Confession time, before we get the ball rolling on this column: I very rarely play Survivor whenever I play Dead by Daylight. For one, I do suffer from an anxiety disorder, as I’ve established in an editorial from when I first started writing for CryptTeaze. So if I do play a horror game as the protagonist, it typically isn’t for long. Furthermore, I have dealt with my fair share of saltiness from Survivors, which I don’t take personally by any means, but it just radiates this feeling of entitlement on the part of the Survivors. Is this the case every time? Not even close. But do yourself a favor and stay away from forums and comment sections anytime a Perk gets tweaked.
That being said, for every famed horror villain, they need a protagonist to face off with in the final act, inevitably being overcome by the designated final survivor (or final girl, the further back in time your horror tastes go). These characters aren’t always memorable good guys, as not everyone can be a Laurie Strode. And hot take? Despite the final girl trope being arguably the best-known one in the genre, there aren’t even that many truly iconic final girls, save for Laurie. In fact, I’ll bet a handful of Auric Cells that when you first read “final girl” in this paragraph, your first mental image was of Jamie Lee Curtis.
So who can live up to the heroine of Haddonfield? In a genre, much less in a game, where you find yourself rooting for the supposed bad guy, who is worth taking the side of justice, truth, and resourcefulness? In terms of modern horror films, I have one suggestion, played by the infectious and witty Samara Weaving. The character is Ash Williams in a wedding gown, the accidental final girl, the heiress to an immense gaming empire, Ready or Not’s Grace le Domas.
For those that haven’t seen Ready or Not, all three of you should stop reading, rent it, apologize, read my review, apologize again, and then come back. For years I’ve touted Tucker and Dale vs. Evil as my favorite horror-comedy, but when I saw Ready of Not this past holiday season, the hapless redneck duo dropped a place in my personal rankings. Bloody, boisterous, and bitingly funny, it is a great commentary on the one percent, and what happens when one gets in way too deep.
At the end of the film, we see Grace lighting a cigarette, sitting on the steps of the now-aflame mansion, scoffing at her now-exploded in-laws, following the deadliest game of hide and seek this side of The Most Dangerous Game. The directors revealed later, however, that the original ending saw Alex hitting Grace full in the chest with the sacrificial dagger, completing the ritual sacrifice to the demon Le Bail. While that isn’t the direction I’ll be taking to justify Grace’s arrival at the campfire, it does influence it, as The Entity will lay claim to her on the way to the hospital. In this timeline, Grace succumbs to her wounds, fully exerted and spent after the game of a literal lifetime. The Entity is vaguely impressed by the resolve of the bride, and sees plenty of hope to feed off of. Surely she will keep the Killers on their toes in myriad trials to come…
The good news with this series is that I don’t have to thump my head against the wall trying to devise a Power for a Survivor. That said, the pressure is on to make Grace’s natural Perks ones worth taking, much less ones that would make the eventual “Adept Grace” trophy not only possible to achieve, but fun.
Hide and Seek is her first Perk, and it plays off of her ability to stay hidden and silent far longer than most could. On one hand, it plays similar to Detective Tapp’s Stake Out, as it charges while inside of the Terror Radius. That said, it forces the player to stay covert, as making noise resets the timer. Early observations of Dead by Daylight compare the game to playing out a horror movie, and as such, that damn wayward branch will alert the Killer, and at that point, may your deity of choice help you.
Run Out the Clock is a sort of Survivor version of Barbecue and Chili, if only for the potential for a massive Bloodpoint bonus. The Aura reveal is a valuable thing that can be triggered in basically any game in which the Survivor makes it to the Endgame Collapse. Besides that, I’ve selfishly always wanted a Perk to involve the Endgame Collapse, and since Grace’s eventual victory in the movie hinges on her running out the clock, it felt appropriate to give such a Perk to her. Is it risky? Absolutely. Is it going to lead to the EGC being even more of a clusterfuck if a Survivor with this Perk is the last one standing? Sure. But the concept needs a shot in the arm, and that’s what I hope Run Out the Clock will do.
Le Bail’s Deal is another risk/reward Perk, and between this and Junko Enoshima’s natural Perks, I’ve created enough three card monte stand-ins for a lifetime. I had to be careful not to make this one too much like existing Perks, as well as be sure that it wouldn’t try to tag-team with Ace in the Hole or Pharmacy, as that could make for insanely good rewards for not that much risk. After all, it takes ten seconds to search a chest, and the only real risk comes if the Killer is close to the chest. At that point, you’re probably already screwed, so here it’s a matter of “do I leave my ass flapping in the breeze for a few more seconds to get a stupid good medkit that I may not even be able to take out of the match with me? Well, that’s the game you play with Le Bail, and if they proceed, but don’t succeed… well…
Wrong game. Whoops.
Grace le Domas’ Perks
Level 30 - Hide and Seek
Simplicity is elegance, and the heiress to the le Domas fortune has proven she knows her way around a game.
Standing within the Killer’s Terror Radius for 20 seconds uninterrupted activates Hide and Seek. When this Perk is active, the next quick vault performed will not alert the Killer with a Loud Noise notification. Once used, the timer resets and this perk enters a cooldown for 90/75/60 seconds.
Performing a loud action (failing a Skill Check, quick vaulting, or dropping a pallet) will reset the timer.
If the Killer and the Survivor have each other in their uninterrupted lines of sight, the timer will reset.
Level 35 - Run Out The Clock
Survival till daylight is not impossible. The urgency of the eleventh hour fills you with determination and promise.
When the Endgame Collapse is triggered, this Perk is activated and you see the Killer’s Aura for 4 seconds.
If you are the only Survivor left in the trial when the Endgame Collapse is triggered, for every second you are still alive during the Endgame Collapse, you gain a tentative 1% stackable bonus to all Bloodpoint gains.
If you are downed or Hooked, or if the Endgame Collapse is completed, this Perk is deactivated and you forfeit the tentative Bloodpoint bonus.
Level 40 - Le Bail’s Deal
Deals with the devil make for tense negotiations. Play by the rules or be burned.
For every Great Skill Check you make, this Perk earns a Token, up to a maximum of 2/3/4 Tokens.
After searching a Chest while Le Bail’s Tradition has at least one Token, the Survivor may search the chest again by spending what Tokens this Perk has accrued. By doing so, this Perk considerably increases the chance of the new search finding:
1 Token - a Rare item.
2 Tokens - a Rare item with at least one Common Add-on.
3 Tokens - a Very Rare item.
4 Tokens - a Very Rare item with at least one Uncommon Add-on
Once you have spent Tokens on a new search, this perk goes into a cooldown of 120 seconds.
If the new search is interrupted for any reason, the original item will disappear, and the Chest cannot be searched again.
Does not stack with Ace in the Hole or Pharmacy.