There are three types of quests in Stardew Valley: one that you choose from the special orders boards, another that arrives in your mail, and yet another that the game starts you on without notice. The Winter Mystery Quest falls into the last category.
You won’t have any mail telling you about the Winter Mystery Quest. Neither would you be asked to do it as a favor for someone else. It can be initiated by a cutscene. In fact, you’ll just come across a shadowy figure in the woods, and that’ll be the last of it unless you choose to pursue it.
Who’s the shadowy figure in Stardew Valley? What to do when you spot the shadowy figure?
Who’s the Shadowy Figure in Stardew Valley?
In your first winter at Stardew Valley, you’ll come across a shadowy figure in Stardew Valley when you leave your farm to go towards Pelican Town Square. It’ll happen out of the blue. It might be an alien. In any case, follow it.
How to Begin the Winter Mystery Quest in Stardew Valley?
If the shadowy figure runs off too soon, go to the road beside Harvey’s Clinic, the one that leads to the Community Center. Track down the footprints of the shadowy figure in the snow. The footprints should lead you to a bush where the shadowy figure is hiding. The Winter Mystery Quest is unlocked the moment the shadowy figure shows up in a cutscene to the player.
Next, you have to interact with the bush. The shadowy figure will appear and give you a magnifying glass before running off.
This will also unlock Secret Notes in the Stardew Valley universe. Each will lead you to a unique reward to add some thrill to your gameplay.
Where to Find the Shadowy Figure in Stardew Valley?
To find the Shadowy figure in Stardew Valley, follow these steps:
- Leave your farm and walk towards the Town Square.
- Don’t enter the Town Square. Instead, take the road beside Harvey’s Clinic.
- Climb up the stairs, and go to the area with the park and the Community Center.
- Interact with the bushes until you have a shadowy figure pop out of one of them.
How to Complete the Winter Mystery Quest?
When you interact with the bushes, the shadowy figure will hand you a magnifying glass. It will get added to your wallet automatically in the Stardew Valley game.
You’ll also start finding Secret Notes in Stardew Valley. Each will have a cryptic message that will require decoding. On following the instructions, you’ll find a unique artifact or rare item that unlocks the door to something else.
There are a total of 25 Secret Notes to be found, so 25 little quests to be completed before you can complete the Winter Mystery Quest. Moreover, you can find secrets while chopping wood, mining, fishing, digging, or killing slimes and other monsters in the game.
Some secret notes will just list down favorite gifts for Stardew Valley players so that you can gift them those items and earn additional friendship points. When you read these notes, the gifts these characters love will be added to your Collections tab. As for others, they will unlock specific rewards and routes for you in the game.
All Secret Notes [Decoded] in Stardew Valley
While most of the secret notes include favorite items in Stardew Valley, here are some of the important ones you need to look out for:
➡️ Secret Note – 13
On the last day of any season, at 12PM sharp, you must interact with the bush above the playground to receive a Junimo Plush. A Junimo Plush is a secret piece of furniture. You can follow the instructions and find it, even if you haven’t unlocked the secret note.
➡️ Secret Note – 14
You’ll find a stone Junimo statue near the fence behind the Community Center. You have to use a pickaxe or hoe to get it out. In fact, if yours is destroyed, you can get another one every 2 years unless you haven’t bought a Joja Membership.
➡️ Secret Note – 15
When the night market is on in the winter, go to the Mermaid Show and click on the shells in this formation: 1-5-4-2-3 to earn a pearl. Or else, you can just enjoy the show and get back!
➡️ Secret Note – 16
Go to the railway station in Pelican Town, and move to the north of the rail track. You can dig the spot next to the boulder, and you will find a hidden treasure chest.
➡️ Secret Note – 17
Next, go to the endpoint of the river near JojaMart – the spot after you cross the bridge, and the end of the road. Dig the soil with your hoe, and you’ll receive a strange green doll. Be careful to grab it, or else it might fall into the river below.
This strange green doll can be sold for 1000 gold. It can also be donated to the museum as an artifact, which will complete the donation of all items.
➡️ Secret Note – 18
Take a bus to the Calico Desert, head to the South East area of the map, and start digging on the left side of the bench. You will find a strange yellow doll.
You can donate it as an artifact or sell it for 1000 gold. There are other ways to find it, as well: fishing treasure chests, mining, and more.
➡️ Secret Note – 19
The secret note with a blue house on it will lead you to a gold statue of Mayor Lewis. Consider the green square at the start of the house. You have to keep following each arrow until you’re unable to move anymore.
You’ll have to hit a permanent obstacle every time and keep moving in the direction of the arrow. If you place the statue anywhere in Pelican Town, and it isn’t destroyed, it’ll be replaced by a rotten plant. Lewis will send you a letter with 750 gold coins, admonishing you for putting his statue on display.
➡️ Secret Note – 20
Go to JojaMart and look for a truck parked beside it. Interact with the truck; a truck driver will ask you for a rabbit’s foot. You can go back and fetch it.
Or, you can have it in your backpack. On handing it to him, you’ll receive a special charm. It’ll increase your daily luck, and it will be added to your wallet automatically.
➡️ Secret Note – 22
This is a secret note from Mr. Qi, who’ll set you on his adventure. You need a battery pack, and then you should go west to the bus stop, and enter the tunnel.
You can make a battery pack by crafting a lightning rod with 1 iron bar, 1 refined quartz, and 5 batwings. Keep it out in the thunderstorms to have a battery pack. You can also get one from a solar panel or an iridium bat.
Go inside the tunnel and look for a battery box where you must insert the battery pack. That’ll start off the Mysterious Qi Quest for you.
The second part of the quest will ask you to place 10 beets in Lewis’s fridge. You can grow and harvest beets in Stardew Valley only in Fall.
➡️ Secret Note – 23
When you read the secret note 23, a strange note quest will be added to your Stardew Valley journey. Get maple syrup in your backpack. Make maple syrup if you don’t have it by adding a tapper to a maple tree in Stardew Valley.
Set out to the secret woods and find a bear. The entry might be blocked by a large stump. Clear that to proceed. It’ll trigger a cutscene where a bear will share his precious knowledge with you. A bear’s paw (called the Bear’s Knowledge) will be added to your wallet. Not only that, the price of blackberries and salmonberries will increase by 3x after that.
➡️ Secret Note – 24
You can color junimos by placing gems, minerals inside their hut.
➡️ Secret Note – 25
Abigail has lost her mother’s necklace. You can fish it out in the water outside the spa only during spring, summer, or fall. When you get the ornate necklace, you can give it to Caroline (who’s the mother) for 50 friendship points. Or, you can get it back to Abigail for 100 friendship points.
Is the Winter Mystery Related to the Strange Capsule Mystery?
You’ll wake up to a strange noise. On inspecting your farm, you’ll find a mystery capsule. You can collect it and keep it in your chests. For if you don’t collect it, the capsule will break, and a mysterious creature (similar to the Winter Mystery’s shadowy figure) will run around Pelican Town.
There’s a high chance that the two mystery quests are related because the shadowy figure will always be too shy and would run away, just like the shadowy figure from Winter Mystery does.
However, there’s no saying for sure!
Next, check out how to upgrade your tools in Stardew Valley. This will allow you to be more efficient when it comes to crafting and gathering resources!
A writer and an editor for 7+ years, Gargi Ghosal is one of the Top Writing Voices (LinkedIn, 2023). With over 500 published articles to her name, Gargi has been a writer at Geekflare, MUO, iGeeks, TechGyd and the lead subeditor for an international… read more