is immune to poison damage, eating a Venom Gland will cure poison without doing the usual 75 damage.

Disadvantages

WX-78 has the lowest starting maximum stats of any Character in Don't Starve as well as a lower than usual Sanity stat in DST, leaving them exposed to danger until Gears are found.

WX-78 takes damage from Rain, at a rate of 0.5 Health Meter every 3–5 seconds (the amount of Rain does not matter). In Reign of Giants (RoG), SW, HAM, and DST, the addition of the Wetness mechanic changes the way WX-78 is damaged by Rain. When completely exposed to Rain, WX-78 will take a maximum damage of 0.5 Health Meter every 3–5 seconds. Water resistant equipment will reduce this damage. For example, damage will be reduced by 50% while wearing 50% water resistant equipment (i.e. a Pretty Parasol), taking only 0.25 damage every 3–5 seconds. WX-78 will take damage from Wetness after it has stopped raining or from walking in Puddles and the Tide in SW, at a rate of 0.3 Health Meter every 3–5 seconds. This is "drying" damage as the Wetness meter empties. Standing next to a Fire will significantly speed up the rate at which the Wetness meter decreases, potentially becoming dry (after being soaked) in a matter of seconds.

Rain and Wetness damage causes WX-78 to periodically emit Light as sparks fly off their body. The light emitted is enough to prevent Charlie from attacking, but at the cost of big amounts of Sanity.

WX-78 will lose their upgrade level and drop some Gears upon Death. The amount of dropped Gears is a random number between 1/3 and 1/2 of the upgrade level (a number of eaten Gears, but not more than 15). This means that most of the Gears used for upgrades will be permanently lost. In HAM however, WX-78 will not drop any gears upon death and will keep all upgrades. This is probably due to the lack of gear dropping mobs in the DLC.

Prototype Tips

  • System Overload will also be initiated from lightning strikes caused by special events, not just natural strikes during rainstorms.
    • Note that WX-78 acts like Lightning Rod and if any event launches multiple lightning strikes, all strikes will usually target WX-78. This will almost invariably result in completely healing the player and dropping their Sanity to zero. The duration of System Overload will also increase indefinitely with each additional lightning strike.
    • Events which trigger lightning strikes include:
  • Equipping an Umbrella will completely block the Rain, preventing any damage from being taken. Since the Umbrella does not degrade over time in the normal version of the game, it makes this drawback a non-issue.
    • In the DLCs and DST the Umbrella only lasts for six days rather than 20 hits. It also won't stop the Rain completely on its own. An Eyebrella (Reign of Giants iconDon't Starve Together icon), Rain Coat (Reign of Giants iconDon't Starve Together icon), Dumbrella (Shipwrecked icon), Blubber Suit (Shipwrecked icon), or Tar Suit (Shipwrecked icon) are generally preferred.
    • WX-78 players may want to avoid using items that offer Lightning immunity (such as the Umbrella or Blubber Suit) during spring storms and hurricanes, so that WX-78 can still get a System Overload while using them.
  • Since WX-78 is immune to Poison in SW, crafting Anti Venom, Seashell Suits and Particulate Purifiers is a waste of resources.
  • Using the Ice Cube or Fashion Melon as protection from Overheating in the DLCs or DST is not advised, as the Wetness gained from those items will damage WX-78.
  • WX-78 can still benefit from consuming Gears even after reaching the maximum upgrade. Each Gear restores 60 Health Meter, 75 Hunger Meter, and 50 Sanity Meter.
  • During a Spring start in RoG and DST, the abundance of Butterflies can help offset the damage taken from Rain (by eating Butterfly Wings).
  • When it's raining in the DLCs and DST, unless planning to dry soon, it's not advised to wear Clothes that provides 100% water resistance when highly wet as usually the drying damage is higher than the damage taken with a lower water resistance (e.g. Straw Hat + Pretty Parasol).
  • Due to their high maximum Hunger and ability to eat spoiled food without penalty, Meaty Stew is exceptionally useful for WX-78.
  • Since WX-78 can eat spoiled food without penalty, food that takes longer to spoil when cooked should be cooked relatively early in its lifetime to increase its lifespan.

Placeholder Trivia

In-Game

  • WX-78's voice is played by what is explained as a "crazy processed synth".
  • WX-78 has a Skull in the game files. Also, when struck by Lightning in DLCs, a skeleton can be seen.
  • WX-78 makes a unique creaking noise as they walk.
  • Although they take damage from Wetness, WX-78 can eat watery foods such as Pomegranates, Meaty Stew, or even Watermelons without being harmed.
  • WX-78 is one of the original four Characters that were available during the closed Beta of DST.
  • In DST, if the player communicates to others with the Y or U keys as WX-78, all messages will be sent in uppercase letters like their original dialogue.
  • Most of their audio files are labelled Woodrow, which may indicate they were originally meant for an unimplemented character who also has their own audio files in the code. That, or Woodrow was an early iteration of their character.
  • WX-78 is oddly inconsistent with their punctuation in quotes. For instance, they often leave the end of their sentences without a period.
  • When WX-78 examines a Slurper, they will say "IT VIOLATED MY SMELLING MODULE", but when they examine a Durian, they will say "GOOD THING I LACK A NOSE". This inconsistency may be intentional for comedic effect or just an error.
  • WX-78 was originally planned to speak in randomly generated binary.[1]

