Lifeline Whiteout Walkthrough #4: The Helicopter Site

lifeline-whiteout

Having recently played this game through to completion, I decided that in the absence of a proper written walk-through, I would create one here. Warning: Spoiler Alerts!The game Lifeline: Whiteout is developed by 3 Minute and available on iTunes and Google Play. This walk-through focuses on the third chapter of the game titled “The Helicopter Site”.  Click here to view the table of contents/list of chapters.

Main Story

The helicopter’s crash site is a couple of miles away…
There’s a steep hill blocking my view of the wreckage, but there’s a column of smoke rising behind it.
Judging by the colour, the copter is probably on fire.
I can see something else to my left.
Make that my FAR left…
I’m not sure, but I think I see some blinking red lights.
It might be a beacon, but I can’t tell from this distance.
I’ll have to get closer to know for certain.

I can’t decide which option is better… or worse.
I am almost sure that’s a signal beacon of a relay station. And a station could provide shelter… or a radio!

But, what if someone survived that crash?

Decision A:
A1: Head for the crash site.
A2: Investigate the blinking lights.

Decision A1: Head for the crash site

I’m not so sure that’s a good idea.
Everything I’ve seen so far has increased my paranoia… But, what if there are survivors?
They might not be hostile. I won’t know their intentions until it’s too late.

I’m already in enough trouble being stuck out here…
I don’t even have any weapons to defend myself with…

Decision B:
B1: All right. Go towards the lights.
B2: You’ll be fine. Go to the crash site.

Decision B1: All right. Go towards the lights

Also Decision B4: Forget them, Visit the crash site.

You don’t seem very sure…
But your guess is probably as good as mine at this point.
I should keep an eye on the time too.

I can’t spend all day wandering this wasteland.
I’ll need to find shelter before nightfall.

Decision C:
C1: You have time. Go to the crash
C2: Those lights could have a shelter [Refer to Alternate Path B3]

Decision C1: You have time. Go to the crash

You’re right.
Sorry I’m so indecisive.
I’m just on the edge here… But can you blame me?
I nearly died several times today already…

I’m gonna head for the crash now. I’ll let you know once I see anything interesting.
Adams out.

[Adams is busy]

Multiple decision points join the story-line here:

  • Decision B2: You’ll be fine. Go to the crash site
  • Decision C3: Don’t risk it. Head for the crash site

Hey! I’m almost at the top of the hill.
The hike up was… well, hard would be an understatement.
The merciless terrain exhausted me.
And these boots I’m wearing…
They weren’t designed for climbing, especially in arctic conditions. They’re not warm either.
I wish I had some proper climbing equipment. That would make the last stretch easier.
But I don’t have much choice now, do I?

I gotta keep moving forward, or upward, in this case!
I’m gonna take it slow so I don’t slip.
Whoa, speaking of slippery! This upper part is nearly all ice…

Decision D:
D1: You can do it, Adams!
D2: Wait! It’s too dangerous.

Decision D1: You can do it, Adams!

You’re right! I can!
But I’ll be careful, I promise!
Adams out.

[Adams is busy]

[Decision D2: Wait! It’s too dangerous joins this story-line.]

I made it!
The climb was hard, but worth it. This hilltop is an excellent vantage point.

The burning wreck is straight ahead.
But I’ve got another problem…
I’m standing on the edge of a steep slope leading down to it.
It’s probably about 70 degrees, if I had to guess.
But it’s covered in snow. It’s hard to tell how deep it is, or if it’s covering anything treacherous.
But, this slope is a straight line to the helicopter. Should I try it?

Decision E:
E1: Use the slope. You’ll save time.
E2: Find a safer path down there.

Decision E1: Use the slope. You’ll save time

You’re right. Time is my most precious resource.
Still… This will be hard.
I’ll have to test the depth of the snow, find proper footholds…
Wish me luck.
If we don’t talk again…
No, forget it.
Adams out.

[Adams is busy]

Hey! I just realized I probably had you worried.
Sorry about that.
So, here’s an update, as an apology.
I’ve crossed about a third of the slope. It’s not actually that bad!
You just have to be really careful about foot positioning and…
WAHH!

[Adams is busy]

I’m alive!
Sorry for the scare!
As I was finishing the last transmission, the ice crust broke apart and my foot fell into a hole.
But, it wasn’t deep enough to keep my leg locked, so I started to fall.
I hit my knee hard and I started to slide headfirst.
Then I did a belly flop the rest of the way down.
I’m glad it’s all over now. I’m lucky I didn’t break anything!
I bruised my right ankle and knee, but it’s fine.
The funny thing is – I did save a lot of time!

I’m in front of the wreck now. Let’s see…

[END OF CHAPTER 3 / START OF CHAPTER 4]

Oh my God!

