Until Dawn – How to Save or Kill Every Character

You decide.

Until Dawn

Image via Sony

When Until Dawn released in August 2015, I wasn’t sure what to expect. After playing it, however, it’s easily become one of the best PS4 games ever made in my books. Players can kill or save all eight protagonists in the game, or any combination in between. You could end up killing three characters and saving five, or killing seven and saving one. Today, I’m going to outline exactly how you can kill and save every single character, not that you’re trying to off Emily or anything, right?

Warning: It probably goes without saying, but there are major spoilers ahead. You’ll want to back out now if you’re looking to do a blind playthrough. In fact, if you’re looking to do a blind playthrough, why did you Google this?

How to Kill or Save Every Character

You can find a full list of the characters below, and the chapters in which they die. If you wish, you can scroll on down to find out how to save them but whether you choose to prevent or avoid their death is entirely up to you.

Character NameActorPossible Death Chapters
Samantha GiddingsHayden PanettiereChapter 10
Josh WashingtonRami MalekChapter 10
Michael MunroeBrett DaltonChapter 10
Jessica RileyMeaghan MartinChapter 4, Chapter 10
Ashley BrownGaladriel StinemanChapter 9, Chapter 10
Christopher HartleyNoah FleissChapter 8, Chapter 9
Emily DavisNichole BloomChapter 8, Chapter 10
Matthew TaylorJordan FisherChapter 6, Chapter 10

Samantha Giddings

Samantha Giddings, who is more commonly recognized as the actor that plays her, Hayden Panettiere, is one of only three characters that can only die in Chapter 10 of Until Dawn. In fact, she’s probably the one person who is responsible (directly or indirectly) for the most lives saved and lost.

In the game’s final scene, Sam can be saved by navigating through the tense situation with Mike, Hannah, and the other characters that are alive. If you want Sam to survive, make sure the following happens:

  • Pass the Don’t Move segment when Mike says, “Don’t fucking move a muscle…”
  • Pass the Don’t Move segment after the floorboard creeks and the Wendigo approaches Sam.
  • When given the option, players must Save Mike, instead of Run to Switch.
  • After saving Mike, players must pass a Don’t Move to avoid the Wendigo.
  • When given the option, players must Hide instead of Run to Switch.
  • After Ashley/Emily escapes, players must pass another Don’t Move to avoid death.
  • When another Wendigo shows up, choose the option to Hide instead of Run.
  • As Mike backs towards the door to the cabin, players must pass a final Don’t Move.

Josh Washington

The only way to save Josh Washington, expertly played by Rami Malek (aka Mr. Robot), is by finding a specific clue while playing as Sam in Chapter 10. When Mike and Sam are on their way to the Wendigo’s lair, she and Mike will drop down into the water near the water wheel. Head to the left of the water wheel and climb up on the ledge, finding Hannah’s diary on the ground. Flip through all the pages and Josh Washington will be spared. Alternatively, if you’re super-pissed at Josh for all his shenanigans, you can avoid finding the diary and he’ll be killed. This is the only way to kill or save Josh in Until Dawn.

Michael Munroe

Michael Munroe, played by Brett Dalton from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., will not live or die based on his own actions, but will instead have his fate in Until Dawn decided by Sam. To avoid killing Mike, players must follow the instructions to save Sam that are detailed earlier in this guide. Mike’s death can be triggered by the following:

  • If Sam fails the first Don’t Move scenario, Mike will save her by sacrificing himself.
  • Sam must choose to Save Mike if/when the option is presented.
  • If Sam runs to the switch before Mike leaves the cabin, he will die.

Jessica Riley

The first point where Jessica Riley can die in Until Dawn is Chapter 4 after she is pulled from the cabin she’s sharing with Mike. She will live or die based on the player’s decisions while chasing her as Mike, and by how effectively (or ineffectively) players respond to the QTE (quick time events).

  • If players choose Follow Path, Go Around, Shimmy and Follow Path, Jessica will die.
  • She lives if you choose Risk Shortcut, Jump Down, Jump and Risk Slide Down, and pass one QTE.

