Updated: Jul 7, 2020
I have been seeing loads and loads of questions related to time management in the dark, and in my opinion, most of them come from inadequate understanding of the "loop" concept. This time, I will try to provide a metaphor that might make it easier for people who struggle to understand how time travel and related thoughts work in the dark. Unfortunately, eventually there will be spoilers, but I'll cover them up, so people who just want a more basic method are not wasting their happiness and examples. Let's get down to business!
Many movies and books about the past are somehow concerned with changing the past to influence the "future" (the opponent's first timeline, and we can call this right now). We can list countless examples of this timeline: Return to Tomorrow, The Butterfly Effect, The X-Men, Donnie Darko, etc. Generally, the framework of these works revolves around the so-called "Grand Paradox" either partially or explicitly. Problems that change the causes of the past are not always solved within the story, and they are basically always a mystery. The Greater Paradox is much simpler in its depth:
if you go back in time to kill your grandfather, you'll never be born first, so you can't go back in time to kill your grandfather. But this means that your grandfather lives earlier, and you will eventually be born. It doesn't matter how we look at it, we run into contradictions.
Darkness avoids this problem altogether by assuming that the universe operates in such a way that its natural laws simply do not allow it to be causal violations. This sounds complicated, so let's boil it down. In the dark, the past cannot be changed. This is a basic premise, and will be essential for every conversation. Suppose you went back in time, bought a toy car for your childhood. After that you return to your timeline, and while cleaning the house, it happens to the same toy car from your childhood. Well, the car was always yours, as you found it when you were a kid. The toy car never mysteriously appeared on your closed line when you returned to your timeline. You don't see the "modified" timeline, influenced by your past action (as in Butterfly Effect), the car was always there, and if you pay attention to the memory before you go back, you would remember some strange boy coming up to you when you were a kid, and I give you a toy car.
Example: When Jonas first started back in 1986, he was seen by Hannah and his father at the bus stop, and they even offered to raise some money for him. When on S2, an elderly Jonas comes to visit Hannah, she tells him to remember seeing her in her childhood. Hannah looks nervous, and she remembers seeing Jonas as a little girl.
So for this entry, let's take a look at how time travel modes work in the dark: caves in S1 basically let people travel between three periods: 2019, present, 1986, and 1953. Only during these times can the caves be often gone. Of course, as the story progresses, and we reach 2020 in the story, the caves will only be able to travel in 1987, and 1954. The caves are in the works for an increase of 33 years. The implication of the operation is that it is possible to "miss" the previous event altogether, even if it may go back in time. To see why this is the case, imagine that the time is 100 cm plastic state. Some numbers are marked in red, which is where the most important events in the timeline occur. You are only allowed to skip numbers up to 33 feet. In the meantime, suppose someone's death occurred directly on the 50th mark on the governor. When you start out at 83, you can go back, and see him die (I don't mean to save him, because by the rules of Darkness, that doesn't happen). However, if you wait until 84, then go back in time, you will end up at 51, instead of 50, and then 51, the event has already taken place. So it's not just about "passing" on you