Shadows Over Loathing – Character Creation Guide

Guide to Character Creation

All credit goes to spigot!

Character Creation

Selecting ‘New Game’ will immediately bring you to your character, who has a newspaper stuck to their face. You can go left and right a bit, and going right gives you the option to go back to the main menu, and you can also walk into the street and get hit by a car for an immediate game over. Your only path forward is through the doors into the diner.

After entering the restaurant, you make your way to the bathroom to pick your character’s face. This appears to be completely cosmetic and doesn’t seem to effect gameplay. After that, speak to Ethel and she’ll ask you for your first and last name (no known special name interactions yet) and then ask you for your background, which determines your starting perk.

I just really want to help:

  • Of course he is. He’s family, after all: Big Heart (+3 Maximum HP).
  • Everybody who needs help deserves help: Scout’s Honor (You just love helping people) [Gives themed dialogue options].

I got in some trouble back home:

  • I beat up a phone booth: Checkered Past (+1 to Melee Weapon Attacks).
  • I shot a parking meter: Checkered Past (+1 to Ranged Weapon Attacks).
  • I started a fire in a mailbox: Checkered Past (+1 to Magical Weapon Attacks).

I’m searching for something:

  • No. That’s the problem: Lost Soul (???) [unknown effect].
  • Just trying to find myself, I guess: Voyage of Self-Discovery (Maybe you’re in a mirror somewhere) [Gives XP when interacting with the mirror in the prologue, and possibly other mirrors, note that this prevents you from getting XP for riding the tractor in the prologue – Credit to Bowshatter]
  • Something dark: Haunted (Don’t worry, it will find you soon enough) [unknown effect].

Just seeking my fortune:

  • Money: Meat-Minded (+20% meat drops).
  • Fame: Ambition (Whatever it takes) [unknown effect].
  • Having lots of stuff: Acquisitive Nature (+20% item drops).

Mind your own business, Ethel: Guarded (+1 physical armor)

The jukebox contains 1 meat, which you can either take with you, spend on changing the music in the jukebox, or spend on a cup of diner coffee (that you can’t drink yet!).

There are other patrons, a group of older people complaining about the youth and a group of younger people using slang your character doesn’t recognize, as well as someone having their first cup of coffee, but there doesn’t appear to be any reason to talk to any of them, so go ahead and head out the door to end character creation and start the prologue.

AFAIK here’s a list of all the things you can leave the prologue with:

  • 48 meat
  • 55 XP
  • Fuse
  • Crowbar
  • The Handgun’s Tale
  • Clam jerky
  • Bibson’s Extra-Sweet Pears
  • Cheez Loaf
  • Diner coffee
  • Jar of gross old vegetables (3)
  • Baseball bat
  • Greasy baseball bat
  • Grimy spatula
  • Rusty pistol
  • Fishing rod
  • Haunted duck call
  • Old fishing shorts
  • Welding gloves
  • 1917 S.I.T. class ring
  • Gas station personnel file
  • Turt the turtle

In order to acquire all of these, you have to play through the prologue multiple times. If you are obsessive and want to farm the prologue a few times to get all of these, then Big Heart is probably the best choice because it makes the dust devil fight much, much easier.

Tips for New Players

There’s a bathtub in the junkyard you can use, and apparently, it’s a one-time thing. Save it for the last day, if you can. It gives a pretty good stat boost, +1 to all M-stats (Muscle, Mysticality, Moxie). I kind of wish it was something I could place in my room and use every day. However, I guess that would be too advantageous.

Although save points still exist in some games, others have completely abandoned them in favor of the autosave feature. Shadows Over Loathing is one such game, but its saving mechanism isn’t the most straightforward. Your position is saved the moment you enter a new area or a building within that area. Given that battles can deplete your resources if you lose, and certain decisions can prevent access to specific options, it’s advisable to frequently move between areas to save your progress. This technique won’t help with decision-making, but if you’re dissatisfied with a battle outcome, you can restart the game to return to the beginning of the area.