[Decision E2: Find a safer path down there joins this story-line.]

There’s wreckage everywhere… The helicopter was split wide open.
The rotor blades snapped, like they were just twigs!
The engines are on fire, and it’s made it to the cockpit – what’s left of it.

Looks like the fuel tanks were damaged too. That’s what’s fuelling the fires.

Damn, they must have hit the hillside directly…
Also… There are two bodies int he cockpit…

I can’t tell what caused the crash. It’s all twisted metal…
What were they thinking?
Damn…
What a waste.

 

Alternate Routes

A revamp of the Decision nodes and alternate route identifiers has been made. This is reflected in the process diagram:

lifeline-chapter3

Decision A2: Investigate the lights

All right.
If it is a beacon, maybe there’s a station nearby.
The only problem is – I can barely see the lights in the overwhelming whiteness.

And the visibility isn’t exactly improving anyway.

I’m no meteorologist, but it looks like there’s a blizzard brewing,
I should find some shelter before it starts.

Those lights aren’t exactly close either.

I’m not even sure if it’s not just my eyes playing tricks on me.
Are you sure about this?

Decision F:
B3: You’ll see the lights better once you get closer.
B4: Forget them, Visit the crash site. [Refer to B1 in the main story-line above]

Decision B2: You’ll be fine. Go to the crash site.

On second thought… The chances that anyone survived THAT crash are practically zero.
If I’m right, and that smoke is rising from the fire…
I’ll be able to warm myself up… I like the prospect of that.
So, I’ll head for the hill.
I’ll contact you once I’m at the top.

Might take me some time,

Decision B3: You’ll see the lights better once you get closer

Right! That sounds good to me.
I’ll orient myself as best as I can in the meantime.
The lights are only flashing intermittently.

I honestly only noticed them by pure change.

I don’t have the slightest idea how long it’ll take me…
I’ll let you know once I’m there.
Adams out.

[Adams is busy]

Hey friend!
I can clearly see the lights now. It looks like a relay station!
There’s a small structure beside it. The lights I saw are on the top of a large antenna.

There’s just one tiny problem…
It’s called: there’s a wide, raging river between me and the beacon.
I don’t see any way across it.
Any ideas?

Decision G:
C3: Don’t risk it. Head for the crash site.
C4: Swim across.

Decision C3: Don’t risk it. Head for the crash site

You’re right. I hate to back away, because it looks like this station could be useful.

But it’s not worth the risk.
I’m heading back. It’ll take me a while to reach the hill… and probably to hike up it.

I’ll call you to know if I find anything in the meanwhile.
Adams out.

[Adams is busy]

[Refer to the main story-line – Decision C1]

Decision C4: Swim across

Let me be honest.
I’m not confident in my swimming abilities.
It’s been… a long day, and I’m exhausted.
These boots are good for walking, but for swimming?
They might weigh me down, but I can’t take them off.
That water isn’t frozen, but it’s freezing.

All I’m saying is, I’m not sure I can reach the station before hypothermia sets in…

Am I just being paranoid?

Decision H:
D3: Yes. That station could hold some answers.
D4: It’s not worth it. Go to the crash site. [Refer to Alternate Route – C3]

Decision D2: Wait! It’s too dangerous

Unfortunately, I think I’ve already committed….
I’ve lost a lot of daylight.
The night will probably fall in the next couple of hours.
Noit to mention I could fall just going back down as well…
My mind’s made up. I’m going up.
Wish me luck!
Adams out.

[Adams is busy]

[Refer to the main story-line – Decision D1]

Decision D3: Yes. That station could hold some answers

Well, I want to put it on record that I think this is a bad idea.
But I’ll do it. I’ll be extra careful.

It might take a while.
We’ll talk when I reach the other bacnk.

[Adams is busy]

Hey, it’s me!
I made it halfway to a rock! IT’s not as bad as I thought.
It hasn’t been easy, but it’s definitely possible.
The water feels almost warm. Maybe because the air is so cold?
I just wanted to share my progress and take a breather.
Just another half to go…
Damn, the current is much stronger here. It’s hard to…
WHOA!

Signal interrupted.
Attempting to reconnect…
Connection lost…

[End of transmission]

Decision E2: Find a safer path down there

You’re right. Why take a risk?
If anything happens to em… There’s no one around to help me…
Everything around me is just a frozen wasteland, without any signs of life.

It’ll take a while to find a safe path. I’ll let you know once I’m there.

[Adams is busy]

Well I eventually found a path down\, but it wasn’t exactly an easy stroll.

This freezing wind isn’t helping .
My fingers are numb, and my face is itchy and dry.
But, at least I didn’t slip and fall, right?

