The Let's Play Archive

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

by Fleve

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Original Thread: The Five Stages of Playing The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

If you liked this LP, you might also like Call of Juarez: Gunslinger by Fleve, Shadowgrounds by Fleve and Revenant by Fleve


The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a short but very atmospheric horror adventure game created by Polish developer The Astronauts and released in 2014. We take on the role of paranormal investigator Paul Prospero as he follows up on a letter he received from Ethan Carter and explores what happened in the boy’s small, ramshackle mining village of Red Creek Valley, Wisconsin. The horror is subtle, mostly looming and hinting, and the main draw of the game lies in gradually uncovering the story by solving puzzles, piecing together past events through both ordinary as well as paranormal detective work.

Spoiler Policy
This is a zero spoilers zone, please. Unless they’re really well veiled, no sly hints either by people who have already played the game. I do, however, invite speculation. The majority of the game consists of discovering the story and figuring things out is most of the fun.

Thread participation
The puzzles in the game involve two parts. One is the traditional adventure game activity of exploring areas, inspecting items, and collecting stuff. The second part revolves around putting it all together, weaving the fragmented evidence into a coherent narrative that gives us a glimpse into what happened.

Well, that sounds grander than it actually is, but it’s an interesting way of telling a story. Moreover, it allows for some thread participation. I’ll make sure to collect everything and put the parts in their proper spots, but I’ll leave it up to the thread to tie it all together, which means coming up with a rough theory and figuring out the chronological order of various scenes.

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