The second opportunity for Jessica to die is during Chapter 10, although she wakes up in the mines in Chapter 9 if she survived the events of Chapter 4.

Players can save or kill Jessica if Matt is alive in Chapter 10. As always, you can get your desired outcome by choosing to adhere or ignore the following instructions:

  • After hearing the Wendigo scream, if players choose to Run Ahead, Jessica will die.
  • After choosing the option to Hide, players must pass the Don’t Move segment to save Jessica.
  • Following the Don’t Move segment, players must pass single QTE to save both Jessica and Matt.
  • When being chased by the Wendigo, players must choose Hide Together to save Jessica.
  • After choosing to Hide Together, players must pass one last Don’t Move segment to save Jessica.

If Matt dies in Chapter 6, Jessica will have to brave the mines on her own in Chapter 10, and can only live if players make all the right decisions. If you’d rather see Jessica die, you can just do the opposite of the following:

  • Choose the option to Hide instead of Try to Run.
  • Players must pass the Don’t Move segment after Jessica hides.
  • Choose the option to Break Through instead of Try to Run.
  • Pass a final Don’t Move segment while out on the ledge.

Ashley Brown

Ashley Brown, voiced by Galadriel Stineman, can have her fate decided by players in Chapter 9 and Chapter 10. Although, events in previous chapters can make keeping her alive a bit more difficult.

If Emily as bitten by a Wendigo in Chapter 8, Ashley will always notice the bite. Mike will try to shoot Emily, and Ashley will be egging him on. Don’t shoot Emily if you want her to live, obviously, but do shoot her if you’re hell-bent on making sure saving Ashley is easier in Chapter 10.

No matter what happens, if Ashley sees the bite on Emily, saving Ashley in Chapter 10 will be slightly more difficult, but by no means impossible. For example, if you nail all the QTEs and decisions that Sam needs to make it through the final scene of Chapter 10, Ashley will live, assuming you got her out of Chapter 9.

While playing as Ashley in Chapter 9, players can easily ensure her safety by choosing the option to Rejoin Group instead of Investigate Voice. However, choosing to Investigate Voice will lead you to a Loss Totem, and you can still save Ashley by never interacting with the trap door. Just keep on walking, choosing the option to Drop Down at the end of the path. If you interact with the trap door in any fashion, Ashley will be killed.

Ashley can also die in Chapter 10, but this is entirely dependent on how you play your cards while you’re controlling Sam. Take the following steps to save Ashley.

  • If the option is ever presented, you must choose to Save Ashley.
  • Sam must not Run to Switch until Ashley is safely out of the cabin.
  • If you Run to Switch and Ashley is still in the cabin, she will die.
  • Successfully following all steps to save Sam will also save Ashley.

Christopher Hartley

Although Chris can only die in Chapter 8 and Chapter 9, the events in Chapter 6 are essential to keeping him alive.

During Chapter 6, Chris and Ashley will be strapped to chairs and sitting at a table, with Chris having access to a gun. He will be asked to choose between himself and Ashley before two overhead saws kill them both. If Chris makes a choice, the saw blades will supposedly stop. If he does not make a choice, he and Ashley will both appear to die, although they actually both live.

To save Chris’ life in Chapter 8, it’s best for the player to either Shoot himself, or simply do nothing and let time expire. Whatever you do, though, don’t choose the Shoot option while pointing the gun at Ashley, or Chris is dead in Chapter 8. It’s a decision that cannot be reversed.

Even if you make the right call in Chapter 6, however, Chris can still die in Chapter 8. After finding that Josh is missing from the shed, Chris and The Stranger will be chased by Wendigo. The Stranger will die no matter what, but Chris can survive only if players correctly perform all the QTEs in the chase scene back to the cabin. When Chris arrives at the Cabin, Ashley will open the door for him, saving his life, only if he didn’t shoot her in Chapter 6.

In Chapter 9, as the group heads into the tunnels, there is a chance that Chris will stay behind. If he does not stay behind but instead sticks with the group, Chris will be fine. To guarantee Chris’ safety in Chapter 9, make sure that Ashley chooses Reassure, not Inquire.

