Kelvin is your A.I companion in Sons of the Forest and the newest addition to the companion hall of fame with the likes of Dogemeat etc. Don’t get offended, even the developers themselves relate his loyalty and prompt command-following ability to a dog. This dude is loyal to the T and elevates the whole lonely experience of Sons of the Forest.
But why is he like this? Why can’t he speak or hear anything? Why does this poor soul only follow orders and have nothing else to do? Does have brain damage? All will be answered in this tributary article to Kelvin.
Kelvin suffers from brain damage in Sons of the Forest from the initial helicopter crash which takes away his ability to speak and hear. He does function as a normal NPC and follows every order perfectly although there are some minor hiccups here and there.
Does Kelvin have Brain Damage?
According to the lore of the game and the way starting events play out in Sons of the Forest, Kelvin is part of the same elite soldier squad as you are. When your helicopter takes a tumble and crashes onto the island, Kelvin suffers from a head injury causing brain damage which leads to him going mute and deaf. Poor guy!
You can see him writhing with pain nearby the helicopter crash site. Help him get on his feet and begin your stranded journey together. He then becomes a companion who will help you with all sorts of menial tasks like cutting down trees and collecting food items.
Owing to his disability, you have to issue commands using a notepad. It is a clever and intuitive way of disguising a command system without resorting to boring ol’ menus. Kelvin currently has seven known commands that can be issued.
- Take Item
- Follow Me
- Get –> (berries, fish, sticks, rocks, arrows, radio, or logs) –> (fill holder, drop here, give to me or follow me)
- Build –> (Fire, Shelter, Finish structure, or Clear Shelter)
- Stay –> (Here, At Shelter, or Hidden)
- Take a break
- Clear –> (5-10-20 meters)
Kelvin makes companions in other games look like chumps. This is very much due to Endnight Games’ excellent AI design.
On top of the commands you can assign him, Kelvin has other behaviors that would suggest that he is a normal functioning companion and is not bogged down by his disabilities:
- Kelvin does get tired if you push him too much. He will periodically lie down and rest from working hard.
- If you don’t command him to Take a Break, he will get upset and his productivity will start to dwindle.
- He doesn’t have a dedicated hunger or thirst stat/meter, but he can be found drinking from freshwater sources and eating berries or food from the base.
- Kevin can identify enemies nearby and point in their direction to alert the player.
- He carries out all commands without any problems (generally).
Now we don’t know whether this is a bug or the developers have designed him in this way, but there are some bizarre things that this dude does. He is known to cut down trees that player structures are attached to when given the command to gather logs. Although funny, this ultimately gets annoying if all your hard work comes crumbling down due to Kelvin’s antics.
However, this seems like a bug more likely as Endnight Games is known for their sophisticated AI implementation in their games. We just have to chalk it out to the early access status of the game and hope that no more treehouses get ruined because of Kelvin.
On a side tangent, if you are a complete loner looking to conquer Sons of the Forest on your own or you are an evil sadist who wants to just spread hate, you can kill Kelvin in the game. He will die and won’t respawn. You can then play the game alone or whatever. We can’t guarantee your soul’s redemption though!
Kelvin is present in the game to somewhat replicate the multiplayer experience for the solo player. He shares the load and is a delight to be around. He can even be helpful when playing in a multiplayer setting.
Here are some quotes from the developers regarding this beautiful companion:
“We found in our first game, The Forest, that building and collecting resources in single-player could be a real slog compared to multiplayer where you had multiple players helping,” Endnight Games. We wanted to solve this and help bridge the gap between the two modes. At the same time, the new AI system we had created for enemies/animals made it extremely easy to apply to an AI character that was friendly.”
“Throughout Early Access, we plan to add a lot more tasks Kelvin can do as well as integrate him more into the main story and giving him his own epilogue/ending if you keep him alive”Endnight Games
Going from the upper statement, we can assume that Kelvin will only get better as this game goes on. Not only will his utility improve but you can expect him to get his own story arc. Maybe he will find the cure to this affliction, maybe he will win us over (even more) with some heroic act, or maybe he will stab us in the back!
So much can be done with Kelvin in Sons of the Forest and we are eager to find out!
Kelvin has already cemented his place as the best companion in 2023. Endnight Games have so many avenues to make him even better and we sure hope he gets his due respect. Don’t let his brain-damaged label get to your head, he just might be a better player than you are in Sons of the Forest.