To acquire the Silver Pocketwatch from the trader, first, obtain the knife from Cochrane’s ranch before eliminating all the snakes. This will leave you with three skins to trade. Later, you can exchange the pocketwatch for five silver bullets, which can then be turned into ten needles.

To open the box found in the corner behind the Dark Horse in the mine, you’ll need three pieces of dynamite. The first two can be obtained from the trader. The last piece comes from surrendering to the third and final snake. It’s important to note that even after using the dynamite to access the box, an additional needle is required to unlock it. However, the box contains only a single piece of meat, making it potentially unworthy unless you’re pursuing a very specific goal.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I acquire the X (lockpicking, safecracking, foraging) skill?

  • You need to read skill books, which are available for purchase in stores.

Can I create multiple saves or characters?

  • Yes, you can. While it’s unclear if there’s a limit, starting a new game will not overwrite your current or previous games. You have the flexibility to switch between characters.

What happens if my Pardner dies?

  • They get resurrected right after the battle.

How does dying and Anger work?

  • Your Grit determines your Pain Tolerance level. Each level of Anger, which you acquire if you die or yell at yourself, consumes one point of Pain Tolerance. If you die and are already at your maximum pain tolerance, you’ll pass out and be sent home to rest. As a result, any active one-day effect modifiers will be removed.
Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 13917 Articles
I love games and I live games. Video games are my passion, my hobby and my job. My experience with games started back in 1994 with the Metal Mutant game on ZX Spectrum computer. And since then, I’ve been playing on anything from consoles, to mobile devices. My first official job in the game industry started back in 2005, and I'm still doing what I love to do.


  1. The maximum meat you can get will go up by 1 *every* time you take the meat from the jukebox and don’t spend it. It adds to the amount you’d earned previously. So in that sense there’s no limit. Probably the worst way to farm meat in the entire game though!

  2. There is another character creation quirk u get it when u get on and off a bunch of the options a bunch then choose the i flipped a coin option and u get a new one!!!

  3. I’m aware it’s a dead thread, but it should be noted that you gain an item later on if you interact with the cat, as Skeepahh mentioned.
    ”1. Chekov’s backyard, in between the clothesline and the scarecrow. Hug the back fence where the gap is and you can hear meowing.
    2. Hobo Boxcar rear area with the 2 Muscle skill check. It’s behind the tree in between the carving and the stove.
    3. Chekov’s backyard again, its on the left side of the barn, hug the fence again.
    4. Inside the filling station, first room”

    Doing this eventually leads you to meeting said cat in a dream, granting you the [Your Name]’s Boon, a permanent effect granting you +1 Muscle/Mystic/Moxie. Not sure if the cat interaction must be done every time or only once.

  4. Some other things that are saved: Cat, and hobo.
    And you can def do seperate quick runs, e.g. full gas run (also xp), cat, meat with perk. You don’t need every item in a single run. Since there’s so much overlap, you can e.g. save fuse in one of the runs.

    Is the folder enough for the employee plaque? That’s much further in the game, so can’t easily check.

  5. to add onto the things you can leave the prologue with, they forgot the greasy baseball bat by dipping the baseball bat into the grease at chekovs house. You get both anyways despite turning the baseball bat into the greasy version.

  6. If you keep choosing different dialogue options and returning without selecting a perk, a new option will appear titled “I flipped a coin”. Selecting this option will grant you the ‘Agent of Chaos” perk. The description of its effect is “Things are less predictable when you’re involved”. So far the perk allows you to talk to the crazy old man in the inn for free as well as giving you some themed dialogue options.

  7. Say, does anyone know what the option called “WooOOooO (This setting is haunted)” does? Does it let you talk to ghosts or something?