If players choose the option to Inquire, Chris can live or die based on the following choices:

  • If Ashley died at the trap door, Chris must Rejoin Group to live, not Investigate Voice.
  • If Ashley did not touch the trap door but Chris does, he will be killed by decapitation.
  • If Ashley ignored the trap door, Chris can do the same and both can live.
  • If Ashley ignored the trap door, Chris can ignore the voice entirely and regroup with the others.

Emily Davis

Back when Until Dawn first released, there were loads of players who were actively trying to kill Emily, which is a compliment to Nichole Bloom, the voice actor. In fact, this article is titled as such because I’m pretty sure some folks are going to want to see Emily perish in the most spectacular way, but I’ll also tell you how to save her.

During Chapter 4, it’s important that Emily choose to Keep the Flare Gun instead of handing it over to Matt. This allows players to defend Emily against the Wendigo in Chapter 8, keeping her from getting bitten. If Emily is not bitten by the Wendigo, Ashley will never discover the bite, and the two will not quarrel. Plus, by making the right choices with Matt in Chapter 6, the players can save him, too.

During Chapter 8, after The Stranger gives Emily the flares and she falls in the mine, the player can kill or save Emily by passing or failing a series of QTEs. If you want her to live, hit them all. If you want her to die, miss them all.

  • Pass the first few QTEs at the start of the Wendigo chase.
  • Go Right instead of choosing to Go Left. Not sure if it matters, but I did, and she lived.
  • Pass the Don’t Move segment after the elevator ride up.
  • Pass several more QTEs until Emily climbs onto the conveyor belt.
  • Choose the option to Leap Off the conveyor belt if you want Emily to live.
  • If Emily has the Flare Gun, shoot the Wendigo with it to avoid being bitten.
  • Pass a few more QTEs and Emily will be free and clear for Chapter 8.

Later in Chapter 8, if Emily was bitten by the Wendigo, Ashley will discover the bite and Emily’s life will be in danger. Players can easily avoid Emily being killed by just not shooting her. Just allow time to expire when Mike is pointing the gun at Emily.

In Chapter 10, Emily can be saved if players make all the correct moves with Sam, passing all the Don’t Move segments and choosing the correct options. However, there are ways that Emily can die if players slip up.

  • If the option to Save Emily ever appears, players must choose it to keep her alive.
  • Once Emily exits the cabin, she is safe for the rest of the game.
  • If players Run to Switch before Emily exits the cabin, she will die.

Matthew Taylor

Besides Jessica, Matt is the second player who can die in Until Dawn, with the first opportunity for his demise in Chapter 6. It’s also worth noting that taking the easy way to save Matt puts Emily in increased danger, so the steps below are intended to save Matt and keep Emily from being bitten by the Wendigo in Chapter 8. Of course, you can simply fail these steps if you want him to die.

  • When Emily has the option, Keep the Flare Gun instead of Give.
  • When Matt has the option, Jump to Safety instead of Save Emily.
  • If players choose Save Emily twice, Matt will die unless he has the Flare Gun.
  • Emily will survive the fall either way, so it’s best to Jump to Safety immediately.

If he makes it through Chapter 6 alive, Matt is not seen again until Chapter 10. During Chapter 10, if Jessica is still alive, he’ll be reunited with her in the mines, and both characters must pass several QTEs, and make several correct choices to survive.

  • Players should choose to Hide, rather than Run Ahead, to save Jessica.
  • A Don’t Move segment needs to be passed as soon as you Hide.
  • After the Don’t Move segment, a QTE must be passed or both characters will die.
  • Next, players should choose to Hide Together instead of Abandon Jessica.
  • A final Don’t Move segment must be passed for both players to survive.

If Matt is alone in the mines because Jessica died in Chapter 4, players should choose roughly the same things, although they will be worded slightly differently. The general idea will be to Hide, Don’t Move, Keep Running, as well as hit one final QTE. Do all of this, and Matt survives Until Dawn.