(SPOILERS!) Got two important questions: first, was that russian soldier who had initiated the nuclear launch the captain of the submarine? Secondly, the one who stopped (Avoiding Catastrophe) the initiation using the secret code was one of the russian soldiers or was it an american soldier sent there to prevent the launch?
Thanks for purchasing and playing First Winter. It means a lot when people not only play my games but theorise the meaning behind them. I’ll do my best to give my interpretation and the narrative I had in my head when building it. I think it might be the first time I’ve spoken about it actually.
First up (if you haven’t already) I’d suggest you play my first game Pacific. It shows the green shoots of what First Winter would become. In that game, rather than playing as a particular antagonist you are more like an observer, a spirit if you will. An explorer in a peculiar, dream-like, post-apocalyptic purgatory. Wandering around strange, morphing rooms and corridors which appears more like a museum than a Nuclear Bunker.
Despite your spirit-like qualities however, you are able to interact and have influence to a certain extent over your surroundings.
These same mechanics and game personalities persist throughout First Winter where you’ll recognise quite easily many scenes from Pacific. In fact I rebuilt (apart from the 2nd to last scene) the entire game for First Winter. That being said the extent of the Pacific-like personality depends on which world you’re in.
For example when inside the Apartment scene you are a more literal, tangible element of game, able to pick up and interact with pretty much everything you can see. Whereas in Pacific you’re more like an unsuspected visitor to that museum of the dead.
The Submarine scene is a mixture of both, where you are indeed witnessing situations unfold but also have quite an influence over future outcomes (quite literally when it comes to codes).
The cassette tapes are your main clue when it comes to working out who’s who and who’s responsible for what.
Cassette Tape 1: Talks about proximity threats and merely backs up what the guy on the radio said. USA is bound to protect itself against an enemy if it’s close enough, even if it’s not doing anything.
Cassette Tape 2: Talks about the best way to get your foe to do something he doesn’t want to do. It gives an example of a child not wanting to tidy its room. The child is far less likely to tidy its room if you scold and shout. In diplomatic terms you need to guide your enemy to the solution you want them to take and make them think it’s their idea. It’s a way of them saving face and feeling like they’ve won even when they’ve lost. This tape tells the story of the two countries trying to handle the situation of the Nuclear Submarine being too close to the Los Angeles shoreline. The Soviets can’t merely retreat without looking weak.
Soviet Note found in the Submarine: This note gives us more of the story. Mission Commanders are contacting the captain onboard the Submarine and informing him that he’s over 400 miles off his course and he should get back on course immediately. This implies that this is not a Soviet mission but perhaps the ship is lost, or something more sinister.
Cassette Tape 3: This recording confirms the suspicions raised by the note. It speaks of mutiny. Somebody or bodies are deliberately not following orders. The Soviets are not directly responsible for this situation but as the recording goes on to explain, it’s important to not let the Americans know of this embarrassing development. Whatever the actions of the insubordinate individual it’s highly important to appear to endorse their actions. If the Soviet navy appears to be compromised it risks damaging not only the reputation of the military but of Communism itself.
You’re then shot in the face by a guy who’s deliberately concealing their identity. Unlikely the captain or an officer with the clothes they are wearing. This is an intruder or a crew member gone rouge and/or crazy. This explains why you’ve seen so many dead crew throughout the submarine. The Nuclear Submarine (and its weapons) are in the hands of someone else who’s motives we do not know.
Cassette Tape 4: This is quite self explanatory. It talks about the stalemate and how the two sides can’t agree to back down. It’s the folly of war. USA do not realise that the submarine is out of the control of the Soviets and the Soviets don’t want to tell them. If they did then a solution is more likely to be found. Reputation and suspicion takes preference though. The United States could be responsible for the submarine takeover as far as the Soviets are concerned.
So then you enter the control room and again see the masked mutineer. Who is he? What are his motives? Who knows. But he intends to launch nuclear weapons at the United States, not to destroy the West but to start a thermo nuclear war and with it the destruction of the entire civilised world.
Alas; we enter the first nuclear war.
Take what you want from that. Hope it helps 😉