Raft: Balboa Island Walkthrough
Balboa Island — it's big, you will get lost, and it's full of bears. The story mission that takes place in Raft after Vasatagan sees you exploring a much more vertical landscape than you'll be used to, in an effort to restore power to the relay stations dotted across the area.
Less of a maze than the beached yacht you just visited, Balboa Island can still be confusing to traverse. There are signposts that point you in the general direction of where you need to be, but take a wrong turn and you'll be face-to-face with the mama bear.
Getting To Balboa Island
After you input the code from Vasatagan, the receiver on your raft gives you the location of Balboa Island. When you approach this story area, ensure you're mooring your raft at the quite noticeable beach area. It gives you the best approach to the first relay station, and set the scene for what's to come.
As you make your way up the beach you'll notice a signpost. It informs you that Relay Station Two and the ranger station are to your right, while Relay Stations Four and Six are to your left. The ranger station, while important, isn't going to be of much use right now, so start wandering left towards Stations Four and Six.
Take a left turn at the beach and keep to the right side of the path, ensuring you avoid the attention of the mama bear. You'll eventually reach another signpost — follow the direction for Relay Station Four.
There are several wild berry bushes around, ensure you're keeping an eye out for them and collecting any wild berries when you can. You will need these for an important item later.
As you make your way up the small hill, you'll notice a locker with some graffiti on it and what looks like a makeshift shelter. Opening the locker will reward you with Bruno's saw, an item we'll need for the ranger station later.
Continuing up the hill, you'll eventually come to a raised drawbridge. To lower the bridge, simply pick up one of the many stones lying around and throw it at the controls to the right of the bridge itself. It will become level and enable you to cross.
Finding Relay Station Four
Once the bridge has been lowered, it's time for you to cross and make your way up the stairs. The first thing to do once you reach the control room is pull the lever, activating the station. The idea behind activating these relays is that once they are all in working order, it will triangulate the next story island and supply you with the code on-screen.
Inside the control room of the relay station is a blueprint enabling you to craft fuel pipes, and another key item for the ranger station — Bruno's hammer.
Getting The Machete Blueprint
Once you've looted everything from Relay Station Four, head back across the bridge and down the hill. Remember the part where you kept to the right side of the path? This time we're going the opposite way, to the mama bear.
By this point, you should have gathered enough wild berries that when we come to a blue container, you have enough to fill it. Once sufficient berries have been placed, the large bear will start eating from the trough, allowing you to enter the cave she was guarding.
Inside the cave is a fully crafted machete, and also the blueprint enabling you to craft your own.
Finding Relay Station Six
Head back down to the original signpost and start following the direction it gives for Relay Station Six. Some way along the path you'll notice a cave that's covered with vines. With your new machete in hand, you're now able to cut away the vines and proceed through the opening.
Once you exit the cave, Relay Station Six should be just in view. Make your way up the stairs to the control room of the relay station. Once inside you'll be able to talk to Johnny and unlock him as a playable character.
Ensure that you pull on the lever to activate the relay, and make sure you pick up the blueprint for the fuel tank.
This whole area is populated with bees and llamas. These can be a valuable resource if you're planning on turning your raft into a portable zoo. Bees can be used to make a beehive, which can in turn supply you with honey. This is vital later on in the story for crafting important medical supplies.
Finding Relay Station Two
Back down to the beach with you. Use this time to drop off any excess resources you've found so far on your travels, and get ready to explore the other half of the island.
Use the signpost again to follow the directions for Relay Station Two. Once you've made your way far enough up the hill, you'll notice a glowing green pool in front of you. This glowing green stuff, unsurprisingly, will damage you when you touch it, so to traverse it simply use the conveniently placed boxes as stepping stones.
Once you've completed the rudimentary jumping puzzle you'll see that Relay Station Two is on your left-hand side, so make your way up the stairs. There isn't much of note inside the control station here, so simply flip the switch to power the relay.
Now that all three relay stations have been powered on, the coordinates for your next trip should be displayed. Don't worry too much about remembering them, the code will be saved in your journal.
You can bring up your journal at any point by pressing the 'T' key. Not only does it keep a track of all the coordinates for your receiver, but any story elements you may pick up on the way, should you wish to look over them again.
The Ranger Station
You'll see the ranger station as you climb down from Relay Station Two. It is a small cabin, inside which you'll find a blueprint for a biofuel refiner. If you picked up all of Bruno's tools, insert them into the tool rack on the wall — it will fall, revealing a note. Along your travels there have been several notes lying around, if you managed to pick them all up it will unlock an achievement.
In case you missed any notes, they're located in the following:
- There are two notes in Relay Station Four.
- Four notes just next to the mama bear cave.
- One in the cave near Relay Station Six.
- One on the staircase to Relay Station Six.
- One in Relay Station Two.
- One behind the tool rack in the ranger station.
Once you have the code in your journal, you're free to leave and continue your journey. Balboa Island is by far the most resource-rich environment you've encountered so far though, so it may be worth emptying everything at your raft and hunting for animals for a short while.
Bears, while dangerous, give up a fair amount of leather when defeated. If you're able to catch llamas for your raft with the net gun, they will provide you with plenty of wool. They'll even give meat for your journey ahead, should things get desperate.
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