Lore

  • WX-78 is of the robot gender in the game's code, which seems to imply that they are of a non-binary gender. They are the only official character referred to with singular they pronouns. Notably, Maxwell uses the English gender-neutral title Mx. exclusively in certain interactions with a WX-78 player.
  • WX-78 has mechanical parts that are analogous to the parts of human beings, such as their Empathy Module acting as a moral compass, a Chemical Engine acting as a stomach, Optical Sensors acting as their eyes, a CPU functioning as their brain, a Smelling Module as a nose, a Masticating Protocol for chewing and a Processing Unit described as being their head. When they sleep, they activate Sleep Mode.
  • WX-78 refers to many of the mechanical Structures and Items with familial terms, suggesting they are related to them or that they mistake them for family.
  • WX-78 is described as "hating all living matter". However, they show empathy for machines, saying "OH NO. WHAT HAVE I DONE TO YOU?" when examining gears. They also have a soft spot for Bees and Lureplants, stating "A MINDLESS DRONE. I LIKE HIM." and "AWW, IT IS JUST AS EVIL AS I AM.", respectively.
  • The number string "11522914" is written on the side of WX-78's character portrait, which resembles a blueprint. Putting the numbers in an A1Z26 cypher reveals the name Kevin, most likely referring to Kevin Forbes, one of the original developers of Don't Starve.
  • WX-78 seems to have an affinity for the Moon, describing it as "INORGANIC AND GOOD". They are very excited when they repair the Moon Stone ("MOONBASE. AAAAA. MOONBASE!").
  • Their least favorite foods are Eggs ("I HATE YOU, EGG") and Sweet Potatoes ("GROSS").
  • When examining a Camp Fire or Fire Pit, WX-78 says that it reminds them of something.
  • In the animated short Next of Kin, a drawing of a robot similar to WX-78 can be seen pinned on a board that connects various people, places and events to Charlie's disappearance.
  • There are hints that WX-78 is the creation of Robert Wagstaff.
    • Their name has a similar naming convention to the product name of the Voxola radio PR-76.
    • Wagstaff's quote for the Floaty Boaty Knight is "Amazing! I ran into many difficulties waterproofing my automaton." This appears to be a reference to WX-78's weakness to water.
    • When Wagstaff examines WX-78 on the Nightmare Throne he seems to recognize them. ("Is that...? But it couldn't be!")
    • Both Wagstaff and WX-78 have significantly similar examination quotes for the Pine Cone. (Wagstaff: "My favorite portable Fibonacci sequence." and WX-78: "A PORTABLE FIBONACCI SEQUENCER")
    • WX-78 and Wagstaff are also the only two characters who identify the missing component of the Broken AAC Device, a DR356X001. (Wagstaff: "Ah. It needs a DR356X001." and WX-78: "OF COURSE IT'S BROKEN, IT'S MISSING A DR356X001")

Cultural References

  • WX-78's name may be a reference to the RX-78 series of mobile suits in the Universal Century Gundam series. The most notable being the RX-78-2, the main mobile suit from Mobile Suit Gundam.
  • Their Ghost Form in DST may be a reference to the robot R2-D2 from the Star Wars series.
  • WX-78's Roseate skin may be a reference to the robot from Studio Ghibli's Castle in the Sky.
  • Their Gladiator skin has a similar faceplate to Optimus Prime from the Transformers franchise.

Mosquito Bugs

  • In the base game, if WX-78 is immediately struck by Lightning after death, they will appear to be resurrected and the game will crash.
  • When playing SW with Lightning set to "Lots" in the World menu, WX-78 can be struck by Lightning while Wally talks, resulting in a bug where the HUD is unavailable and the camera is fixed. This can also happen with Maxwell at the end of Adventure Mode.

Blueprint Gallery

Gramophone Sounds

WX-78's voice.
WX78 Voice
WX-78 getting hurt.
WX78 Hurt Voice
WX-78 dying.
WX78 Death Voice
The sparking sounds WX-78 makes when afflicted by wetness.
WX78 Sparking Sound
The upgrade sound effect.
WX78 Upgrade Sound
The System Overload sound effect.
WX78 System Overload Sound
The sounds WX-78 makes when they move.
WX78 Movement Sound
WX-78 drowning (Shipwrecked icon).
WX78 Drowning Voice
WX-78's ghost voice (Don't Starve Together icon).
WX78 Ghost Voice
WX-78's voice as they perform the /pose emote (Don't Starve Together icon).
WX78 Pose Voice
WX-78 sighing, as part of the /sleepy emote (Don't Starve Together icon).
WX78 Sleepy Voice
WX-78 yawning, as part of the /yawn emote (Don't Starve Together icon).
WX78 Yawn Voice
WX-78 singing the Starver's Carol, as part of the /carol emote (Don't Starve Together icon).
WX78 Carol Voice

References

  1. Kevin Forbes on the Forums: "I had originally planned to have WX speak in randomly generated binary, but I realized that nobody would like that."
Player Characters
Don't Starve Wilson (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Willow (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Wolfgang (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Wendy (quotes ⋅ clothes) • WX-78 (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Wickerbottom (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Woodie (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Wes (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Maxwell (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Wagstaff (quotes ⋅ clothes)
Reign of Giants Wigfrid (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Webber (quotes ⋅ clothes)
Shipwrecked Walani (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Warly (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Wilbur (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Woodlegs (quotes ⋅ clothes)
Hamlet Wilba (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Wormwood (quotes ⋅ clothes) • Wheeler (quotes ⋅ clothes)
Don't Starve Together Winona (quotes ⋅ clothes) •  Wortox (quotes ⋅ clothes)
Removed Warbucks (quotes ⋅ clothes)
Unimplemented Wilton • Winnie • Wallace • Waverly • Pyro • Watricia 

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