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Blackreef. Must be the low season.Colt Vahn

The Isle of Blackreef, usually referred to as Blackreef, is the anomaly-engulfed island in the Polar Sea, presumably to the north of the mainland, having previously been a fishing colony turned military research base prior to being 'discovered' by the AEON Program. The interactive story of Deathloop takes place in the Lower Blackreef.


Blackreef is the island of an endless party—its inhabitants use every looping day to celebrate chaos, grandiosity, and debauchery[1].

Dwarfed by a towering circle-shaped structure, the Stabilizer Antenna, the island is divided into a highly elevated Upper Blackreef and plateau-ish Lower Blackreef by the Dead River, sourcing somewhere at Karl's Bay, going through the cleft to the Caldera Lake of The Complex, and further into its mouth in Koton's Harbor.

Notable locations include:

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Leads Locations Updaam Morning.png
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Leads Locations Karl's Bay Morning.png


According to the developers, Blackreef is greatly inspired by the 1930s-40s, which materializes in its vast amount of bunkers, abandoned labs and rusty structures[1], a vision drawn from real-life locations, such as Pripyat in Ukraine, Hashima Island in Japan, and Pyramiden in Norway[1], as well as Edinburgh of Scotland and the Faroe Islands[2]. Apart from the design inspiration, the creative team of Arkane Lyon respectfully used the atmosphere, created by the movie The Thing, 1982[3], and the series Lost's "DHARMA Initiative"[1]. The following pictures are the concept art used to showcase the atmosphere the game creates, and can be found within the game as paintings.


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Advertisement for Karl's Fishmongers, can be found on walls in Karl's Bay.
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Electrification Advertisement, can be found on walls in Updaam.

Prior to the events of DEATHLOOP, Blackreef was an isolated fishing colony[4], at some point ruled by Updaam Mayor Freyda Wong[5]. The settlers established many named around the island, that are used to this day (e.g. Karl's Bay). Available ads hint at the delayed development of the island's infrastructure—likely, due to the considerable distance away from the mainland. During its colonial days, Blackreef was a place of numerous witch trials[4], although it is unclear whether it's connected to the Anomaly.

Due to the anomalous nature of the island, it drew military interest of The Motherland, resulting in a research expedition being sent to chart and survey the island. The expedition came to be known as "Operation Horizon".

Horizon had charted out a map of the island in 1931, after it had built various structures across the island, namely Berezin's Manor, Stabilizer Antenna along with the Stabilizer Core, the research stations (Akkar, Sova, Tidevarv and Yasen) and many more.

Up until around 1938-1939, Horizon personnel remained on the island, conducting research on the temporal Anomaly, until they were ordered to withdraw due to lack of any tangible outcomes[6].

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Colt Vahn and Frank Spicer, overseeing the construction of the Dorsey Manor.

Blackreef was rediscovered later in the 1960s by an Operation Horizon's retired operative, Colt Vahn, and a scientific enthusiast Egor Serling[4]. Egor, along with fellow AEON's founders, Harriet and Wenjie[4], re-inhabited the abandoned island.

AEON Program's manpower had build additional sites (e.g. Dorsey Manor), as well as repurposed the Stabilizer Antenna to harness the Anomaly's power[7], thus creating a stable timeloop that incorporated the entirety of the island.


Blackreef hosts a variety of locations for the player to explore, as well as taunting but inaccessible locations.



  • Upper Blackreef
    • Ardavaskoy Massif
    • Ichniyan's Folly and more
  • Lower Blackreef
    • Zarkapa Proving Grounds
    • Nuvurog Ridge and more


The inhabitants of the island consist of two types: the Visionaries and the Eternalists.

Other residents


  • The name, Blackreef, comes from the extensive coral reefs around the island[4].

See also


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