Anyway, here I am, a few feet from the helicopter – or what’s left of it…

There are a couple of fires still burning. They’re showing no signs of stopping.

[Refer to the main story-line – Decision E1]

Commentary & Analysis

Unlike the previous chapter, this chapter walk-through is a lot simpler and shorter, as reflected in the return to mapping out the chapter as a process flow diagram. The diagram above helps to show clearly the eight decision nodes, five of which form the shortest path to the chapter ending. The process diagram also helps to highlight how our documentation effort here is being simplified – decision nodes are now alphabets only and the decision paths/routes are numbered according to the overall position of the path to the main story-line. Given the simplified story-line, the following table of possible routes is provided:

Route 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th
Route 1 (Main Story) 0 A1 B1 C1 D1 E1
Route 2 0 A1 B1 C1 D1 E2
Route 3 0 A1 B1 C1 D2 E1
Route 4 0 A1 B1 C1 D2 E2
Route 5 0 A1 B1 C2 (B3) C3 (C1) D1 E1
Route 6 0 A1 B1 C2 (B3) C3 (C1) D1 E2
Route 7 0 A1 B1 C2 (B3) C3 (C1) D2 E1
Route 8 0 A1 B1 C2 (B3) C3 (C1) D2 E2
Route 9 0 A1 B1 C2 (B3) C4 D3
Route 10 0 A1 B1 C2 (B3) C4 D4 (C1) D1 E1
Route 11 0 A1 B1 C2 (B3) C4 D4 (C1) D1 E2
Route 12 0 A1 B1 C2 (B3) C4 D4 (C1) D2 E1
Route 13 0 A1 B1 C2 (B3) C4 D4 (C1) D2 E2
Route 14 0 A1 B2 (C1) D1 E1
Route 15 0 A1 B2 (C1) D1 E2
Route 16 0 A1 B2 (C1) D2 E1
Route 17 0 A1 B2 (C1) E2 E2
Route 18 0 A2 B3 C3 (C1) D1 E1
Route 19 0 A2 B3 C3 (C1) D1 E2
Route 20 0 A2 B3 C3 (C1) D2 E1
Route 21 0 A2 B3 C3 (C1) D2 E2
Route 22 0 A2 B3 C4 D3
Route 23 0 A2 B3 C4 D4 (C1) D1 E1
Route 24 0 A2 B3 C4 D4 (C1) D1 E2
Route 25 0 A2 B3 C4 D4 (C1) D2 E1
Route 26 0 A2 B3 C4 D4 (C1) D2 E2
Route 27 0 A2 B4 (B1) C1 D1 E1
Route 28 0 A2 B4 (B1) C1 D1 E2
Route 29 0 A2 B4 (B1) C1 D2 E1
Route 30 0 A2 B4 (B1) C1 D2 E2
Route 31 0 A2 B4 (B1) C2 (B3) C3 (C1) D1 E1
Route 32 0 A2 B4 (B1) C2 (B3) C3 (C1) D1 E2
Route 33 0 A2 B4 (B1) C2 (B3) C3 (C1) D2 E1
Route 34 0 A2 B4 (B1) C2 (B3) C3 (C1) D2 E2
Route 35 0 A2 B4 (B1) C2 (B3) C4 D3
Route 36 0 A2 B4 (B1) C2 (B3) C4 D4 (C1) D1 E1
Route 37 0 A2 B4 (B1) C2 (B3) C4 D4 (C1) D1 E2
Route 38 0 A2 B4 (B1) C2 (B3) C4 D4 (C1) D2 E1
Route 39 0 A2 B4 (B1) C2 (B3) C4 D4 (C1) D2 E2

Based on the table above, there are four shortest routes (14 – 17) that are the most efficient progression through Chapter 3. What is provided as the main story-line is just one of 39 possible combinations and one of 14 routes of the same length (6 decisions). Eight routes have the longest path of eight decisions, and another 12 routes take a total of seven decisions. Like Chapter 2, it is possible to die, which is found in decision route D3; Route #22 above is the quickest way to die…

As the process map reflects, the likelihood of dying is quite low since the majority of decision routes generally lead back to the main story-line and path. How many times does the game need to indicate the preferred choice is to visit the crash site? There a three opportunities to return to the main story-line (with a fourth skipping and simplifying the journey.

Interestingly the game could add a dimension of complexity whereby Chapter 3 and the next could be treated as two possible paths, with the ability to do either one first followed by the other. So far, the way the story-line of Lifeline: Whiteout works suggests that the main overarching story is linear and each chapter is simply a collection of decisions that are mutually exclusive; decisions made earlier in a previous chapter have no bearing or influence on later chapters. Perhaps these updates will be reflected in later updates to the game…?