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Do you like science?


Wilson Percival Higgsbury is the first available playable character in Don't Starve (requiring no Experience to play) and one of the playable characters in Don't Starve Together (DST). He was released along with the Don't Starve vanilla Beta in late 2012 as the main protagonist and is the first playable character with a confirmed backstory. Wilson is an ambitious wannabe scientist with a sense of humor and a love for puns. He also has a peculiar haircut resembling the letter "W".

Minimap Maxwell's Door.png Origin

Say pal, looks like you're having some trouble! I have secret knowledge I can share with you, if you think you are ready for it.

–The radio's offer to Wilson in Forbidden Knowledge

Wilson was the first of the playable characters to receive a backstory through an animated short, called Forbidden Knowledge. The events of this short were later officially summarized in DST's Compendium:

While toiling away in his home laboratory late one night, Wilson was startled to hear a voice on the radio speaking directly to him. At first he feared he'd gone mad from too many late nights of experiments and accidentally-inhaled chemical fumes, but the voice assured him that it was no mere figment of the imagination. In fact, the voice had a proposition for him: if Wilson would build a machine according to their specifications, then he would be rewarded with secret knowledge, the likes of which no one had ever seen. Casting aside his better judgement [sic] (after all, what harm could come from making a vague bargain with a mysterious disembodied voice?) Wilson threw himself into constructing the machine. When at long last it was finally completed, the gentleman scientist had a moment of hesitation... a moment that might have saved him from his impending fate, had he been just a bit stronger of will. But at the voice's insistence, Wilson flipped the switch and activated his creation... and was never seen again. Well, at least not in this world.

Placeholder.png Trivia


  • Wilson's voice is played by a "Harmon muted trumpet (mixed with some cup muted trumpet as well)".
  • With a Puffy Vest, a Beefalo Hat and the Beard at full length, Wilson can have the highest insulation factor in the game at 615.
    • Wilson is one of the only three characters that get an insulation bonus from their Beard. The other two are Webber from RoG (Reign of Giants), and Woodie when played in DST.
  • Wilson is the only character capable of producing Beard Hair from shaving. His Beard is also the only one to allegedly be made of human hair.
  • Wilson is the only character unaffected by the Strange New Powers update, aside from Maxwell, who was not finished in time and got his new powers later on in the All's Well That Maxwell update.
  • Wilson is the only character with no drawbacks.
    • Even in RoG, his Beard needs to be grown to accelerate overheating in Summer, which is not required of Wilson during that season.
  • Wilson has a skull in the game files.
  • Before the November 14, 2013 patch, Wilson used to share a lot of examination quotes with the other characters.
    • His quotes are also used as the default for every other playable character when new objects are implemented in a beta stage.
  • Wilson can be used as a Steam chat emoticon.
  • Team Fortress 2 promoted Don't Starve with a hat modeled after Wilson's hair, as well as a weapon based on the Ham Bat.
  • When struck by Lightning in DLCs, Wilson, like most other characters, is shown to have bones in his hair.
  • Due to the short "Inevitable," Wilson is one of the few characters to have received actual voice acting, along with Maxwell, Charlie, and Willow
  • Wilson with Shadow Courtier can see Ink Blights names.
  • The Mad Lab Shoes were only added on August 31, 2022, despite the fact that the full set became available a few years earlier. Those who bought any set of skins that included the Wilson’s Mad Scientist skin received a red chest with Mad Lab Shoes upon entering the game. The chest appeared before the player could open the daily gift. Mad Lab Shoes were added in update 520864.
  • All skins in Halloween Costumes Sets reference one mob from the game. Wilson's is the Guardian Pig.
  • Quote Guest of Honor Wilson is exactly the opposite of Guest of Honor Webber.