  8. There is a cat you can pet in the prologue too.
    You must interact with it a total of four times with the Old Fishing Shorts equipped to pet it.
    After each interaction, it runs off to a concurrent location.
    The locations are as follows:
    1. Chekov’s backyard, in between the clothesline and the scarecrow. Hug the back fence where the gap is and you can hear meowing.
    2. Hobo Boxcar rear area with the 2 Muscle skill check. It’s behind the tree in between the carving and the stove.
    3. Chekov’s backyard again, its on the left side of the barn, hug the fence again.
    4. Inside the filling station, first room.

    Side note, that’s a lot of stuff you can do in the prologue holy…

  9. If you have the fishing rod in your weapon slot and go to the toilet in the prologue, you can get the old fishing shorts for 1 physical resistance

  10. Lost soul allows you to interact with the shapeshifting fella in the dream sequence once you fall asleep the first time

  11. The baseball bat and greasy baseball bat are considered to be separate items, so you can get both when skipping the prologue.

  12. Hello to anyone who reads this!
    I have the complete(?) list of everything you can get on the prologue. Including a not worth it bug but still welcome.

    Complete list of Items:
    – 48 Meat (plus 1 for every prologue skip without spending 1 meat in the diner)*
    – 55 XP
    – Fuse
    – Crowbar
    – The Handgun’s Tale
    – Clam Jerky
    – Bibson’s Extra-Sweet Pears
    – Cheez Loaf
    – Diner Coffee (plus 1 if you bought one in the diner and you skip the prologue)**
    – Jar of Gross Old Vegetables (3)
    – Baseball Bat
    – Greasy Baseball Bat
    – Grimy Spatula
    – Rusty Pistol
    – Fishing Rod
    – Haunted Duck Call
    – Old Fishing Shorts
    – Welding Gloves
    – 1917 S.I.T. Class Ring
    – Gas Station Personnel File
    – Turt the Turtle

    *This stacks(bug maybe) for every character you start and skip the prologue without spending a meat for coffee in the diner.

    **This does not stack like * but you get 2 diner coffee(again bug maybe) if you buy it in the diner and skip the prologue.

  13. I do wanna add a few more notes to this
    As there is more to character creation

    After the Prologue once you go to sleep
    You can pick a class and secondary skill to focus on And I Think, each class has a Rival for it
    A lot like the Nemesis quest line in KoL

    Pig Skinner is the main Muscle Class, though is more based on sports then Pigs. The main rival is General Bruise

    Cheese Wizard is the Mysticality Class based on…well Cheese and the Rival is Molly

    And The Jazz class (forgot the name) is the moxie class with the Rival being Terrance

    Then you pick one of three books based on ethier Bugs, Plants, or Rocks

    Another chapter later down the line gives you the choice to boost two of your skills with a perk tho, in the dream where there are 3 statues of yourself which ever one you shut up is the skull that doesn’t get a extra point

  14. So far I’ve only managed to get 40 XP during the Prologue, and I’m not sure how to get the 45 XP required to unlock everything. So far stuff that gives XP includes killing the 4 monsters, flushing Chekhov’s toilet, riding the tractor (or looking in the mirror with the mirror perk, see below), finding your name in the employee registry in the gas station, and giving Chekhov the ring for free. That’s 8 total events that give 5 XP, and I’m not sure how to get the last bit of XP.

    Voyage of Self-Discovery seems to give you XP with mirrors. This includes the mirror in the prologue, but if if you pick the perk, you can’t get the XP from riding the tractor behind his house.

    Things that seem promising for the last bit of XP, but that I can’t seem to figure out:
    – Interacting with Lydia (the ghost) in any way.
    – Opening Simone Chekhov’s room.

    It’s also possible (though unlikely, I think) that it’s locked behind some new game+ content, and you’re just not able to do it on a first playthrough.

  15. there are 3 items that need +3 stat to use but i am unsure of the best order.

    All i know is beating the dust devil is done last. it will require a +1 to mysticality, the spatula, and the beans eaten to get another +1 to mysticality. Also use grimy vegetables to weaken devil’s 2nd hit. The current best traits at the diner are big heart (+3 hp) or checkered past (+1 to dmg with magic weapons)

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