Dear Esther contains 4 levels which all need to be played in the right order to understand the entire plot. A significant aspect of the levels is that they randomly spawn or remove items and also change dialogues each time a player reloads the map, thus offering a different vision on the story and/or revealing other important or new elements left undiscovered before.
There are also items and dialogues which are infinitly assigned to one location in the map. These are used to keep part of the story 'intact'. Players seeking clarification can always go back to these fixed events to understand certain changes.
All the levels in chronological order:
- Although players are free to choose where to start, it is highly recommended to start from chapter 1, especially on your first journey in the game.
- The names of files in the maps folder of Dear Esther are named after the four main characters of the story. The lighthouse is named 'Donnelley', the buoy 'Jakobson', the caves 'Esther' and the beacon 'Paul'. It is currently unknown if this is merely a coincidence or if this is intended by the developers.