  • From June to July 2012, a series of blog posts featured field notes written in Wilson's point of view, in which he recorded his initial experiences building tools, encountering Beefalo, and creating Meat Effigies in The Constant.
  • Kevin Forbes has described Wilson as "a person of independent means who has decided to apply his intellect, such as it is, to science," and has stated that despite identifying as one, Wilson is not a good scientist.[1]
  • Wilson's full name originates from promotional business cards Klei had made for a conference. Kevin Forbes originally wrote the name with Percival in mind for the middle initial "P".[2]
  • With the original reveal of the Forbidden Knowledge video at the end of a puzzle, Wilson is the first character to be given a backstory through a cinematic.
  • Wilson's age is in the early 30s.[3]
  • While his birthplace was never set in stone, Wilson was roughly designed as a European immigrant and perhaps one in the United States.[4]
  • An image of Wilson's face is visible in two Klei QR codes. One of them is part of a puzzle and links to an image of Maxwell, and the other is included on the tags of Don't Starve merchandise from the Klei Store and links to their main Don't Starve page.
  • Wilson is one of the five playable characters whose full name is known, the others being Maxwell, Wheeler, Wagstaff and Wendy.
  • According to Wilson's Guest of Honor skin description and quote in Don't Starve Together, he hates formal parties.
  • Wilson may have medical knowledge, as in The Forge, he is capable of reviving allies twice as fast and with more health. In his examination quote for a Peg Leg, he also claims to be capable of performing amputations. His Victorian skin depicting him as a period physician could also be a hint towards this.
  • Various quotes from Wilson show that he is obsessed with his hair. He says of a Straw Hat "Hats always ruin my hair." According to his Umbrella examination quote from DST, he doesn't like his hair getting "wet and poofy".
  • In The Gorge event in DST, a Streetlight "reminds [him] of home".
  • Judging by his examination quote for Mumsy, Wilson had a nanny.
  • Wilson's birthday is on April 23 as shown in the Compendium, the same day that Don't Starve was released.
  • Wilson stars in the licensed game Don't Starve: Newhome, which takes place in a non-canonical version of the Don't Starve universe where he remains on the Nightmare Throne, maintaining control of The Constant.
  • Sometimes a message like this may appear during the loading screen: "Wilson chose the path of an independent Gentleman Scientist after finding the university environment to be too stifling for a man of his ambitions. (The enormous bill the university sent him to pay for repairs to the chemistry lab had absolutely nothing to do with this.)",
  • To the forum question "there's art with 2 separate characters eating cup noodles, where did the cup noodles come from?" developer nome replied: "Wortox gave it to the Survivors because he thought it was cups of worms and would be a fun prank. He was very disappointed to find out it is, in fact, food. Nobody knows where he got them from."[5]
  • His quote for the Coaching Whistle implies that in his youth, Wilson had awful experiences with gym classes.

Cultural References

  • Wilson's Barber skin is based on Sweeney Todd from Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. His quote for the skin reflects this as well, as it is used in one of the songs from the musical.
  • The Mad Scientist Wilson is a reference to the classic mad scientist image.
  • The Victorian Wilson is a Victorian physician. His description refers to the old methods of treatment with leeches. His quote refers to
  • Wilson is probably named after the iconic volleyball companion of Tom Hanks' character in the film Cast Away.
  • Wilson's middle name, Percival, originated as the name of one of the Knights of the Round Table in Arthurian legends.
  • A gentleman scientist was a term that arose in post-Renaissance Europe for a financially independent male scientist who pursued the study of science as a hobby.[6] The modern term is independent scientist.
  • Wilson's Magmatic skin is based on Prince Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender.
  • Wilson's Barber skin is based on Sweeney Todd from Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. His quote for the skin reflects this as well, as it is used in one of the songs from the musical.


  1. Interview with Kevin Forbes by Jenesee Grey: (5:58) "Wilson is a gentleman scientist, which was an actual thing back when. He's a person of independent means who has decided to apply his intellect, such as it is, to science. He's not actually a very good scientist. He's overconfident, a little brash. He's got a can-do attitude, but he can't actually follow up on a lot of things." Recorded on January 22, 2013, uploaded on February 18, 2013.
  2. Forum thread "What means the P in the name?" Kevin Forbes: "I'm pretty sure it's Percival." / "By pretty sure, I mean I think that's what I had in mind when I wrote the "P." on the special promotional Wilson business cards that we got made for a conference, and from which Wilson got his name." Posted on October 9, 2012
  3. Archive of Klei Entertainment confirming Wilson and Willow's age on Facebook: "Wilson is in his early 30's. We never really established where Wilson is living or from but the "Gentleman Scientist" theme does kind of come from a "Proper English Gent" kind of personality. The story is 1920-ish. Willow is roughly in her early 20's." Posted on June 17, 2014.
  4. Archive of Klei Entertainment confirming Wilson's native origin on Facebook: "We never really set this in the lore, but I can say he is roughly designed as a European, maybe a European USA Immigrant? We never really picked a home land for him. His era is inspired by the 1920's so everyone was a little bit more proper back then." Posted on January 7, 2014.
  5. Nome on the forums 22 June 2023
  6. Dictionary of Modern Medicine p. 246