Ark: Survival Evolved's "Explorer Notes" will bring its history to light

Ark: Survival Evolved explorer note

Players of Ark: Survival Evolved will soon have the opportunity to learn more about those who came before them by way of Explorer Notes, the first of which was revealed yesterday. These notes will tell the stories of the island's previous inhabitants, and also reveal their ultimate fates.

“By studying their notes, learning through their experiences, and revealing the secrets they have discovered, you will be able to get closer to the heart of the mysteries surrounding the Ark,” Studio Wildcard said. It added, with a winky-face, that “not everyone can survive like on the Ark,” which I'm guessing is a hint a to why you're now on the island, and your predecessors are not.

The studio said it's also going to stop, at least for now, rolling out new “Dino Dossiers” so that it can focus on catching up on the backlog it's already built up. “We also want to see how the game evolves with further additions, so we can finalize what our remaining batch of creatures (Basilosaurus anyone?) will be and what they’ll bring to the Ark,” it wrote. “Don’t worry though—we’ll still have a content reveal every Monday!”

You'll notice that the first note, viewable up close below, is written in Chinese, which makes it trickier to read than you might have expected. Fortunately, the users of Steam are many and varied, and one of them has offered this translation, which I've edited slightly for clarity:

“It has been four nights since I woke up. I'm writing the passing things down. If I go back, my family will ask me about this. If I am dead, I hope it can help others. The ghosts and monsters are everywhere, they are all scary and dangerous. I was scared and I couldn't sleep at night. I have been to many places but I cannot avoid them. The plants are also strange and I don't learn about them. Although I am away from my hometown, I must find a way to go back home. It's the most important thing.”

It's rough, I'm guessing because the translator's first language isn't English, but you get the idea.

Ark: Survival Evolved explorer note

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.