Stardew Valley player turns "hardcore mode" joke into reality, creating a mod that ruthlessly deletes your saves if you dare to use guides

Stardew Valley character known as Elliott, a man with long auburn hair and a red coat
(Image credit: ConcernedApe)

Following an online joke regarding a "hardcore mode" in Stardew Valley that counters wiki use by destroying guilty players' saves, one genius modder has made the gag difficulty option reality.

A few days ago, satirical news website Hard Drive (think The Onion, but gaming) posted an article referring to a "new hardcode mode" in Stardew Valley that detects when players open the game's wiki and then promptly wipes their save files. The joke made its rounds through the farming sim's community online before landing in the lap of a mastermind modder - who managed to make a fully functional "hardcore mode" that matches the one described in Hard Drive's post.

The new mode comes in the form of a mod from Sylvie Nightshade, a software engineer who describes herself as "a hobbyist programmer and musician who spends too much time on the Internet." Much like the fictional "hardcore mode" made up by Hard Drive, Nightshade's mod "will erase your save file if you even dare look at the wiki in a browser tab."

According to the creator, it works "by scanning the title of every window open on your computer and erasing everything if any window contains 'Stardew Valley Wiki' in its title." Nightshade's merciless mod doesn't stop there, though - she has now made it so that it "also closes the browser window it finds the wiki in." You know, "just to add insult to injury." 

Nightshade's mod impressively came only a day after Hard Drive's humorous article went viral among Stardew stans. Furthermore, she says she taught herself how to create SMAPI mods "in two hours" just to make it. Meanwhile, I can't even muster up the gall to actually download it and play without guides - could you imagine casually opening the wiki to check what bundles you have to complete and losing your farm?

Itching for more cozy gems to play? Here are our favorite games like Stardew Valley.

Anna Koselke
Staff Writer

After spending years with her head in various fantastical realms' clouds, Anna studied English Literature and then Medieval History at the University of Edinburgh, going on to specialize in narrative design and video game journalism as a writer. She has written for various publications since her postgraduate studies, including Dexerto, Fanbyte, GameSpot, IGN, PCGamesN, and more. When she's not frantically trying to form words into coherent sentences, she's probably daydreaming about becoming a fairy druid and befriending every animal or she's spending a thousand (more) hours traversing the Underdark in Baldur's Gate 3. If you spot her away from her PC, you'll always find Anna with a fantasy book, a handheld video game console of some sort, and a Tamagotchi or two on hand.